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Platform Games

The platform games initiative is made up of a core team whose work is primarily focused on making the Gecko platform, Firefox Desktop, and Firefox for Android the best it can possibly be at running games. The core team is ready to help coordinate with other groups in the community who are working on features or optimization that are important to game developers and provide assistance when needed. Platform development continues to focus on games and we hope you are as excited as we are to make HTML5 rock on the web!

Games Platform High-Level Status

Please visit this page to view the high-level status of the web games program.

Mozilla Games Technology MVP Requirements

Allow developers to better exploit hardware parallelism

Developers are struggling to get multi-threaded games running efficiently on the Web:

  • Standardize, implement and ship SharedArrayBuffer 1,2
  • DONE - Add pthreads support to Emscripten 1,2
  • Expose performance-sensitive Web APIs to Web Workers: WebGL, WebSockets, IndexedDB, WebAudio, WebRTC, WebVR
  • Share compiled code (asm.js and WebAssembly) between workers 1
  • Developers want to take advantage of SIMD hardware to optimize their code:
    • Standardize, implement and ship SIMD.js 1,2.
    • Include SIMD in WebAssembly 1,2.
    • DONE - Add SIMD support to Emscripten 1.
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1054841 [meta] Shared memory for web workers NEW JavaScript Engine Lars T Hansen [:lth] ---
894105 Add SIMD support for JavaScript NEW JavaScript Engine ---
1036600 Add VR rendering and sensing support to platform NEW DOM Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] ---
1062849 Implement AudioWorklets for Web Audio API NEW Web Audio ---
922363 Add support for WebRTC (DataChannels) on WebWorkers (SharedWorkers and ServiceWorkers) NEW WebRTC: Networking ---
1121406 Enable WebSocket-in-Workers by default in release builds RESOLVED DOM Andrea Marchesini [:baku] mozilla38
701634 IndexedDB: Support database access from worker threads RESOLVED DOM: IndexedDB Ben Turner (not reading bugmail, use the needinfo flag!) mozilla37
709490 Run WebGL on Web Worker with commit() RESOLVED Graphics Morris Tseng [:mtseng] [:Morris] FxOS-S8 (02Oct)

8 Total; 5 Open (62.5%); 3 Resolved (37.5%); 0 Verified (0%);

Improve cold load time of large compiled codebases

Developers want to see reduced download, compilation and startup time for multi-million line compiled codebases.

  • WebAssembly will provide significant download size reductions (even before native support, through the polyfill) 1.
  • Natively decoding WebAssembly will be significantly faster than parsing JavaScript/asm.js 1.
  • Add a fast WebAssembly/asm.js compiler that allows an app to start quickly while a fully-optimizing compilation proceeds in a background thread 1.
  • Off-main-thread, streaming parsing/compilation 1.
  • Developers want to avoid depending on HTTP Content-Encoding:gzip for generic compression.
    • Add Emscripten support to perform decompression in asm.js / WebAssembly while downloading (allowing more aggressive algorithms than gzip).
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1340106 Raybench runs +35.9% slower in wasm compared to asm.js NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1283121 wasm: implement signal handlers for unaligned floating-point accesses on ARM NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1357911 Baldr: update to new name section format NEW JavaScript Engine ---
1308157 [meta] Baldr optimizations to explore NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1232009 [meta] WebAssembly Debugging NEW Developer Tools ---
1319203 Baldr: make calls between wasm and JIT code blazingly fast NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1249480 Ensure that the order of signature definitions is preserved in WASM text files. NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT Michael Bebenita [:mbx] ---
1347644 Baldr: implement Response overload for WebAssembly.compile/instantiate NEW JavaScript Engine ---
1077448 IonMonkey ARM: dynamically detect the processors alignment trapping state. NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT Douglas Crosher [:dougc] ---
1359820 wasm: arm-vfp testing is completely broken NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1316801 [meta] Wasm baseline compiler cleanup & optimizations NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1321639 baldr: experimental text format: prettier printing of "first" nodes NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT ---
1277562 Wasm: tiered compilation ASSIGNED JavaScript Engine: JIT Lars T Hansen [:lth] ---
1284414 Wasm baseline: MIPS support ASSIGNED JavaScript Engine: JIT Heiher [:hev] ---
1243372 [Security Review][Fuzzing] Test WebAssembly (wasm) with various tools ASSIGNED Security Assurance: Review Request Christian Holler (:decoder) ---
1276029 Baldr: make WebAssembly.Module structured cloneable ASSIGNED JavaScript Engine Luke Wagner [:luke] ---
1338217 Wasm: Allow instances to share code REOPENED JavaScript Engine: JIT Lars T Hansen [:lth] mozilla55

