A step towards the web as a full gaming platform or just a tech show?
Mozilla argued that the port meant developers will “soon be able to explore limitless possibilities when it comes to porting their popular gaming titles to the web”. Ex-Mozilla technical evangelist Rob Hawkes greeted the news; on Twitter, he posted: “So the whole Unreal and Mozilla thing… I told you the future is bright for HTML5 games. And it's going to get even brighter!”
Speaking to .net, Goodboy co-founder Mat Groves, part of the team behind HTML5 2D renderer pixi.js, was a little more cautious. “The main issue is people don’t yet look to browsers for immersive, deep 3D gameplay,” he said. “However, that's simply a cultural shift and there's no reason why casual content can't utilise Unreal tech—stick Unreal-powered Temple Run in people's faces and I'm sure it will all go off a charm!”
Groves added that Mozilla’s work was another big step towards an open and online gaming environment: “Plug-in free is one thing, but we’re also keen on platform-free. As we state in our latest blog post, the stage is becoming increasingly set for an explosion of browser-based entertainment content across all devices. Native apps will always have their place, but online gaming will thrive in an arena free from third-party approval.”
However, freelance game developer and designer Iain Lobb wasn’t so sure, and largely dismissed Mozilla’s latest news as irrelevant: “There's only one story that matters for WebGL, and that's ‘Internet Explorer adds support for WebGL’. There’s no story here that I can see. Nobody will actually use Firefox’s Unreal port, like nobody used the Unreal engine that was ported to Flash.”