Data & Research

‘HTML5 can compete toe-to-toe with plugins,’ says Kongregate

‘HTML5 can compete toe-to-toe with plugins,’ says Kongregate

HTML5 appears to finally be making a sizeable impact on the market.


That’s according to research done by browser game service Kongregate, which compares HTML5, Flash and UnityWebPlayer games on its platform.

The firm compared titles with a higher than 4/5 rating with more than 10,000 plays, to see what tech they were using.

In 2015, HTML 5 games formed roughly 10 per cent of the market – with Flash dominating with more than 60 per cent – to between 50 and 60 per cent in 2016. That figure has grown to more than 60 per cent in 2017 so far.

Revenue has shot up, too. In 2016, HTML5 games took just under 20 per cent of revenue – while Flash took more than half. This year, however, roughly 65 per cent of Kongregate’s revenue came from HTML5 titles.

Kongregate concludes by saying that there is now a viable alternative for 2D games – and that HMTL5 can ‘compete toe-to-toe with plugins.

"What does all this mean? Kongregate is seeing minimal impact of game technology on the quality and revenue potential of games," Kongregate producer Anthony Pecorell said.

"While future support is uncertain for Flash, we can now confidently say that regardless of what happens we have another equally-capable technology for 2D games. We haven’t yet seen a 3D game that can compete visually with some of the top Unity WebPlayer games, but recent tech demos suggest we aren’t too far from that. Concerns about networking limitations are also lifting as powerful UDP networking libraries for HTML5 are under development.

"This is very exciting news for game developers. Nearly all modern browsers support HTML5, Unity’s HTML5 export has worked out many of the early issues (huge file sizes, framerate problems, etc.), and other tools like PlayCanvas, GameMaker, and Construct 2 provide high-quality, competing game engines for HTML5 development. Developers no longer have to rely on 3rd party plugins to ensure that their games can be played. Additionally, with HTML5 working well in most mobile browsers too, cross-platform deployment can be done with a single version of a game instead of creating native apps for each platform. This technology has existed for a decade, but now it has reached a point that it can compete toe-to-toe with plugins."


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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