A long held belief and annoyance of Chromebook owners worldwide has been that the popular web based gaming service Pogo can’t be played on their laptops. While this is true in some capacity as a handful of the website’s most popular games are written in Flash which is going away forever and is incapable of running on the Chrome browser as of this year, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Pogo games is just as relevant today for those interested as it has always been. Here’s everything you need to know to play Pogo Games on your Chromebook!
Pogo Games was created on September 1, 1998 and quickly became on of the most popular web based gaming destinations for many. I never understood the draw of it, but millions of people would even pay a subscription cost to play games on the site, so they must have done something right.
However, many people who buy Chromebooks have been frustrated by the fact that when they it get home and visit the Pogo Games website, they’re met with a message on their game of choice which states that it can’t run because they need Flash or Java. Both of these were longstanding solution for creating and playing games via the web browser, but always presented significant risk for users as they could be exploited quite easily, depending on who you ask. Anyways, upon trying to install either one, users quickly realize that these are incompatible with their device because Chromebooks can’t run executable files (.exe) which are only used on Windows computers. Both Flash and Java are .exe file types. So, what exactly is going on here? Can Chromebooks play Pogo Games? They sure can, but let’s discuss the details.
In 2017, Google published a blog post on The Keyword which stated that they had intentions to phase out Flash in the Chrome web browser and completely cut access to it at the end of 2020, that’s this year. Leading up until the end of this time frame, they would require users to manually allow flash at their own risk each and every time they wanted to use it as a means of showing that they didn’t approve of its use. “But I thought Flash couldn’t be installed on Chromebooks”, I hear you saying. You’re right, Adobe’s Flash can’t, but Google has their own version of the software built in to the Chrome browser called Peppermint Flash which allows users to run Flash applications with no extra downloads or steps.
You see, Flash has always been a vulnerable tool. It sucks battery and system memory as it’s always been poorly coded and is riddled with bugs. So much so that Adobe decided in 2017 to kill it entirely. Yes, the owner of Flash decided to kill their long standing solution for creating and running games through a web browser. This put millions of flash games and sites out of business and Pogo themselves were unable to get past this for some time. Every flash game, should it hope to be playable via the web browser from that time forward, would have to be recreated from the ground up using HTML5, which is the programming language used to create websites and proved to be much safer than Flash was.
Luckily, Electronic Arts, or EA Games purchased Pogo Games back in 2001 for $40 Million and while they seem to have been slow to respond to Flash’s death, they certainly have taken steps to work around it and maintain their fanbase. For example, every Flash game on the website now features an orange ribbon at the top left of its thumbnail which states “Flash Retiring Soon” so that gamers have time to find alternatives. Chromebook users can’t play these games. Luckily, Pogo has sectioned off all of its Flash games into a submenu called ‘Flash Games’ and only features HTML5 games across the rest of the website. They’ve also provided a list of games they’re retiring via their blog post where they discuss Flash’s retirement. These are the games which they couldn’t recreate in HTML5 or which they have chosen not to.
After March 2020, you’ll no longer be able to play some older Flash games on Pogo. We know it’s no fun to lose a favorite game, so we encourage you to explore the Pogo library. We have lots of games which have similar gameplay in each category—bingo, card, word, puzzle and more.
We’re continuing to update our most popular games to HTML5. We’ve improved graphics, performance, and accessibility whether you’re using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. We’ve already released over two dozen new and updated titles, with more in the works.
For most of the website’s games, they’ve enhanced their graphics, performance and more as a part of their major overhaul of the website called Early Access which features a complete redesign of everything including its logo. This will eventually replace Pogo Classic for all users and was done in an effort to bring users back and revamp their offerings. This also means that Chromebook gamers can now take near full advantage of Pogo once again!
Technologies have evolved. Flash and Java—the two platforms that used to power most Pogo games—are being phased out entirely.
We’ve done our best to make updates that work around changes, but a complete website refresh lets us act on all your needs. Early Access is the next step in our commitment of making Pogo your go-to for fun, relaxation, and connection!
I hear many of you long time Pogo fans shouting at your screen right now – “What about my favorite games…they’re on the chopping block!” I get it…my girlfriend is going to miss games like CLUE Secrets & Spies and Phlinx. Unfortunately, unless EA decides to change their mind on these games and recreate them in HTML5, these users will have to look elsewhere for alternatives. While nothing can replace the nostalgia that certain games provide us from years gone, there’s something to be said about creating new memories and being open to new experiences.
The Google Play Store comes pre-installed on all Chromebooks purchased in the last few years and is chalk full of millions of games. It’s highly likely that you will find similar experiences to the games that Pogo retired. Sure, it may take some work, but it will be worth it. We recommend keeping an eye on whether or not games have in app purchases or advertisements. You may want to avoid those. When perusing a game listing in the store, you can see these indicators just under the game’s name.
For everyone else, we encourage you to head on over to the redesigned Pogo Games website and log in. Your old log in may or may not be the same, as all Pogo accounts have now been converted to EA accounts, but you can watch the video below to see how to convert your account and gain access. Depending on how tied you were to certain games on the site, you may fall in love with Pogo Games once again, but you should definitely give it a try! Just don’t forget to turn the website into an icon and place it on your Chromebook’s shelf for quick access.
Was your favorite Pogo game given the axe? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to help you find an alternative on the Play Store. Happy gaming!