Cross-platform mobile gaming apps, powered by the web

How BBC Children's Games delivers gaming experiences across native iOS, Android, and the web as a mobile-optimized Progressive Web App, all from a single codebase using Capacitor.

The BBC needed a new sustainable technical approach to building app experiences for its children’s games that could be shipped onto any app store.

The Company

The BBC is the world’s leading public service broadcaster, offering world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.

The Challenge

  • Lack of a single, cohesive codebase
  • Difficulty moving toward emerging web app standards

The Strategy

  • Embrace the Progressive Web App approach as the core development environment
  • Implement consistency in app-building platform
  • Reduce cognitive load across all disciplines

The Selection

  • Chose Capacitor, a cross-platform native runtime, to wrap compliant PWAs for app store distribution
  • Built a universal app platform 
  • Adopted a single codebase with a cohesive set of components

Key Benefits & Results

  • Efficiency: Had the ability to power all of their apps and games from a single codebase and a single set of cohesive components.
  • Web-First Approach: By switching to Capacitor, BBC began using a web-first approach to their app-building workflows, including access to the latest browser-based Web APIs and web standards such as Service Workers and Web Workers. Focus shifted from “building native apps” to “building immersive experiences for any platform.” In practice, this resulted in reduced build and maintenance costs and made room for new innovations to be applied.
  • Ease of Use: BBC’s existing developers already had the knowledge they needed to build better app experiences with the tools they were most familiar with. There’s no need to hire outside native app developers, and operating from a single codebase ensured app developers could share their work internally and collaborate seamlessly.
  • Productivity: BBC has been able to re-focus their resources on building immersive app experiences for their audiences. Game developers can spend more time creating games instead of working through the underlying mechanics of how their web and app platforms work. More efficient operations have enabled BBC to be a future-forward organization, spending more time on developing new product propositions and creating strategic roadmaps for the years to come.

To learn more, check out the full story of BBC’s Senior Technical Architect, Jacob Clark. >> Read the full story

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