Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games


As such, version 66.0.3359.181 of Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux today removes the autoplay policy for this API.

However, the unintended effect of silencing web games has prompted Google to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API, which is used by many web games.

The developer community has made their frustrations clear and the hiccup has found its way to the CRBug tracker and the folks at Chromium have taken notice.

Pallett said that the change will not affect Chrome's silencing of most autoplaying video and audio on the web. "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".

"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers", product manager John Pallett wrote on the Chrome developer forum.

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Google's Chrome team recently said that it has updated the mobile web browser to temporarily put on hold the autoplay policy for the apps, games, and RTC features using the Web Audio API. The company said it plans to reintroduce the change with Chrome 70, which is set to debut in October, and that developers should have worked around it by then.

Introduced in Chrome 66 with the best of intentions, Google's new restrictions on media prevent websites from running audio or video as soon as the page is loaded - so-called auto-play media, beloved of advertisers and those looking to drive viewers to other content on their site. "We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the auto-play policy for the Web", wrote Google Chrome Engineer Abdul Syed in a blog post, publishing a list of changes.

Google says it is "still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users", so it may come up with an alternative solution in the future.

By automatically pausing Web Audio objects when a webpage is launched, the update earlier this month was meant to help silence ads that seemingly begin barking at you when you visit some sites. As others have pointed out, this is a non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances.

Numerous commenters suggest the Chrome team allow users to opt in instead of enabling the feature by default.