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PC browser games only 5%,should Construct change?

  • Hi, I discover this article:

    This article is a detailed analysis and prediction. PC browser games will die soon. The revenue of PC browser games is 5% in 2016 and will decrease to only 3% in 2020. On the other hand, the revenue of smartphone games is 29% in 2016 and will increase to 40% in 2020.

    I have a question. Construct 3 is exported natively to PC browser platform but the PC browser games' revenue will be very little in the future. Should Scirra start planning to make Construct 4 export to smartphone platform natively.? Perhaps there will be no future for PC browser games and keeping Construct to export to HTML5 platform may not be reasonable. I mean that Construct 4 should abandon natively exporting to HTML5 platform. Thanks.

  • Haven't you heard? Construct 4 will export to Amazon Dash button only.

    It's the future.

  • Should Scirra start planning to make Construct 4 export to smartphone platform natively.?

    Does it have to be native?

    Scirra are working on having a "one-click" export option to apk (Android) and ipa (iOS) for Construct 3 and have most of it in. Isn't that enough?

  • BoyHK Sorry to say, but you are naive. Construct already passed the point of no return, even the editor is now HTML5 and C4 is at least another 4-5 years in the future, until then a lot can change.

    Even if the stats are correct, 5% is still a big market share and Construct seems to focus on that. While I don't personally like it, is actually a good marketing decision.

  • You can wrap your games up as an EXE easily, which would expose you to 19-25% extra market share as one example.

  • When we talk about browser games on the PC, it is really a fact that they will disappear over time as they are rarely high investment games. Different is the case of PC games that you have to download, this is a platform with very high investments still. An example of this is steam, which makes a lot more each year.

    When we talk about the construct it fits on several platforms, and is improving every day, so I do not think that's a concern for the people who use the construct. Just think that pro construct get much stronger they should focus a little more on native exports to the tool (PC (Plugins for steam), Mac, android, IOS, consoles).

  • Construct will never do "native". It just doesn't work that way. But I think the underlying architecture (html5) in C3 is not an issue in this respect.

    While this used to be a real disadvantage to Construct a couple of years ago because of horrible performance of mobile games created in it, nowadays there are more and more devices that can handle it perfectly well. So... if you want to focus on mobile, just focus on mobile -- C3 is well equipped to do that.

    That said, I'm a bit concerned about the sustainability of HTML5 in general. After all, it is not a programming language, it's a front-end website language. So what if the same thing happens to it that happened to Flash? What if HTML5 changes in some way that's incompatible with using it for making games? What if HTML6 breaks some key features in terms of backwards compatibility? What if, for whatever reason, internet browsers change how they work and it becomes impossible to wrap them in mobile apps ? blah blah... Le'ts hope Scirra will just follow along those changes.

    PS. Frankly, I'm surprised "pc browser games" are still a thing at all. Does anyone earn any kind on money on those?

  • HTML5 is a standard that is supported by all the major browser manufacturers. It is not going away and HTML6 doesn't seem to be on any horizon.

    Construct 3 is actively supporting any new significant parts of HTML5 (WebGL, etc.) and provides a great way to keep up with changing technology. Over the past few years I've been working with HTML5, Android, and iOS programming, and HTML5 is easier to work with because it is a standard. Android and iOS can change at their owners whim; for example, Android is in the process of changing support for Java to Kotlin, and iOS has already changing support from ObjectiveC to Swift.

    HTML5 is also becoming more effective on mobile because mobile is getting faster and more efficient. A lot of people don't pay attention to changes and they still may think HTML5 is slow. But it isn't on more modern mobile devices. Construct 3 and HTML5 are providing a way to truly "write once and run anywhere".

    PS: I'm really in love with the way that Construct 3 will run in a browser. This makes it so easy to move from computer to computer and from OS to OS. Especially easy because you can save your files to Google Drive (or Dropbox or OneDrive). Chromebooks are a snap. You can get into the game-making business with a $200 Chromebook.

  • pirx Native applications depend on libraries as well so no method is completely future-proof. I once run into a native educational software that needs Windows XP to run since it simply won't start on newer OSs (even with compatibility mode). An other example is playing old GameMaker games (made with versions prior to 7.0). They won't start either on a Windows 10 machine.

    What I'm trying to say is that HTML5 is a well established open standard developed by multiple companies (unlike Flash). So if you're looking for solid technology that can last as long as possible, HTML5 is one of the best (if not the best) bet.

  • Bob Thulfram glerikud

    Good points. I've recently decided to give Construct another shot taking the opportunity that C3 is here (a couple of years ago I switched from native to C2 deciding it was way more effective and fun, but the mobile performance turned out to be a show stopper back then) and I'm loving it. Still have to do some testing on the performance aspect though.

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  • I posted about this too back in April. It helped make my point that browser games are a dying niche market. And making C3 so reliant on Chrome is like targeting a niche market within a niche market. I don't understand the business logic in that. Good gimmick, bad idea, imo. If C3 allowed people to make games just as easily in C++, can you imagine how many people jump all over that? We wouldn't have to rely on third party wrappers and all the problems that come with that, but I digress. It is what it is.

