I make games with flash and I am interested in making games in html but I haven't seen any companies or websites which are willing to buy these games (i.e game sponsorships). I was hoping somebody could tell me about a company who would do this or why people don't buy html games?

  • \$\begingroup\$ maybe because evey one could easily see and chane html source of the game? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gajet you cannot change the source. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 20:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TheCommunistDuck :what do mean you cannot change the source? when you have the full source code it's only law that is preventing you from changing it and there are some crackers who don't mind the law at all! it's just too easy for them to crack games you've developed using html5. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 20:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TheCommunistDuck : how much of a html5 game is running on server side? if it's only a web client you are correct but when I'm thinking of HTML5 instead of flash it means all the code is running client side! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is pretty trivial to decompile and cheat (and usually more importantly, rebrand) Flash clients as well. Practically speaking you can run an obfuscator on either Flash or HTML5. Also practically speaking, all major obfuscators have deobfuscators. So just run something like Closure on it to get the other benefits, and don't sweat it too much. \$\endgroup\$
    – user744
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 20:53

7 Answers 7


As someone who is currently working on a commercial HTML5 game, I can give some possibly helpful insights.

First, HTML5 and gaming is brand new. HTML5 is really brand new, and WebGL and accelerated canvas are really really brand new. Mobile platforms for instance still lack WebGL entirely, and accelerated canvas is only available in very recent Firefox and Chrome/Webkit builds.

We're just now seeing the first conferences, books, and panels on HTML5 games. There's been the stuff at the most recent Google I/O and some panels at PAX 2011, and aside from that there's very little information.

One problem is that HTML5/JavaScript is still not quite ready for games. There's no way to lock/bind the mouse cursor, for instance, which makes a lot of games impossible to make (FPS style games) or just somewhat obnoxious to play (any fast-paced game, puzzle or otherwise, where a player is moving the cursor around a lot and has a good chance of accidentally going outside the browser content area and clicking). There's the WebGL support problem mentioned above. The HTML5 sound API is entirely unsuitable for games, although Chrome has an experimental new API that works better for games. Linear algebra libraries for JavaScript are largely slow (though they're getting better -- Chrome Canary has some amazing optimizations targeting libraries like Closure and glMatrix.js that make a huge difference) and the copy-by-reference nature of them makes it a pain to use (in a game, you often use vectors more than scalar numbers, so imagine a language where every single value/type was copy-by-reference and then you have an idea of what doing a game in JavaScript can be like).

Things will improve. There are some really big companies pushing to get the Web into a suitable state for games, which includes new specifications/APIs to correct deficiencies in the platform, browser performance and behavior improvements, and evangelization/education about the platform. Until then, though, most companies are playing it safe and staying away from the risky, new, and largely experimental gaming platform that is HTML5, which is why you won't see a lot of them willing to invest in it.


We had an interesting thread in our forum about this:


The obvious ways to monetise HTML5 games are:

  • Webstores (for example Chrome Webstore)
  • Advertisments (traditional banner adverts for example)
  • Inapp purchases (Chrome Webstore is enabling this)
  • Wrap in an EXE and distribute on Steam
  • Wrap with something like Phonegap and distribute as an App for Android/iPhone

Lots of ways!


HTML5 Sponsorship/Publishing

This model is very much alive, especially for HTML5 games.

Check out marketJS, a platform to connect HTML5 game devs with publishers.

Disclosure: I work for the platform.

A good HTML5 game, when optimized for the mobile web can fetch about $500/license. Really good ones can fetch $1500+. Publishers are increasing adopting HTML5 games because they want to move away from the competitive app economy.


I also wrote this blog post highlights some good ways to make a living for devs

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello Ben and Welcome to GD.SE. We ask that people fully disclose their involvement when promoting a site they are affiliated with: gamedev.stackexchange.com/faq#promotion \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ properly disclosed, thx! \$\endgroup\$
    – ben0
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 19:58

Like Ben said, MarketJS is a great resource for finding sponsors. If you're familiar with the Flash Game market, it is more or less the equivalent of FGL.

