How Browser-Based Gaming Has Stayed Relevant in the 21st Century

Browser based gaming has been with us for over two decades now. More recently, with the advancements and progression in technology, it has steered away from more standalone games available on PCs and mainstream consoles. However, there are still some browser-based games that are going strong. The appeal to them is what we are going to look at in a lot more detail today and why they are still relevant even when there are a lot more sophisticated alternatives on the market. There are also plenty of online casinos where you can play online from the comfort of your browser. There are a wide selection of slot websites available that you can play through your browser right now.

Low storage demands

The first advantage that browser-based gaming has is that it doesn’t require a lot of storage. This is a huge plus, especially for those who have PCs or consoles with limited storage, meaning they are strictly limited as to the number of games that they can download. Whereas if they are playing a game through the browser, this doesn’t require any ROM but rather just RAM for the requirements of the browser to be processed efficiently. This appeal and lack of demand for stores were hugely appealing to a lot of people, especially those who, due to financial constraints, could only get a console or a laptop with a low amount of storage or who had to use their storage for other purposes such as software or media.

The birth of browser-based games

The first browser games came out in the 1990s, in fact. Of course, by today's standards, the graphics were absolutely horrific but at the time, they were considered pioneering. And in terms of gaming overall, they were no doubt groundbreaking. A lot of people, when they saw the invention and emergence of the internet, couldn’t have guessed that in as early as the 1990’s, they would be playing games from their computers directly in the same browser, which also took a long time to load up internet pages due to the restrictions of 56K dial-up internet.

The journey towards the peak

It was in the early 2000’s when browser-based gaming really started to take off. And this is where they started to venture into the multiplayer realm. One of the biggest multiplayer browser games was Runescape. At its peak, it had over 200,000 players online at any one time spread out over 150 different ‘worlds’. All with players playing directly through their browser, a feat that still stands the test of time today, and a game that is still going strong, although it has now diversified into a mobile app and a downloadable desktop application.

Still relevant to this day

In fact, even in the year 2024, decades after the first browser games came onto the market, there are still certain types of browser games that are still going strong within the browser environment and are still hugely relevant and influential overall to the gaming industry and the gaming world. Although many of the old browser games have now diversified onto other platforms or have simply been discontinued, there are still some browser games that have stood the test of time. Games such as chess can be played online today with players from around the world.

The demise of Adobe Flash

A reason for the demise of a lot of browser-based games also came with the end of Adobe Flash Player, which was the underlying foundation for nearly every single browser game. With the end of this being supported, developers of browser-based games were forced into the predicament of choosing to discontinue the game or to convert the game to HTML. The latter of which is quite a big task and not as easy as you might think, and with the vast majority of the companies that ran and produced browser-based games not having huge budgets, from a commercial viewpoint, it wasn’t viable to convert the game and instead discontinued the games.

This in turn not only signalled the end of the respective games and the companies that developed these browser games, but also there were plenty of websites that acted as a repository for browser games, where people would go onto the website to see what browser games were out there and which they could play on, whose revenue models included traffic through the website and ad revenue, but with the majority of these games now having been discontinued, subsequently so did these websites.

In Summary

Browser-based games have played a huge influence in the gaming industry over the years, right from their inception in the 1990’s right through to the modern day, where you can still play a wide range of browser-based games through any different browser you would like. They are certainly not as popular and prevalent as they were before the end of Flash, and with the rise in popularity of consoles and other standalone PC-based games, they have also come up against fierce competition but are indeed still very relevant today.

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