When you're ready to deploy your game over the web, you should make it as easy as possible for people to download and install, with the goal that everyone who wants to play the game has an opportunity to do so. In other words, you want to avoid something like this scenario:
This can be a frustrating nightmare—nobody wants to spend time downloading a game only to be unable to run it. And even the extra steps involved can be annoying for tech-savvy people. So, be sure to use a game-deployment technique that the most computer-illiterate people you know can handle and that requires the least amount of steps to perform. The more steps that are involved, the more problems people will have. Here are a few other ways to deploy a game:
Another thought to consider is that many people won't have the latest Java runtime on their machines, and they'll have to download it separately. Some installation products can optionally bundle a Java runtime with the installer, however. When considering installers, something to think about is that some people don't realize that they actually have to run an installer after they've downloaded it—they think whatever they downloaded is automatically installed and they don't have to do anything else. Or, they forget to run the installer. Wouldn't it be great if the download, installation, and execution were all automatic? In other words, the only steps involved would be something like this:
Well, good news—that's exactly what Java Web Start does.