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Gameloft Embraces HTML5 With 3D Game GT Racing

Gameloft's recently-launched GT Racing: Motor Academy for Google+ represents what has so far been a technical rarity: an HTML5 game that displays 3D graphics.
Mobile game company Gameloft debuted a new version of its racer GT Racing: Motor Academy on Google+ earlier this week, marking the company's return to social games following some earlier Facebook experiments. While the visuals may seem rudimentary compared to some other platforms, the game represents what has so far been a technological rarity: an HTML5 game that displays 3D graphics. "We think there's a future for the technology, and that's why we're investing in it and launching our HTML5 games on Google+," Gameloft VP of publishing Baudouin Corman tells Gamasutra. In a perfect world, HTML5 should work ubiquitously across PCs and mobile devices, but Corman pointed out that the web-based platform isn't quite ready to handle 3D applications like GT Racing on anything but traditional desktops. "Right now, we don't have a mobile version for our HTML5 game," he said. "Today, the power and the performance required to run HTML5 3D games on mobile just isn't there. It will come in the foreseeable future, but so far I think that's one of the main limitations of the platform." Even though the new version of GT Racing is only available on PC and Mac, Corman added that he isn't worried about players getting turned off by HTML5's limited 3D visuals, as the web-based experience offers something that native PC games cannot. "I think we are pretty satisfied with the results [on desktop]," he said. "We think it's pretty amazing that that kind of game can be played in a browser." Corman said that as HTML5 continues to develop, Gameloft hopes to leverage the platform to bring its games onto even more devices, particularly pointing to Smart TVs and netbooks. When it comes to mobile, however, he says HTML5 needs a solid distribution model before it can gain any ground. "The thing is, having an established distribution platform is a key limit of the [mobile] ecosystem. That's why the web has social network platforms like Facebook or Google+ or things like the Chome Web Store. These are the distribution channels, and we need to see what kind of distribution channels will be available on mobile devices. Today, the big distribution channels are the native app stores. That's just another element of the mix that will help us decide what we will do with HTML5 on mobile devices." Earlier this year, Gamasutra spoke with Gameloft's Gonzague de Vallois, the company's senior vice president of publishing, who reiterated the company's strategy of releasing its games on "everything that's digital… as long as it's mass market accessible." The company also recently announced a partnership with Amazon to put its games on the Kindle Fire, in addition to a deal with Australian air carrier Jetstar to offer in-flight iPads pre-loaded with Gameloft titles.

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