Google Chrome team rolls back the update that muted many web games

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

The autoplay blocking is an example of how browsers are getting more assertive on behalf of users faced with pushy websites. It is good that Google has taken up the responsibility to acknowledge the issue and agree to the fact that the new code did more harm than good.

The update was rolled out in April with the goal of blocking loud media content that is being played automatically on some websites. The new feature, however, also stopped a large collection of web apps and games from operating correctly.

Pallett says this temporary rollback is intended "to give Web Audio API developers. more time to update their code" before the auto-muting is brought back for Chrome version 70 in October.

That's not a very useful solution for developers who don't have access to the original code used to make legacy content, though, or those who can no longer update that code on the original servers hosting their work.


Other comments call for a response from the Chrome development team, particularly with regard to suggestions for modifying the policy to indicate when audio is being disabled, and to enable users to easily switch it back on, either temporarily or permanently.

However, not all developers hailed the decision. But it's having the unexpected effect of stopping web apps and games from playing audio, much to the annoyance of developers.

"Come October, any existing software which utilises sound and which is not or can not be any longer maintained will be broken". He also admits that "in this case, we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers" that rely on the Web Audio API. Hopefully over the next few months some form of workaround will be found.

The autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites. "If you are honest in your claim that the side effects of the policy were unintended and unwanted, you should commit-in clear, straightforward language-to finding other alternatives which do not break vast swathes of cultural work that was developed and distributed on the open web". Google wants adblockers gone because advertising is its main source of revenue.

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