Google Chrome Autoplay Policy Delayed After It Breaks Some Games, Web Apps

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

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

GOOGLE HAS been forced to roll back its new autoplay policy for web video in Chrome after it became apparent that it was borking legitimate content.

The policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in the Chrome 70 release this October.

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.

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. So powerful that this chromium.org thread features lots of angry games-site-owners and other folk whose web apps are now less functional thanks to Chrome's changes.

Put simply, the autoplay changes are still in place for HTML5 video and audio (so autoplaying videos are still blocked), but not for the Web Audio API that most games use.

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

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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.

This is, apparently, reasonably easy to do; however, some users have complained that, even with several months to act, not every game, art project, or whatever else will be updated.

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

Other developers have suggested methods for stopping auto-playing audio that would be less disruptive to legacy interactive content, such as automatically muting new tabs or warning the user and offering options when a page first attempts to play audio. "He writes, "We are still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users, and we will post more detailed thoughts on that topic here later", he writes". One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio.

Have you come across any such unintended consequences on Chrome?

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