Addressing the problems and plus points of gaming in HTML5 #MWC

DeveloperTech spoke to Iker Jamardo, VP of engineering at Ludei, about HTML5 teething troubles, Zuckerberg’s quote and the W3C standard

HTML5 is far from perfect, but there’s reason for plenty of optimism with the open web standard, according to Iker Jamardo, VP of engineering at HTML5 game developer Ludei.

Ludei, who is exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, attempts to “accelerate HTML5 games”. And it seems to be paying dividends; the product has been on the market four months, with a claimed 3000 developers moving onto the Ludei platform in 12 months.

Yet it’s perhaps not a surprise that the open standard isn’t the finished product, given the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium has set an estimated date of July 2014 as the finished spec, only publishing the completed definition back in December.

Jamardo said of the W3C’s ruling of the standard: “I would like the standard to go a little bit faster, definitely, but I really think the standards are good. They’re moving the industry forward - the biggest industries in the world are supporting the current standard.”

But understandably, cross-platform compatibility is of vital importance. “If you develop in HTML5, it should work in every web browser,” said Jamardo. “When you go mobile, go to iOS and Android, you’re going to have some problems with the browser.

“The first problem you’re going to face is performance – graphic performance, sound – also access to in-app purchases, native advertising, push notifications, analytics…you need these things to make your game successful.”

HTML5 of course hasn’t had the best reception in mobile. Back in June German games developer Wooga dropped the standard because “the technology is not there yet”, and of course Facebook followed suit in August, going to iOS native claiming it would give “a major opportunity to keep making the app faster, more reliable and feature-rich.”

Mark Zuckerberg, famously, called HTML5 the “biggest mistake” for Facebook in 2012. And according to Jamardo, both sides are at fault.

“I can really understand that they [Facebook] dropped the product, because HTML5 has some problems,” he said. “But there are solutions out there.

“You really have to think that HTML5 is the future. If you believe that, you’re going to find a solution, and that’s what they didn’t do. They faced the problems and didn’t solve them.”

“Definitely we’re showing that HTML5 is a viable option right now. It’s definitely a great option because you’re prepared for the future.

“HTML5 is based on open web standards. Every new device that will come out in the future – we won’t know how to develop those devices but we know that they will have a browser inside. It’s a bold bet, but I really think that it’s worth it, definitely.”

Take a look at the comprehensive guide to HTML5 for mobile developers, as seen from InMobi, here.

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