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back to article Another blow for Flash as Unity gaming engine kills support

Unity Technologies has announced that it has dropped support for Adobe Flash from its cross-platform Unity game development toolset, citing the declining popularity of the technology among developers and inconsistent support from Adobe. "As of today, we will stop selling Flash deployment licenses," Unity founder and CEO David …

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good riddance

The biggest achievement of Steve Jobs was the major dent he put in flash. Flash needs to go away. Sooner, the better.

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Paris Hilton

Re: good riddance

Really I thought it the decline in web designers using it for websites.

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kb
FAIL

Re: good riddance

Yeah who wants a platform that doesn't patent troll? Bah, give us an H.265 DRM that will lock out free OSes and make sure that nobody that doesn't buy from a major corp can enjoy any entertainment,!

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FAIL

Good Riddance

Flash produces nothing but sluggish web sites and weekly security alarms.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Riddance

Sadly a significant portion of pr0n sites still use flash and the foreign ones (think eastern europe) will be some of the last to switch away. Until then I see a lot of android devices getting owned due to having abandonware flash players with unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Unhappy

Re: Good Riddance

Macromedia, we miss you.

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Re: Good Riddance

No we don't miss Macromedia, Adobe is the new Macromedia.

Adobe used to produce quality products, but when they bought Macromedia all that was hurled away. And Adobe started to produce same crap as Macromedia did.

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Unhappy

Re: Good Riddance

You've got it backwards. There was never any problem with Flash at Macromedia. It wasn't until Adobe bought them that Flash became a problem.

Adobe Acrobat, OTOH, was always having problems, the most famous was it's issues integrating with MS Office 2003 and OpenOffice. The badly implemented DRM in Adobe's later products made that worse. All pre-Macromedia.

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Len
Happy

Shrug

It is telling that less than two years ago an announcement such as this would have sparked massive for and against Flash flamewars. Now the general response is either good riddance or a collective shrugging of shoulders.

The death by a thousand cuts.

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Happy

No Idea

I don't know who/what Unity is but I do know what Flash is and it can't be bad for them (anyone really) to get away from it.

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Time to die

Screw Flash and their locked-in, freedom hating crap. Forward the new, HTML5 DRM freedom hating!

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Paris Hilton

Re: Time to die

It's not Eadon?

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Re: Time to die

Flash isn't from Microsoft.. You can bet if this artlicle was about Silverlight, he'd be in here criticising it like a shot.

Having said that, Silverlight never really took off anyway so I doubt anyone would bother writing articles about other companies dropping support for it.

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Happy

Re: Time to die

The Netflix streaming service runs on Silverlight. They're in the process of migrating to HTML 5 though. I think Netflix was one of the only really large adopters of the product.

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Paris Hilton

Yeah hurry up and die Flash!

It's time to hang up the suspiciously stained flasher's mac once and for all and head to the great tech cloud in the sky along with all your other shitty friends like Java Applets and GeoCities websites with scrolling text and animated GIFs!

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Mushroom

It's dead, Jim—pass the ketchup

I just looked at the Unity store last night and was wondering what the point of deploying your game to Flash was. It looks like I wasn't the only one; turns out there's a Flash because it's on fire like a ton of chlorine trifluoride.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's dead, Jim—pass the ketchup

Unity isn't just for games. Some of us use it for serious 3D visualisation systems and having it compile to flash meant you could have a fallback solution for users who didn't/couldn't have the Unity plugin installed or NaCl support in their browser without having to re-code everything so actually it's not great news.

For me, the timing of the announcement is though as I was on the verge of upgrading my Flash deployment license to Unity 4!

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Meh

Good Riddence

their 9% taking of sales was a rediculous idea. And it's a shame it was compared to app stores since that's comparing apples to an apple tree.

App stores give you a place to sell items, and are of zero cost to the user (except the initial license fee most have to sign up) with the majority of costs (bandwidth) on the store end of things, so of course they take a cut. But taking a cut because somebody used your language is more like Microsoft charging $399 for VS (or whatever it costs) and then tacking on a charge to every piece of software you sell that was made in VS.

Effectively they were getting greedy with a sub-par product which is on its way out. It's a shame really since I had started to use flash sllightly but it's just too inconsistent for me to bother with anymore. One update it's slow, then they speed it up and it's useful, then it's slower than ever, then they change teh API with no warning so half my projects need to be refactored. They'd do better to scrap flash player and instead work on an HTML-5 IDE, or some kind of Flash - HTML5 conversion tools to help people migrate over.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Riddence

" is more like Microsoft charging $399 for VS (or whatever it costs) and then tacking on a charge to every piece of software you sell that was made in VS"

Don't give them ideas. With the death of Windows Phone , XBox , Surface, and everything else they try, where are they going to find new "revenue streams" to keep the cash flow going?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The XBox is dead?

Got figures that back that up?

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Ru
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Re: Good Riddence

But taking a cut because somebody used your language is more like Microsoft charging $399 for VS (or whatever it costs) and then tacking on a charge to every piece of software you sell that was made in VS.

Well, what do you think Windows Store will do in the longer term?

On the flip side, VS Express is a reasonable IDE and is freely available, so it isn't all bad news.

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I'll not be shedding any tears!

This awful platform has blighted my coding career for that last 3 to 4 years! Never liked it when I was first told to use it, and my opinion hasn't changed, shame our place thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, I was not convinced, far to many bugs, things it should have done, but didn't, simple programming concepts it didn't have, it was frustrating to code in and even worse to debug! Problem is, as we have so many apps coded in it, I'll have to support the dam thing till replacements are made, so it'll be around here for another few years and guess who'll have to be supporting it, oh joy!

