Sad news for the mobile web world, Wooga, a major social game developer, is abandoning its HTML5 efforts in favor of native apps. Wooga has been experimenting with HTML5 for the past six months, but with poor discovery numbers and even more dismal retention rates the company says it will continue focusing on native apps for the time being. From AllThingsD:
As the fourth-largest game developer on the social network, Wooga was chosen to be one of the first partners to develop a game using HTML5, which would enable users to play games on Facebook through either a browser or a mobile device. However, the company has told AllThingsD that it is planning to announce today that the experiment has been largely unsuccessful, and that it will no longer make games in HTML5. …
Over the past few months, Wooga assigned as many as 10 employees to the game, but there were still too many issues remaining. “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,” Moeser added.
After Wooga launched Magic Land Island in October [it's HTML5-based app available via Facebook], it was played a total of 1.3 million times and experienced a retention rate of only 5 percent. For comparison, Wooga said that Diamond Dash, on Apple’s iOS, was downloaded more than 18 million times, and had a 50 percent retention rate during the same time period. …
Wooga said it had encountered a number of problems with the technology, including long initial load times, lack of sound and reliance on Internet connection. Additionally, when the game first launched, there was no icon for it, so once players left Facebook they were often confused as to how to get back in and play.
Read the full article at AllThingsD >>>
An interesting solution for the icon problem could be a hybrid app that gives users the familiarity of an icon but connects them directly to the web app. Hybrid apps might be a simple way to ease users into the coming web app revolution. But if Wooga’s actions are any indication, HTML5 and web apps have a long way to go before overtaking native apps.
Does this development change your opinion on the native app v. web app battle?