Google Chrome's autoplay audio blocker has been messing up web games

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

To correct that, Google said Tuesday it's temporarily removing the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API from Chrome 66.

That's not what Chrome's developers intended: the plan was to stop auto-playing vids from assaulting your ears and chewing bandwidth.

The aim is to give game and audio application developers more time to update their code before reintroducing the policy for the Web Audio API in Chrome 70, due out in mid-October. "The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API", Pallet wrote.

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We've updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API. Yet with an adjustment of such potentially high impact landing in Chrome 66, clearly more communication was needed.

It has partially rolled back Chrome's recent policy of blocking videos that autoplay with sound, because the web browser was unintentionally preventing some web games from working properly.

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. Benji Kay, a developer of web games and audio tools, said: "Simply delaying the enacting of this policy doesn't solve any of the major concerns that have been raised". Affected developers will have until then to add a few lines to their code, thus re-enabling the auto-muted audio when a user first interacts with the page.

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The policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in the Chrome 70 release this October. One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio. Having that kind of status quo failsafe in place could easily lessen the motivation to work out those "non-trivial user interface challenges" in a timely manner. As users continue browsing the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't.

While muting autoplay media is certainly a welcome change to many a user, the new policy had some unseen consequences for countless game developers.

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