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Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games

Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games

However, the unintended outcome 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.

This should restore sound to sites affected by the new auto-mute feature. Developers should update their code based on the recommendations at: "https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/09/autoplay-policy-changes#webaudio". "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 new autoplay policy was considered a win for users who felt ambushed by noisy video ads and content. Now, automatic mute won't apply to anything using the Web Audio API until Chrome 70, which scheduled for release in October.

The feature is reportedly barring apps and interactive art from playing audio notifications and other elements. Bleeping Computer has reached out to Google for more details on what actually changed, and a spokesperson pointed us to a comment made by one of the Chrome engineers in a bug report.

However, while Google is planning to bring back the policy in October, Pallett noted that Google has yet to solve a "non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances".

"We're doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code", explains Google product manager John Pallett in a post. 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. This was after Google acknowledged the complaints from various web-users related to the auto-play ads which were not only bothering a user but also use up the hardware resources along with consuming a huge amount of data.

Unfortunately, older games and those that weren't coded with such policy remained irrevocably broken, no matter what Chrome options users tried to modify in their settings sections.

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