Do people still play web games?

Browser games once reigned supreme as a haven for experimentation, humour and indie games. The humble web browser was a place where indie game designers and Flash fanatics could publish and play games. But, there is now a burning question…

Do people still play web games through their browsers?

Do people still play web games?

When writing about this topic, I was conflicted as to whether people were searching for 1 or 2 reasons.

1.) To see if they could take a trip and revisit a much-loved nostalgic browser game. ( much like MS-DOS games.)


2.) Indie game developers were wondering if it was worth their while to make a web/browser game.

Based on research and personal experience, here is an overview of whether people still play web games.

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People still do play web games. New web games are still being created and played through web browsers today. These are largely now referred to as HTML5 games, although not strictly limited to HTML5 games only. Other types of formats such as JavaScript and WebGL games are also played through the browser. Web games are still being created and published on websites such as and GameJolt, with new web games constantly being added to these platforms.

However, the golden age of web and browser games may have come to pass due to the diversification of gaming platforms and the demise of Flash. Indie developers are now offering their games as mobile apps and desktop downloads on platforms such as Google Play, and the App Store. With the growth of new technologies and the large-scale removal of Flash Player, indie gamers have adapted by utilising alternative formats to publish and release their games.

Games are still being played via the web browser. Although perhaps not as much as in the past…

Older browser games that relied on Flash Player to run no longer work without the plugin installed. And the vast majority of PCs now no longer have this plugin. Please read – 11 reasons not to use Flash Player.

Gamers still do play web games, but research and experience infer that web games, or browser games, are not as popular as they were in the 1990s and early 2000’s.

If you would like further detail as to whether people do still play web games. Please read on.

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Do people still play web games? | A closer look

According to the online data and research( read below ), it can be said with reasonable confidence, that people do still play web games via their browser ( 2023 ). Or at least there is data to suggest that people are still searching for and submitting new games to be played through the browser.

Although, compared to the mid-2000s, people are searching for playing browser games much less than they were.

Interestingly, certain popular websites and platforms are bucking the trend for online games. for example, is getting more and more submissions to the ‘browser game’ category.

In this category alone, there were over 353,000+ at the time of writing. Whether these are all being played still is another matter. But, there are content creators still submitting browser games.

Although the market share for browser-based web games has declined to an even keel, it certainly has not diminished altogether.

Do people still play web games? Stats & Illustration

Why is there a decline in gamers playing web games?

There are a variety of causes that have affected the volume of gamers playing browser games. One of the primary likeliest causes is the demise of Flash Player. Followed by the development of the smartphone and gaming apps.

With the end of Flash, browsers have stopped supporting Flash Player by default. Flash Player was a significant contributor to people playing games via their browsers in the late 1990s and 2000s. These web games were called ‘Flash’ games.

If you still want to play web games, you can still do so via various websites such as Newgrounds and Most functioning games are now HTML5. HTML5 games are the spiritual successor to Flash games.

On the other hand, with the rise of the smartphone and the various app stores these sidestepped the need to only play games via the web browser. Instead, these offered more opportunities for gamers to play directly from their devices without the need to use a browser.

Refer to the graphics below to further illustrate the potential decline in browser gaming.

If I make a web game, will it still be played?

Setting aside whether you have made a good game, carried out enough marketing, etc (read more – will they play it ). Technically speaking, people will be able to play your game. As a developer, you can create your game with peace of mind. Your game can still be played. Although the future can always change there is no saying that people will want to. Or even know about your game. ( Game promotion ideas )

Do people still play web games? – Trends Data

According to Google Trends, people are still playing web browser games. The various synonyms used in this search were:-

  • Web game
  • Browser games
  • Play web games
Do people still play web games?

And, Do people still play web games? However, it should be noted that I have only illustrated the data from 2.

Do people still play web games? Stats 2
  • The data collected is from 2004 to 2023
  • Global data

Although people are still playing browser games or games through their web browser. The diagram illustrates its search has steadily declined, with a small peak in the Pandemic. And the decline is across the board, with myself experimenting with a variety of similar terms. I have tried to illustrate this with visuals.