    That being said, I don't think HTML is going anywhere for a very, very long time. So I think it's safe to make games for HTML5, even though it's not a popular method of playing games. A lot of people will still have access to playing your games online, if they wanted. More people have computers, tablets, smart phones than any particular console. Trends show the market shrinking for browser games, but it can easily rise again too. Nothing is written in stone.

    I do predict browsers going away though. Eventually, HTML5 will be integrated seamlessly into the operating systems. Everything is moving towards seamless connectivity, everything from children toys to automobiles. You can already get search results and information without even opening a browser. That's the future of the internet. The faster C3 becomes independent of Chrome, the better... or any browser for that matter.

  • Bob Thulfram glerikud

    Good points. I've recently decided to give Construct another shot taking the opportunity that C3 is here (a couple of years ago I switched from native to C2 deciding it was way more effective and fun, but the mobile performance turned out to be a show stopper back then) and I'm loving it. Still have to do some testing on the performance aspect though.

    I suppose it depends on what you want to do, and what your expectations are for mobile. Right now I'm building a mobile-first 3D game in C2. I have been watching the Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2017 videos at the same time, and it is really clear to me that each engine has their own strengths and weaknesses. C2 + Q3D gets you 3D visualization technology that is effectively equivalent to what existed in PCs around 15 years ago. It isn't that HTML5 can't do better, it is just that a lot of the modern features that exist in javascript libraries like threeJS or babylonJS haven't been implemented in C2. The big advantage to this approach is the fact that I am WAY faster prototyping in C2, even without a full 3D editor.

    I expect my next non-game will be built in UE4 because I will need access to the up-to-date visualization tools for the project. For mobile, however, I still plan on using C2/C3 -- the 3D game I'm currently building runs fine on an iPhone 6, and probably won't be released for another year. I expect that the end product should run great on 3-year-old hardware, which is plenty old to cover a majority of users.

  • I do predict browsers going away though. Eventually, HTML5 will be integrated seamlessly into the operating systems. Everything is moving towards seamless connectivity, everything from children toys to automobiles. You can already get search results and information without even opening a browser. That's the future of the internet. The faster C3 becomes independent of Chrome, the better... or any browser for that matter.

    I see your point, but in my opinion browsers are just getting more and more functionality and opportunities. Web based applications are rising and you can do more and more work inside your browser. My prediction is that browsers will stay, technology will evolve and we'll see more full featured applications written in web languages. That doesn't mean that they won't be also available for the OSs (through integrated HTML5), but the "write once deploy everywhere" trend will get a bigger audience as technology matures.

  • I don't think it matters if some platforms fall out of use and others rise to prominence. It could change several times in the coming years, but we already support almost every major platform, so we've got it covered really.

    The web has legendary backwards compatibility for widely-deployed features - you can still correctly view the original Space Jam website from 1996! That's a website over 20 years old. Newer features tend to chop and change more, but mainly as the spec is refined to make sure it's robust for the future, and we update regularly to keep up anyway.

    I recently saw a benchmark where the C2 engine in Chrome outperformed a competitor's native engine on desktop Windows, and approximately equalled another which compiled to C++. This pretty much confirms to me that the performance argument for native, or this idea that "HTML5 is slow", is totally dead now. Having a native engine does not guarantee good performance, and modern JavaScript JITs are incredibly potent. For years I've already noticed that almost every performance complaint comes down to hardware limitations (e.g. GPU fillrate), and people simply knee-jerk blame HTML5 without understanding what the real problem is. So as far as I'm concerned, we're there: HTML5 has native-grade performance now. There's nothing significant to gain by a native port.

  • The web has legendary backwards compatibility for widely-deployed features - you can still correctly view the original Space Jam website from 1996! That's a website over 20 years old.

    Not bad. I remember tables and sliced images were popular method of designing webpages around that time.

    I recently saw a benchmark where the C2 engine in Chrome outperformed a competitor's native engine on desktop Windows, and approximately equalled another which compiled to C++. This pretty much confirms to me that the performance argument for native, or this idea that "HTML5 is slow", is totally dead now. Having a native engine does not guarantee good performance, and modern JavaScript JITs are incredibly potent. For years I've already noticed that almost every performance complaint comes down to hardware limitations (e.g. GPU fillrate), and people simply knee-jerk blame HTML5 without understanding what the real problem is. So as far as I'm concerned, we're there: HTML5 has native-grade performance now. There's nothing significant to gain by a native port.

    You say that, but there is an overwhelming amount of people who say otherwise. A lot of C2 developers have switched to Unity because of performance. Who should we believe?

    Performance aside, I think C2 and C3's biggest problem is third party wrappers. I haven't found a wrapper that I haven't experienced some trouble with. If C3 was native, you wouldn't need to rely on HTML5 wrappers. Construct is fantastic for browser games, but it's a real pain trying to get it to work on other platforms.

    My prediction is that browsers will stay, technology will evolve and we'll see more full featured applications written in web languages. That doesn't mean that they won't be also available for the OSs (through integrated HTML5), but the "write once deploy everywhere" trend will get a bigger audience as technology matures.

    That's possible too.

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