Diamond Dash maker says no to HTML5 Facebook mobile games

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Pocket IslandWooga certainly has no qualms with cutting the fat. According to All Things D, the social and mobile games maker announced that it will no longer offer HTML5-based mobile games through Facebook's mobile app. Magic Land Island, the studio's first HTML5 game, is now an open-source project for fellow HTML5 game creators to tinker with and learn from, Pocket Island.

"Given the excitement around the technology, the buzz in the media, the buzz among engineers you'd bump into at conferences, it would have been absurd not to at least test the technology," Wooga co-founder and CTO Philipp Moeser wrote in a blog post. However, Wooga learned that HTML5 isn't quite ready for prime time. "The mobile app market is a billion-dollar business that HTML5 could significantly disrupt. It has the potential to be a complete game changer, but the technology is not there yet."

Developers like Zynga are hot on HTML5 as the future of mobile social gaming, but Wooga would rather focus on where the players are (and where the money is): the App Store. And it all boils down to retention, or how many players return to the game after the first play-through and how often after that. "Retention rates [for Magic Land Island] remained exceedingly low with around 5% of users returning to play the next day," the post reads, "Diamond Dash, for example, sees an average of close to 50%."

Is this it for Facebook's mobile gaming play? Not quite, since the company already has a new ace in the hole: App Center. The social network's proverbial App Store killer is headed for mobile without a doubt. HTML5 will have its time in the limelight, we're sure, but--at least for Wooga--that time is not now.

Are you bummed to see Magic Land Island go? Do you give a hoot about HTML5 games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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