Game development is a worldwide phenomenon, and not just in the sense that games come from Japan as opposed to the United States. HTML5 has leveled the playing field significantly, and made it a lot easier to step into the field. A Russian game developer, Playtox, has had quite a bit of success throughout Eastern Europe and beyond, and wants to expand its presence by bringing its popular mobile game “World of Shadows” to the United States, using the HTML5 standard.
While HTML5 has made considerable gains over the last couple of years, gaming has been a little slower to take to the HTML5 system, mostly because it doesn't always run the fastest, or run the most features on games. But some modifications have allowed game makers to get around some of these limitations, and made it worth talking about. “World of Shadows,” meanwhile, might be one of the most ambitious such projects because it's a complete massively multiplayer online (MMO) title, and actually represents the second such project from Playtox. Playtox had previously released an MMO game known as “My Farm,” which at last report, has several million players to its credit.
“World of Shadows,” meanwhile, is a bit more ambitious in scope, according to reports, as it's a lot like a standard MMO but accessible via mobile device. Players have access to one of three classes—mage, warrior or monk—and can from there complete over 500 separate quests spanning 21 different dungeons and fighting over 200 different creatures while trying on a choice of a whopping 1,800 different outfits. The game itself boasts over 21 million players, and 10 percent of same pay for goods with the average revenue being about $23 per paying user. That's plain old huge when it comes to free-to-play, so it's not surprising that “World of Shadows” is looking to make the jump to a new market.
HTML5 is catching on several fronts, and gaming is no exception. The ability to develop for multiple platforms simultaneously, without having to make alterations so a game can run on a native platform, is a tempting ability to have on hand. Indeed, it's an ability that some prize, like Nickelodeon's director of game development Nate Altschul. Altschul will be delivering a talk today at the DevCon 5 event at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City in which he describes his experience in HTML5 game development, as well as distribution and business models for HTML5 games. “World of Shadows,” meanwhile, actually looks pretty interesting, with crafting elements and different professions all thrown into a fairly expansive world and available on a free-to-play basis should things carry on. It will have stiff competition, but it should find some receptive players. Even Nickelodeon proper has found some value in HTML5, working with Ludei to offer up more HTML5 gaming.
While HTML5 game development may not be the standard yet, it's certainly catching on. As more development is made in the sector, many of the problems associated with HTML5 development may find workarounds, or even complete solutions. It's a strategy, and a platform, that's in a rapid state of growth and should find plenty of welcome at developers worldwide, just like Playtox.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker