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Smartphones have taken the world by storm a decade ago, making their presence felt in a vast variety of aspects of our everyday lives. Among others, they have become the go-to gaming device for a generation of players: they now generate more than 40% of the global gaming industry's total revenue and bring demographics that were previously completely out of gaming into its world. One of the more unfortunate effects of smartphones is that they have seemingly "killed" the browser game, taking over as the device of choice for casual gamers. But did browser games actually die?

"Punks Not Dead"

Well, no. Flash is really close to being completely out of the picture since Adobe announced that it will officially go "End of Life" by 2020. Yet there are alternatives that game developers can still use. One of the most accessible is HTML5, the latest standard that's used pretty much everywhere online today, from the games at to video and audio streaming services like YouTube and SoundCloud. Besides, there's a worthy contender for the supremacy on the browser game front called Unity, offering developers a way to deploy their products on pretty much every platform, from web browsers to smartphones and PCs.

There is still something missing from the equation that can make browser games thrive once again: and that's something to keep them all on the same page.

A unifying framework

You see when Flash was the dominant development platform for browser games, it represented a single set of rules and technologies that was used by pretty much everyone to build and deploy games through web browsers. All browsers used the same addon to play Flash content in the same way. When it comes to HTML5, though, there are a number of bigger game engines around, ranging from Construct and Phaser to StageXL and Defold, and each one of them has its own user bases - nowhere near the unified platform used in the old days.

Browser gaming is going through an evolutionary process right now - it is searching for its place in the ever-chaging world of gaming. It did not die because of the dwindling support for the go-to development platform but merely looking to find a place where to grow and thrive.

New ways to play

We've seen a few innovative forms of browser gaming lately, platforms that might blow a breath of fresh air into the world of casual games. One of them is AirConsole, a platform that allows players to play casual games in a browser window using their smartphones as controllers. The idea is great - it remains to be seen whether it will "catch" with game developers and players. But the message is the same: browser gaming is not dead - it is reinventing itself.

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