GameSalad announced today that users of its drag-and-drop game creation engine
can now publish titles that work with the HTML5 standard, and embed those titles for play on any compatible web browser.
The move, which comes on top of existing GameSalad support for iOS and Mac desktop publishing, is reflective of a greater trend towards open standards in web game publishing, GameSalad Chief Product Officer Michael Agustin tells Gamasutra.
"I’m not here to say that Flash is done, but we do envision that the web game industry will move towards the open standard of HTML5," Agustin said. "We’re placing a bet: GameSalad wants to be ahead of the curve with HTML5—it’s widely expected to become the next standard language for the web, and is poised to quickly disrupt Flash."
With most major web browsers now supporting HTML5's options for heavily interactive web apps, Agustin says the option gives a game a much bigger potential audience than plugins like Flash or Unity, and the company is helping promote many of those games through the GameSalad Arcade section of its web site
While HTML5 web apps are playable natively on many mobile browsers, Agustin said he doesn't see the option primarily as a way to do an end-run around the certification requirements and fees associated with mobile app stores.
"The App Store and the Android Marketplace still serve as the primary discovery model on mobile devices, where native apps often can provide a better overall experience," Agustin said. "That said, HTML5 has less friction because the content is delivered as you browse the Web, and there is no download or content to install."
GameSalad doesn't currently offer any built-in monetization options for HTML5 developers, but Agustin said he sees the web games as "the best way for players to learn about and experience mobile games before downloading them."
The company, which received over $6 million in venture capital earlier this year
, boasts 170,000 users across the free and professional versions of its game creation tool, which doesn't require any programming knowledge to use.