17 Total; 17 Open (100%); 0 Resolved (0%); 0 Verified (0%);

Improve browser storage capabilities

  • Developers seeking to avoid the permission prompt associated with persistent storage hit limitations of temporary storage as currently implemented in browsers.
  • Improve temporary quota limits to take into account factors like frecency.
  • Provide more information on quota usage and allowance 1.
  • Propose, standardize and implement finer-granularity units of evictable storage 1.
  • Allow cross-origin storage usage 1.
  • Developers that need persistent storage guarantees hit limitations of persistent storage as currently implemented in browsers.
    • Standardize persistent storage so that other browsers implement 1.
    • Reduce UI friction associated with the persistent permission prompt 1.
    • Improve storage management/eviction UI for browser users.
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1202072 Crash when reading too much using FileReaderSync NEW DOM: IndexedDB ---
1202067 Size limit on IndexedDB Blob storing NEW DOM: IndexedDB ---
1212882 [meta] Implement foreign fetch NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1182987 IndexedDB ends with onabort( === QuotaExceededError) while processing deletion requests RESOLVED DOM: IndexedDB Jan Varga [:janv] mozilla48
1147821 Only disable IndexedDB in third-party windows when the third-party cookie preference is set RESOLVED DOM: IndexedDB Michael Layzell [:mystor] mozilla43
933398 avoid full copies when loading/storing large objects RESOLVED DOM: IndexedDB ---

6 Total; 3 Open (50%); 3 Resolved (50%); 0 Verified (0%);

Improve browser graphics capabilities

  • Ship WebGL2 1.
  • Standardize and implement streaming WebGL canvas via WebRTC 1,2.
  • Run WebGL on discrete hardware for systems with integrated+discrete (e.g. nVidia Optimus).
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1184283 support multiple vsync sources (for different rates and special situations) NEW Graphics Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] ---
1281250 [meta] WebGL 2 blockers NEW Canvas: WebGL Jeff Gilbert [:jgilbert] ---
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW Graphics ---
863316 ANGLE should call D3DCompile off the main thread RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL ---
1161913 Handle preserveDrawingBuffer: false when capturing to a stream RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL Andreas Pehrson [:pehrsons] (Telenor) mozilla43
1271478 Implement webglcontextcreationerror RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL Jeff Gilbert [:jgilbert] mozilla49

7 Total; 4 Open (57.14%); 3 Resolved (42.86%); 0 Verified (0%);

Allow developers to better avoid 32-bit browser Out-of-Memory conditions.

  • Ship 64-bit Firefox on 64-bit Windows.
  • Avoid Emscripten in-memory Virtual File System for asset storage by leveraging pthreads and FileReaderSync to provide synchronous file I/O in workers.

