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.
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.