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Platform Games

The platform games initiative is made up of a core team whose works 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!

Mozilla Games Technology Roadmap

There are two levels to this document. The first is the Roadmap section which contains areas that are currently in development and we have a reasonable level of confidence we can address in the next year. For the topics that are listed in the Under Consideration section, we are actively investigating the best way to address them.


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 Assigned to Target milestone
894105 Add SIMD support for JavaScript NEW ---
1036600 Add VR rendering and sensing support to platform NEW Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] ---
1062849 Implement AudioWorklets for Web Audio API NEW ---
922363 Add support for WebRTC (DataChannels) on WebWorkers (SharedWorkers and ServiceWorkers) NEW ---
1054841 [meta] Shared memory for web workers NEW Lars T Hansen [:lth] ---
709490 Run WebGL on Web Worker with commit() RESOLVED Morris Tseng [:mtseng] FxOS-S8 (02Oct)
1121406 Enable WebSocket-in-Workers by default in release builds RESOLVED Andrea Marchesini (:baku) mozilla38
701634 IndexedDB: Support database access from worker threads RESOLVED Ben Turner (not reading bugmail, use the needinfo flag!) mozilla37

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 Assigned to Target milestone
1188259 [meta] WebAssembly NEW ---

1 Total; 1 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 Assigned to Target milestone
1202067 Size limit on IndexedDB Blob storing NEW ---
1212882 Implement foreign fetch NEW ---
933398 avoid full copies when loading/storing large objects NEW ---
1202072 Crash when reading too much using FileReaderSync NEW ---
1147821 Only disable IndexedDB in third-party windows when the third-party cookie preference is set RESOLVED Michael Layzell [:mystor] mozilla43
1182987 IndexedDB ends with onabort( === QuotaExceededError) while processing deletion requests RESOLVED Jan Varga [:janv] mozilla48

6 Total; 4 Open (66.67%); 2 Resolved (33.33%); 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 Assigned to Target milestone
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW ---
889977 [meta] WebGL2 Support NEW ---
1184283 support multiple vsync sources (for different rates and special situations) NEW Vladimir Vukicevic [:vlad] [:vladv] ---
863316 ANGLE should call D3DCompile off the main thread NEW ---
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW ---
1271478 Implement webglcontextcreationerror RESOLVED Jeff Gilbert [:jgilbert] mozilla49
1161913 Handle preserveDrawingBuffer: false when capturing to a stream RESOLVED Andreas Pehrson [:pehrsons] (Telenor) mozilla43

7 Total; 5 Open (71.43%); 2 Resolved (28.57%); 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 Assigned to Target milestone
1169000 Render, Composite, and Present within 1 vsync interval NEW ---
863316 ANGLE should call D3DCompile off the main thread NEW ---
1136734 Bypass compositor for WebGL canvas elements in fullscreen mode. NEW ---
1169293 [meta] Improve overall Web Audio API performance NEW ---
918941 cache results of shader compilation NEW ---
1057530 [meta] Reduce our GC max-pause ASSIGNED Terrence Cole [:terrence] ---
1071275 [meta] Enable Silk on Other platforms RESOLVED Mason Chang [:mchang] 2.2 S11 (1may)

7 Total; 6 Open (85.71%); 1 Resolved (14.29%); 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 Assigned to Target milestone
1003097 [meta] Worker debugging NEW ---
1059724 Add notifications for changes in indexedDB db. ASSIGNED Bevis Tseng[:bevistseng][:btseng] ---
1088655 OdinMonkey: add a pref that throws (with stack trace) on unaligned or null heap access ASSIGNED Luke Wagner [:luke] ---
1241485 Increase the limit for workers per-origin RESOLVED Olli Pettay [:smaug] mozilla47
1008453 support for navigator.hardwareConcurrency RESOLVED Boris Zbarsky [:bz] mozilla48

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 Assigned to Target milestone
1173500 Service Workers follow-on work NEW ---
1131322 Service Workers for Gaia NEW ---
1109680 Support multiple scopes in service workers REOPENED ---

3 Total; 3 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


Release Targets


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

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

To Be Kept Informed

  • Chloe Varelidi - <>
  • Dave Herman - <>
  • Sean Stangl - <>
  • Jeff Muizelaar - <>
  • Benoit Jacob - <>