Game Lab, From Bocoup and Atlas, Looks to Fund Open Web Game Developers

12/1/11Follow @xconomy

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Game Lab entrepreneurs and others to develop a framework called Abacus to make it easier for developers to build HTML5 games.

Game Lab recently funded its first team, Mikeal Rogers and Max Ogden. Sender didn’t disclose their exact product, but the blog post mentioning the deal says they’re working on identity management for games.

HTML5 has become an increasingly common path for taking games online because it HTML5 content works well on any device with a Web browser and can be customized for specific devices, while the older Flash animation standard from Adobe results in an experience that looks exactly the same across a computer or Web browser. “It runs poorly on mobile devices; there’s no way to progressively enhance the experience,” says Sender. Apple doesn’t support Flash on its iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch devices, and Adobe recently announced it’s ditching its Flash Player for Mobile.

Meanwhile, devices and browsers are getting fast enough to handle the complex graphics, processing, and audio requirements of games. And browser vendors are working to make their browsers friendlier for games developers.

“This is kind of like pushing the platform forward. It’s the Wild Wild West—the HTML5 games gold rush,” Sender says. Also, Facebook recently introduced an app enabling third parties like Zynga to run games in HTML5 on the iPad. The idea is to give consumers the option to choose between native iOS apps and Web apps, which is where HTML5 comes in.

Sender ultimately sees games as a way of expanding the presence of HTML5 and open Web standards. “The open Web’s viability hinges on the crossover to consumer technology,” he says. “Games are the biggest thing in consumer tech.”

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