Thinking HTML5 with castle walls and moats

A fresh approach to thinking with HTML5 based games

I had an interesting conversation today with a friend from the games industry. We talked a lot about HTML5, about why there’s no one ultimate ‘Angry Birds’ type product that everyone knows, that was built with HTML5.

A thought occurred to me. HTML5, in its purest definition, is a cross-platform technology. Any game, or app, or company built around HTML5 is naturally inclined to use a ‘shotgun’ approach, both in development and distribution.

People tend to juxtapose HTML5 (yes, the technology) with Angry Birds, or Clash of Clans. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. One is a technology, the other is a product. Technology is no guarantee to creating a successful product. It almost seems like a logical fallacy, that I see people stumble against over and over again.

There needs to be a different way of thinking, when it comes to HTML5-based products or projects. Distribution isn’t straightforward, as it always requires some kind of porting mechanism (in most cases, MANY mechanisms) to achieve a high degree of cross-platform compatibility.

I see markets as walled castles (or walled gardens). Each market has its own wall and moat. Porting HTML5 code to enter a specific market (eg: App Store), is like crossing the moat. It’s an awesome achievement to cross the moat. The bad news? The moat is only the first line of defense. There’s still the WALL, arrows from the guard towers, hot black oil poured from above, and the elite defenders inside the walls.

I believe the ultimate winner will be the team that does any (or best case scenario: all ) these things

  • creates a great product (game) that many people end up using
  • efficiently discover big walled walled gardens, and penetrate them
  • penetrate as many walled gardens as possible, using a combination of factors (technology among them)

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