Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games

Google rolls back autoplay ban in Chrome 66 after borking web-based 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 autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites.

Google released yesterday a Chrome update that temporarily fixed a bug that broke millions of web-based games, some of which couldn't play audio at all, despite whatever tricks and configs users tried. The change was announced this week via Twitter by Myles Borins, a developer advocate to Google.

While the feature was obviously aimed at web pages with ads and auto-playing videos, it had an unforeseen side-effect of also muting HTML5 and JavaScript-based games.

While the move should restore sound to affected sites for now, there are still unhappy developers out there. Broadly, the new policies only let muted or media that does not feature audio to begin playing.

Pallett admitted the company could have done a better job of explaining the impact that the change would have on developers who use the Web Audio API. The same feature silenced the audio in these web-based games and the fix is to temporarily remove the autoplay policy from the Web Audio API for Chrome 66.

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

Google says the autoplay policy will be reapplied with Chrome 70 in October, giving developers a chance to rework their projects' code to support the new API.

Pallett said that the change will not affect Chrome's silencing of most autoplaying video and audio on the web. As others have pointed out, this is a non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances. "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".

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