Hey UE community! Wanted to reach out and do a post to gauge interest in a “Shopify for games” on the web style platform that is currently in active development.
As developers, dealing with middlemen that take 30% cuts are all too common nowadays. So we thought - what if every dev had the tools and resources to optimize and package their game projects for the browser, and instantly upload to a webpage?
You might ask - well, doesn’t this already exist? The answer is… not quite. While there are destinations like itch.io that you can upload your game to, there is zero way to correctly optimize games for fast load times, and to be performant on all devices. What our team has in mind is an all-in-one SDK and platform that could make it easier to develop and distribute games that run client side in HTML5 at near native performance. This allows devs to establish a direct relationship with their communities (DTC) without having to pay the establish 30% fee. Arguably Google’s search engine is the best discovery engine ever created, and long term would hold a compelling advantage over Steam’s algorithim. RuneScape and Club Penguin, along with many others, grew to become billion dollar browser games back in the day, but there’s no well defined playbook and toolset out there to replicate this in 2021. That’s what we’re solving.
We believe the web doesn’t get the attention it deserves, especially considering the browser is the ultimate platform for distributing software universally. The vast majority of users already spend most of their time on computers in one, apps like Gmail and Google Docs completely replacing native alternatives. Why can’t the same be done for game development and distribution…? This could represent an entirely new era for independent developers especially, and would empower the next big studio to be built without middleman like the walled gardens.
At the very least, a demo in browser acts as a “try before you buy” that is guaranteed to work on Windows, MacOS, and Linux without asking potential users to install anything locally.
Unreal has one of the least feature complete pipelines out there for developers wanting to targeting the web, especially in comparison to competing engines like Unity. As a result of this and Epic seemingly abandoning the WebGL pipeline support from the editor in 4.23, many developers we’ve spoken with are facing a similar pattern of issues regarding build sizes, configuring networking to enable online multiplayer, as well as other areas like discovery and monetization.
To summarize, my team and I are working on an all-in-one SDK and accompanying platform along with co-development services to properly address these problems and make it seamless to deploy to to the browser. We realized just how hard it is to do this after trying to ship a game ourselves, and realized we could help other developers succeed by building the tools to deploy to HTML5.
If you share this vision with us, we have a Discord and would love to chat more with any devs who are interested in hearing more and would be interested in early access to the platform.
Thanks for reading
Discord link: [https://discord.gg/zUSZ3T8]