In a world gone by, browser games were pretty much the only thing that you could play without having a powerful enough PC. Either you played browser games, or you played old games through emulators. Imagine telling some people back then that we would have Discord or Twitch. They wouldn’t believe us, as even consoles were not an option for some people – and so the majority of us had to resort to browser games. 

They were fun and interesting, wild and full of surprises, but also short-lived, if you look at the grand scheme of things. What is the story of browser games, why were they so popular at some point? Here is their story.

The Creation of Flash Games

The 1990s were full of innovation, which is when Java was created as a language. This quickly led to the creation of Adobe Flash, which was a program that made animations easier. Anyone could build a game, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that browser games really took off, because that was when everyone could use the internet properly.

In the 2000s, flash games were popular, because everyone could build them and because they could be played in the browser. You only had to download the flash player browser plugin, and you were good to go. With the flash plugin, you could simply go to a site which hosts these games and start playing.

There were thousands of games if not tens of thousands, which was strange but normal. Flash was relatively easy to use, even for inexperienced programmers.

Flash Games Getting More Popular

What made flash games popular was their accessibility, kind of like today’s mobile games. You could play them anywhere and you only had to have your browser with you. Just by using your browser, you could play any game that you wanted, albeit they would have been of a lesser quality and quantity, compared to even indie games, let alone the triple A titles of the day.

Nearing the end of the 2000s, flash games were already getting less and less popular, mostly because there were bugs and exploitations within flash. Browsers would disable it by default, warning you of the potential of harm. 

A New Wave of Browser Games

Browser games took a back seat for a while, and certainly after iOS and Android became popular. Noone wanted to build browser games, when they could flood a market which was ripe with potential.

However, some people still turned to browser games, using Javascript and HTML5 to make games which you could play in your browser. Today’s browsers are great at running either of the two languages and both of them pose a lesser risk than flash ever did. While browser games post 2010 were never as popular as the ones in the 2000s, they are still around and can still be played.

Browser games were once plentiful and if you take a look online, you can still find the flash games, preserved on various archive sites, where you can even play them through flash emulation. Yes, the hardware is more than powerful enough, given the progress that was made in the last decade and a half.