Do people still play web games? the curve

Do people still play web games? – A cross-referenced search comparison.

Regardless of either search interest be it web or browser game, the lines are quite similar. Larger volumes in the 2000s with a gentle decline towards 2015. With a gradual, but modest increase around the time of the pandemic.

Stats from for ‘Browser Games’

The outlook for browser and web games on this website looks positive. For example, has over 350,000 results for web games alone. That is a large number. And is a very popular community for indie game developers and players. = or Web (353,800 results)

You may wish to consider GameJolt too for playing web or browser games. This platform too has a bustling and active community.

Are people still playing web browser games? – my opinion

In my my opinion, I believe for the foreseeable future, people will still play browser games. Although this is to a much lesser extent than gamers were doing in the early 2000s. This comes from both my observation and experience in watching the jobs market and looking at the statistics. Here is some further explanation as to why I think browser games will continue to trickle along for the time being.

From 2007 – 2018, I worked on various commercial Flash projects as part of my permanent employment and on a freelance basis. Flash, or Adobe Flash was my primary tool used for authoring small game projects and rich media. It was an in-vogue tool for the time.

In the 2000’s there were a lot of browser games, many of which were free. Many of these free browser games were made in Flash. What I believe goes hand in glove, is the decline of Flash, with the decline in people playing as many games via the the web browser. Developers needed to switch to another way of authoring web games. Although, this is not the only reason for the reduction in the playing of web games. There are plenty to list, but a significant contribution is the smartphone. Namely iPhone.

The humble smartphone and app store both had their part to play in the decline in browser gaming. As a positive stance, the diversification of gaming via the mobile device and web has displaced the players. Not removed them altogether.

Setting aside the movers and shakers for why people may be playing fewer browser games, here is where I believe the players went.

Some of the most popular websites for publishing online games were Newgrounds, MiniClip, eBaumsworld, and Adult Swim Games. Adult Swim is still going strong. But it has evolved. Very few browser games, compared to the past exist there now, it has been replaced with mobile games instead.

Are those who played browser games now playing mobile games instead? Possibly. At least, that is was the big platforms seem to believe.

Other interesting points based on experience | Web games

1 ) The decline in both work and enquires for me to create flash-based web games ties in with the decline in Flash and people playing games via the browser. I can see with cross-reference to the official stats and search interest from Google Trends that this is likely to be true. Both from first-hand experience and official information.

Less browser game interest, less people asking for browser games in Flash to be made. Or, less people wanting browser games made in Flash to be precise.

2 ) The websites mentioned previously have either vanished into near obscurity. Or, they have switched to selling mobile apps instead of browser games.


That is where the commercial online gaming market moved to. If the larger gaming platforms are worth heeding. They will position their time, wares and products where they believe they can make the most profits. Mobile gaming is a frequent category on their websites.

Web games, the ones that you play for free in a browser, have declined. Along with it, the amount of web browser-based networks and game content. But, they have not vanished completely.

From me, you may find this article interesting – Is adobe Animate used professionally?

If people are playing less browser games! Where did they go?

I believe many of those who used to play games through their browser are now playing mobile games or are now downloading games.

It should also be noted that many of the old classic game portals that used to have most of the browser-based games have incidentally put a lot of concentration towards mobile gaming. Such as Adult Swim games.

Do people still play web games – Flash did it!

As somebody with experience in both Flash design & development, I can say that this is one contributing factor. With the cessation of Flash Player, many web-based game developers would have moved to other platforms or HTML5.

You may find this post helpful, or unhelpful. 11 reasons to avoid Flash Player.

Let’s still play web games, the take home

The black and white answer is that yes, people do still play web games. Although not quite as much nowadays.

But, I would like to add it as a final send-off. Although people are searching for games, uploading web games, and there is a community around browser gaming. Who is to say that these games are being played or how much? Something to keep in mind.

As your next post, you should read this | Next Post – Where can you publish HTML5 Games.

Do people still play web games? | Information and sources ( 3rd party )
  • Google Trends
  • AdultSwim
  • Newgrounds
  • & GameJolt
  • First-hand experience – in a new tab.

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