Mozilla Enhances Browser-Based Gaming
Written by Ian Elliot   
Friday, 21 March 2014

Mozilla  has partnered with Unity Technologies and with Epic Games in order to provide games devs with facilities for delivering superior performance and near-native speeds in Firefox.

At this week's GDC game devs have learned that Mozilla and Unity Technologies are collaborating to bring the Unity Game Engine to the browser by providing WebGL export in Unity 5.0 which is to be released later this year.

Up to now the Unity game engine, which has proved very popular with indie game developers, has only offered a browser plug-in for those wanting to produce browser-based games. Now thanks to cooperation with Mozilla and by taking advantage of WebGL, EmScripten, and ASM.js technologies, Unity will be able to run natively in the browser.

 

This preview of Dead Trigger 2 demos the new capability:

 

 

Martin Best, Game Platform Strategist at Mozilla explained

“One of the questions game developers ask us most often is whether Unity will support WebGL and asm.js. We’re happy that this support is now a reality and look forward to a new era of high-quality games on the Web.”

Having ported the Unreal Engine 3 framework to the web for last year's Game Developers Conference (GDC), where it was demonstrated as proof-of-concept, Moziilla has again partnered with Epic Games - this time to reveal that the Unreal Engine 4 framework is available for developers to start using in their browser based games.

This video provides a first glimpse of Epic's Unreal Engine 4 running in Firefox at near-native speed. The game demos' shown include Epic's Soul and Swing Ninja running on the web without plugins. 

 

 

Of course all of this is only possible because of asm.js. This is a clever idea that seems to be delivering on its promise. Asm.js is a subset of JavaScript selected so as to allow runtime optimization which will produce enough of a speed up to make games run at near native speeds - or at least acceptable speeds. Instead of writing games in asm.js it makes much more sense to port game engines to run in the browser and then run all of the games they support on top of the engine. 

It is starting to look as if Mozilla's asm.js may be the preferred technology over Google's native code NaCl technologies. 

firefoxlogo13

More Information

Mozilla and Unity Bring Unity Game Engine to WebGL

Unity

Epic Games

Related Articles

Firefox Runs JavaScript Games At Native Speed  

Asm.js Gets Faster       

Java, ASM.js Or Native - Which Is Faster?       

 

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