Keeping with the Flash analogy, another model for making money from web games is through distributing to as many places as possible, and earning through ad revenue share. Mochi Media was and is the king of this for Flash.

For HTML5, there is Clay.io. Right now it's primarily mobile-web-friendly games that are picked up, so that should be a must-have when designing your HTML5 game.

Full Disclosure: I work for Clay.io

Other options that haven't found as much success yet are:

  • Selling the games in the Chrome Web Store or similar marketplaces - however, I'm not sure this will ever work for web games. People just aren't in the mindset to buy games when it comes to games on the web.
  • In-game purchases. You need a really sticky, addictive game for this to work. Zynga is a company that did, and still does this fantastically well, so if you have a chance, take a look into how they did it.

And of course, advertising is always a fairly easy option - it's just a matter of getting a high quantity of views to your game. In my experience, mobile web ads right now perform much better than traditional web in terms of CPM.


There's a few reasons that HTML5 games aren't making money via sponsorships in the same way that Flash games do.

  1. HTML5/canvas/javascript is still fairly slow. For some games (puzzle, turn based strategy), this isn't a huge problem, but it's still a concern, and for a large amount of browser, the canvas tag still isn't hardware accelerated.

  2. There's no reliable way to prevent theft of the code/game/etc, or ways to prevent cheating. This is a problem with Flash games, too, but it takes a bit more work to decompile Flash than Javascript (since Javascript has to be received as plain text for the browser to handle it)

  3. Similar to the second point, there is no easy way to distribute an HTML5 game. With Flash, it's a single .swf file. With HTML5, there's an .html file, and at least one .js file, plus any assets used by the game. There's some potential solutions to this, but no one has come up with a method to handle this yet.

There's probably some other issues I haven't addressed, but those are the major ones that I see. Note that there are ways to make money from HTML5 games, but the route is different from a typical flash game. Chrome's app store is filled with HTML5 apps/games, many of which charge for extra levels or features. There's also hosting a game on your own server and having ads in the hopes of generating some income.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that "more work to decompile Flash" is simply because you have to download the .swf file and download a flash decompiler, whereas there are online deobfuscators for javascript. \$\endgroup\$
    – thedaian
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd just like to point out that Javascript is not slow. Javascript, at least under V8, compiles to machine code, and is less than 5 times slower than C! Which is quite fast. \$\endgroup\$
    – jcora
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 16:33

Many of the above mentioned obstacles for HTML5 game development are quickly being overcome by modern browsers. Already there is significant support for games in the major browsers. Check out my game I have been building using only HTML5 (http://asteroidsinc.com/) it plays similarly to a flash game but uses only HTML5. As for monetization it looks more time is needed. Currently there are not very many options for HTML5. I have placed some ads on my above mentioned game, however this has proven to not be profitable in the least. But I imagine with time just as with flash larger game portals will eventually emerge to take advantage of the new technology and monetization will become more straight forward.

  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 You fail on addressing the question. Your game looks nice. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 23:00

Of course such sites won't buy HTML 5 games, they wouldn't work for a large part of their users. If you want at least a chance of convincing any of these sites to buy HTML games you better write IE6 compatible HTML 4.01.

But you'd still have a heck of a job talking them to sense, so bring a hit game if you are serious about breaking the wall, they are certainly not going to change their way of business for anything that is merely good.

  • \$\begingroup\$ IE6 is down to about 10% of web users, or less depending on what sort of demographic you're looking at. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 1:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you were running a successful game site would you want to bother 10% of your users with a link to a game they can't play? They have got games enough, though the loss of disappointing those users a single time may be quite small, the gain of adding a single game to the site is also quite negligible. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 9:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I probably would develop a high quality product which 90% of my customers can use. As for the remaining 10%, since I'm already asking people to install Flash, Shockwave and Silverlight to play this particular game, I might as well also ask them to pick up a more recent browser to play this particular game. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Game portals tend to be quite forward-thinking, as well; see Kongregate's recent addition of Unity to their service as a first-tier product. The main problem with HTML5 as I see it is packaging the games for distribution. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 3:42

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