Google Updates Chrome, Breaks A Ton Of Web Games

Google Updates Chrome, Breaks A Ton Of Web Games

The latest update for Google Chrome has stopped videos from autoplaying with sound, which is great. It’s also had the side effect of removing audio entirely from web-based games, effectively breaking them.

Screenshot: QWOP

Earlier this week, Google implemented its new policies regarding autoplaying videos for its Chrome browser. Videos will still autoplay on many sites, but the latest update to Chrome will mute the sound in them. This is great for loud, invasive ads, but has also broken many browser-based games, rendering them devoid of sound.

Getting Over It‘s Bennett Foddy has spoken out about this change, calling it a “disaster for games and audio art on the web”. Stephen Lavelle, the developer of Stephen’s Sausage Roll, says that the update has broken the audio in all of his HTML5 games. While there are workarounds, it means that developers would have to go back and make changes to all their previous projects individually.

Kotaku reached out to Google to ask if it was aware of this problem and had any plans for a fix, but the company did not respond in time for publication.

It is really nice not to have run the risk of a being startled by a loud autoplaying ad, but it’s hard to be happy about it when some developers are seeing their entire bodies of work mangled in the process. Even Kotaku US‘ weekend editor, Cameron Kunzelman, is having problem with the audio in games that he created. Even if you’ve only ever played a browser based game on Kongregate or Facebook, it’s disappointing to see hundreds of games wiped out because of a single update to a web browser.


  • So basically it’s like Bethesda updating a game which then breaks the mod communities script extensions which breaks the mod communitids updates that fix a whole lot more than the Bethesda updates lmao Oh that actually hurts, Please B no more updates.

  • The problem with getting Google to fix this at a Chrome-wide level means trying to somehow differentiate between games and ads, which – of COURSE – the ads will abuse. And fuck that. I don’t see a problem with devs who care updating their games, or players who care white-listing the games the devs don’t care about. I’m assuming there is an option to white-list, right?

  • As an IT professional that works in a school and is constantly dealing with complaints of students playing games in class, this is glorious news to start my day.

    I am now proceeding to force update Chrome through 1200 machines…wish me luck

  • I like how this article linked to a post 7 months ago… I’m not particularly sympathetic to the cause if developers had 7 months to sort their crap out

    • Given that there are many flash game out there that are over 7 YEARS old, the vast majority of them will probably not actually get an update.

      And then keep in mind that it also requires updating the individual uploads separately.

      • in your hypothetical 7 year old flash game. do they still work given how Chrome blocks by default? if you just add said game to the chrome white list do they only face audio problems?

        I’m genuinely curious because a lot can change in 7 years.

  • It’s not too surprising to see Google make a change like this. As an advertising company, the last thing they want is for users to get so annoyed with ads that they enable an ad blocker. So they make changes to combat the worst excesses like auto-playing audio, in the hope the users will continue to tolerate the other ads.

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