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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.
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
922363 Add support for WebRTC (DataChannels) on WebWorkers (SharedWorkers and ServiceWorkers) NEW WebRTC: Networking ---
1054841 [meta] Shared memory for web workers NEW JavaScript Engine mozilla55
1062849 Implement AudioWorklets for Web Audio API NEW Web Audio Karl Tomlinson (:karlt) ---
894105 Add SIMD support for JavaScript RESOLVED JavaScript Engine ---
1036600 Add VR rendering and sensing support to platform RESOLVED DOM: Core & HTML Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] (needinfo me, slow to respond) ---
1121406 Enable WebSocket-in-Workers by default in release builds RESOLVED DOM: Core & HTML Andrea Marchesini [:baku] mozilla38
701634 IndexedDB: Support database access from worker threads RESOLVED Storage: 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] (Inactive) FxOS-S8 (02Oct)

8 Total; 3 Open (37.5%); 5 Resolved (62.5%); 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).
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1077448 IonMonkey ARM: dynamically detect the processors alignment trapping state. NEW JavaScript Engine: JIT Douglas Crosher [:dougc] ---
1232009 [meta] WebAssembly Debugging NEW General ---
1308157 [meta] Wasm optimizations to explore NEW Javascript: WebAssembly ---
1316801 [meta] Wasm baseline compiler cleanup & optimizations NEW Javascript: WebAssembly ---
1424537 Web assembly linker errors don't appear when instantiated from web workers NEW Console ---
1340106 Raybench runs +35.9% slower in wasm compared to asm.js REOPENED JavaScript Engine: JIT ---

6 Total; 6 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.
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1202067 Size limit on IndexedDB Blob storing NEW Storage: IndexedDB ---
1202072 Crash when reading too much using FileReaderSync NEW Storage: IndexedDB ---
1182987 IndexedDB ends with onabort( === QuotaExceededError) while processing deletion requests RESOLVED Storage: IndexedDB Jan Varga [:janv] mozilla48
1212882 [meta] Implement foreign fetch RESOLVED DOM: Service Workers ---
933398 avoid full copies when loading/storing large objects RESOLVED Storage: IndexedDB ---
1147821 Only disable IndexedDB in third-party windows when the third-party cookie preference is set RESOLVED Storage: IndexedDB Nika Layzell [:nika] (ni? for response) mozilla43

6 Total; 2 Open (33.33%); 4 Resolved (66.67%); 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).
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW Graphics ---
1184283 support multiple vsync sources (for different rates and special situations) NEW Graphics Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] (needinfo me, slow to respond) ---
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1161913 Handle preserveDrawingBuffer: false when capturing to a stream RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL Andreas Pehrson [:pehrsons] mozilla43
1271478 Implement webglcontextcreationerror RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL Jeff Gilbert [:jgilbert] mozilla49
1281250 [meta] WebGL 2 blockers RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL Jeff Gilbert [:jgilbert] ---
863316 ANGLE should call D3DCompile off the main thread RESOLVED Canvas: WebGL ---

7 Total; 3 Open (42.86%); 4 Resolved (57.14%); 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.
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1057530 [meta] Reduce our GC max-pause NEW JavaScript: GC ---
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW Graphics ---
1169293 [meta] Improve overall Web Audio API performance NEW Web Audio ---
918941 cache results of shader compilation NEW Canvas: WebGL ---
1071275 [meta] Enable Silk on Other platforms RESOLVED Performance Mason Chang [Inactive] [: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.
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1003097 [meta] Worker debugging NEW Debugger ---
912562 Add UI that allows user to browse, change prefs for all IndexedDB databases in their profile RESOLVED Storage Inspector ---
1008453 support for navigator.hardwareConcurrency RESOLVED DOM: Core & HTML Boris Zbarsky [:bzbarsky] mozilla48
1088655 OdinMonkey: add a pref that throws (with stack trace) on unaligned or null heap access RESOLVED JavaScript Engine: JIT Luke Wagner [:luke] ---
1241485 Increase the limit for workers per-origin RESOLVED DOM: Workers Olli Pettay [:smaug] mozilla47

5 Total; 1 Open (20%); 4 Resolved (80%); 0 Verified (0%);

Continue implementation of Service Workers to support offline

  • Ship Service Workers and dependent features 1.
Full Query
ID Summary Status Component Assigned to Target milestone
1262699 [meta] Service Workers Developer Tooling NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1283191 [meta] Service worker streaming NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328391 [meta] Service Worker Data Collection NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328614 [meta] Service Workers Tests NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1328622 [meta] Service Worker Performance NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1226983 [meta] Service Worker spec compatibility issues NEW DOM: Service Workers ---
1231208 [meta] Service worker e10s redesign NEW DOM: Service Workers Andrew Sutherland [:asuth] (he/him) ---

7 Total; 7 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 - <>