German social game maker Wooga has spoken candidly about its experience with HTML5 development, stating that it is moving away from the platform to focus on native iOS apps since "the technology is not there yet."
Wooga was approached by Facebook in 2011 and asked to develop a HTML5 game for the launch of the social network's HTML5 mobile platform. The studio launched Magic Land Island
later that year, but a combination of issues with HTML5 meant the game never reached its full potential audience.
"Whilst the benefits of an open platform future are clear for games developers, it became clear halfway through Magic Land Island
's development cycle that the technology wasn’t yet ready for mainstream exposure," the company explained
on its official blog.
As a result of the limitations of HTML5 development, including issues with online and offline play, animations and sounds for mobile devices, Wooga has decided to move away from HTML5 development and concentrate on native iOS development.
However, before bowing out of the HTML5 space, the studio has released an open source version of Magic Land Island
called Pocket Island
, and is asking that other developer attempt to improve on it, as a means of pushing HTML5 forward.
There is still a future in HTML5 games, says the studio, and it's time will come - however until that point, Wooga will be focusing its efforts elsewhere.
"The mobile app market is a billion dollar business that HTML5 could significantly disrupt," adds Philipp Moeser, Wooga's co-founder and CTO. "It has the potential to be a complete game changer, but the technology is not there yet."