Continue investment in performance across the platform

  • Significantly optimize WebAudio performance 1.
  • Reduce WebGL shader compile times 1,2.
  • Reduce latency and jitter in the browser’s rendering pipeline 1,2,3,4.
  • Continue investments in the performance of JS, DOM, WebGL, WebRTC, codec, layout, rendering, compositing, animation, etc.
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1169293 [meta] Improve overall Web Audio API performance NEW Web Audio ---
918941 cache results of shader compilation NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW Graphics ---
1057530 [meta] Reduce our GC max-pause ASSIGNED JavaScript: GC Terrence Cole [:terrence] ---
1071275 [meta] Enable Silk on Other platforms RESOLVED Performance Mason Chang PTO 5/5 [:mchang] 2.2 S11 (1may)
863316 ANGLE should call D3DCompile off the main thread RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL ---

7 Total; 5 Open (71.43%); 2 Resolved (28.57%); 0 Verified (0%);

Continue investment in Emscripten

  • Add support for pthreads, SIMD, and WebAssembly, as mentioned above.
  • Further improve compilation speed.

Continue investment in Firefox developer tooling to better support game developers

  • Improve Web Worker support 1.
  • Allow developers to break on various asm.js/WebAssembly error conditions 1.
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1003097 [meta] Worker debugging NEW Developer Tools: Debugger ---
912562 Add UI that allows user to browse, change prefs for all IndexedDB databases in their profile NEW Developer Tools: Storage Inspector ---
1088655 OdinMonkey: add a pref that throws (with stack trace) on unaligned or null heap access ASSIGNED JavaScript Engine: JIT Luke Wagner [:luke] ---
1008453 support for navigator.hardwareConcurrency RESOLVED DOM: Core & HTML Boris Zbarsky [:bz] (still a bit busy) (if a patch has no decent message, automatic r-) mozilla48
1241485 Increase the limit for workers per-origin RESOLVED DOM: Workers Olli Pettay [:smaug] mozilla47

5 Total; 3 Open (60%); 2 Resolved (40%); 0 Verified (0%);

Continue implementation of Service Workers to support offline

  • Ship Service Workers and dependent features 1.
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1226983 [meta] Service Worker spec compatibility issues NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1262699 Improve web developer experience building sites with service workers NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328391 [meta] Service Worker Data Collection NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328622 [meta] Service Worker Performance NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1212882 [meta] Implement foreign fetch NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1346245 mitigate service worker breakage when multi-e10s is enabled NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1231208 [meta] Service worker e10s redesign NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1283191 [meta] Service worker streaming NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328614 [meta] Service Workers Tests NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328631 [meta] Service Worker stability NEW DOM: Service Workers ---

10 Total; 10 Open (100%); 0 Resolved (0%); 0 Verified (0%);

Under Consideration

  • Developers are having trouble identifying how many Web Workers they should create to distribute their workload. Benchmarking methods often prove unreliable.
  • Developers are hitting the 20-per-origin limit on web workers in Firefox and are requesting a much higher limit.
  • Leverage multi-process browser architecture to guarantee a fresh address space for games with large contiguous heaps allocated early in process startup.
  • Investigate Out-of-Memory error reporting mechanism to send safe/sanitized triage information back to Web app developers.
  • Collaborate on new standards to improve IME capabilities [1],2.
  • Add hardware cursor API 1.
  • Improve Gamepad API 1.
  • Add Pointer Clipping extension to Pointer Lock API 1.
  • Add Emscripten tooling for memory use/leak debugging.
  • Standardize (as part of WebAssembly or more generally) a more scalable form of source maps suitable for large compiled codes.

Related Projects

Helpful Links


Bugzilla Queries



Project Team Meeting Thursdays at 9:00 AM Pacific for 60 mins
  • Vidyo Room: Games's Vidyo Room
  • Invitation: Contact (:avaughn) to get added to the meeting invite list.
  • Server:
  • Channel: #games


Games Platform & Research

  • Andre Vrignaud - <>
  • Martin Best - <>
  • Alon Zakai - <>
  • Jeffrey Gilbert - <>
  • Jukka Jylänki - <>
  • Luke Wagner - <>
  • Naveed Ihsanullah - <>
  • Milan Sreckovic - <>
  • Vladimir Vukicevic - <>
  • Maire Reavy - <>
  • Peter Chang - <>