Every platform has own advantages and disadvantages - the same is true of web games. Here’s main strengths and weaknesses:
Advantages of web platform for games
1. Low entry barrier
Web games are like a classic page - there is a need of just one click and anyone can play selected game regardless device he is on.
2. Monetization options
There are classic web options of monetization - in-game advertisement, in-game purchases, affiliate, donations, sponsorships and many more. No limitations here, perhaps expect rewarded ads which are available for mobile devices only.
3. Cheap distribution (marketing)
Bring a product between big number of people is very cost, not in the case of web games. There are many gaming websites which will be more than happy to present and allow the game to their users for free.
4. Simple game customization for web
There are many limitations related creating games for web, however, most is similar to creating a game for a mobile. So, if a game runs well on a mobile, then it will probably run the same or even better in the browser. There is only need to customize game controls and make build for html5/webgl from your game engine allowing cross-platform builds.
5. Simple management
It does not matter whether the game is on one web or 10,000 websites, usually you can still control and update the game from one place - thanks to spreading it by running on all that websites via iframe / embed elements.
6. Instant load
There are many small games which load instantly and thus achieve minimum bounce rate. There is not simply time to escape the game sooner than it’s loaded. This also increase retention. If a game is bigger, there is an option to cache the game in a browser and achieve instant load at least during second and later launches.
7. Simple connection with users
Web is good not only for games, but also overall connection with users and building big community of them. Also you can use push-ups notifications, email notifications, allow installation of your game as progressive web app to have it on the desktop. Still applies that no one needs to install anything on the web and can join any discussion from any device. You can create a forum as a part of the game, connect Discord, let players vote for next development and so on. If anyone wants to recommend your game, there is just a need of sending one link and the gifted can start immediately play.
Disadvantages of web platform for games
1. Market of web games is very small (at least in the language of money)
Although the first browser game was released over 20 years ago (Adventure Games Live in 1998), revenues in web games have never reached revenues of games released on other platforms. Partly from a reason of limited monetization ways in the era of flash and creators who have been creating the games rather for fun than a business. So, revenues were low, although playability, fun and uniqueness on a good level. Today revenues are better than even before, technologies and options as well, only quality, fun and unique content often miss. Oops, this is maybe an advantage - opportunity to benefit from low concurrency.
The market is so small that even has own visualisation
2. Technology limitations
Modern browsers are able to handle many things, including VR games, there is still need to have in mind that native games in the browser (using openGL and classic web technologies) do not have direct access to hardware and thus available performance for running games is limited. Then there are logical issues, such as although a game is not installable, it must still be first downloaded which require specific time. It is not a problem when a user expects it, however, users of web expect immediate reactions. Every second of game load matters and increases the chance that a player will escape the game sooner than will even start playing it.
3. Force of habit
It may not seem, but players have various internal habits arising by using certain thing for years. Players are used to consider web games as a small games intended for a single play without need to return back for next playing and instead of repeated plays of one game, players flow between multiple games. Fortunately, recent statistics show a positive change in this area when good games are able to keep high user retention, but also force users to pay for in-game items.
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