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Meh

4oD

Channel 4's Flash-based Digital Restrictions Management means I can't watch 4oD on Linux. Result? Meh, I hardly ever watch Channel 4 now. If there was something really good on, I could power up the PVR... but meh.

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Linux

Re: 4oD

You need to install hal for it to work.

For 'buntu users

sudo apt-get install hal

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Re: 4oD

> You need to install hal for it to work.

Yes, I know, but I'm not going to risk screwing up my machine just to watch 4oD.

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How exactly?

I fail to see exactly how this is in any way a "blow to Flash". If you want to create Flash content you don't use the Unity toolset, you use Adobe's tools. This was always just a minor cross compatibility option provided for Unity developers (who are mostly using it to export across non-web based platforms anyway) and certainly never anything that really affected Flash in any meaningful way (either positively or negatively).

Just another excuse for the media to bash Flash I suppose. What people seem to forget (or be completely unaware of) is Flash ISN'T just used for video, heavy multimedia websites and banner ads. It's still by an absolute mile the best (and most widely used) solution for web based games. A void that HTML5 likely will never fill, not least because of the huge number of compatibility problems that go along with a browser dependent platform and the complete lack of any way to distribute. If you can get HTML5 games to work at all they tend to run at an unusably slow frame rate on many mobile devices anyway.

If the haters have their way and do somehow manage to kill Flash, all the people that enjoy playing web based casual games via their PC on Facebook, as well as the many online gaming portals, are in for a shock. Almost all of these games use Flash for VERY good reasons and with it gone, there would be NOTHING to fill the void.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How exactly?

"It's still by an absolute mile the best (and most widely used) solution for web based games."

Web based games coded using Flash are currently quite limited in capability.

If you want to have dynamic lighting, shadows, real time physics, etc. then as far as I am aware if you use Flash you are out of luck. One could argue that nobody uses those features in Flash based web games, but that is a circular argument because as far as I know these things have not been available.

Unity has no such limitations, which leaves ubiquity as the only major advantage of Flash over alternative plugins. Even though there have already been over 100 million Unity web player installs, the requirement to do so for web deployment is still an obstacle that discourages some developers, particularly those who are not targeting multiple platforms (typically desktops and/or mobile devices).

However, apparently Unity have something new in the wings. If this is some kind of HTML5 support, then that will be a game changer, and will remove the only remaining reason to go with Flash for web game deployment.

In that case, your claim that without Flash "there would be nothing to fill the void" seems courageous, and not I suspect true.

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Flash succeeded where the much-hyped Java Applets failed

As others said, it's more like it's one of the "death of a thousand cuts" and the indifferent (rather than indignant) response to the move highlighting its decreasing importance- good or bad.

One interesting thing... It's easy to forget now, but when Java first came out in the mid-90s, by far the most-hyped aspect of it was Applets, i.e. having relatively powerful apps running within your browser. (Back when JavaScript (*) scripting was rudimentary at best).

As we all know, while Java is still around, Applets themselves never took off for a number of reasons (not least their slow speed and resource hungriness by the standards of the time).

However, we did end up with something that filled almost the same niche (at least from the end-user's point of view)... that "something" was, of course, Flash. Yep, the one-time animation-centric plugin.

This wouldn't be to say that Flash was the primary cause of Java Applets' failure. Truth be told, the latter had already pretty much failed on their own merits by the time Flash had started moving past its early presentational roots.

Of course, many of today's online apps don't use Flash, but are based around (more advanced and modern) HTML, JavaScript and CSS. But IMHO, Flash pretty much did resemble Java Applets' more plugin based design; the difference being that it succeeded where Java failed.

(*) Remember that JavaScript was- and is- an entirely different technology to Java. It was originally called LIveScript, but some twonks in marketing wanted to gain some of Java's cachet, so licensed the name, leading to almost 20 years of confusion amonst non-experts. IMHO, Sun should have done us all a favour and told them to p*** off.

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@mutatedwombat

I don't think that "dynamic lighting, shadows, real time physics" are much of a concern to the casual gaming crowd.

I play on Kongregate, and tend to find that the games that use Unity are not the games that interest me.

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Re: How exactly?

I think you misunderstood my point. Yes, there are technically better options for making more demanding web based games. If for instance you want to do 3D then yes, Unity is the best option technically. The problem is Unity isn't really a viable option in terms of exposure/distribution and monetisation on the web, because as you said, the install base is a minute fraction of the Flash install base. Plus there just aren't the distribution channels that are available to promote a Flash game. It's much better suited to targeting other platforms (native mobile apps, consoles, stand-alone PC games etc.). Flash can do realtime physics (it's just code to do the maths at the end of the day) and as you said the Flash game market is generally 2D/retro games anyway.

Anyway, my original point was, this is a "blow to Flash" how? The fact is it isn't. Unity no longer exporting to Flash doesn't matter for Unity and certainly doesn't matter for Flash. It's just another excuse for the media to continue the uneducated Flash bashing.

I'm not knocking Unity at all. It's a great platform for indie developers that want to make games. Serious competition for Flash as a web based gaming platform it is not though. Flash is undeniably the most popular web based gaming platform by a mile (it's not even vaguely close) and for very good reasons.

HTML5 support doesn't help Unity's case and certainly isn't a "game changer". HTML5 is currently a mess, as is the nature of any browser dependent platform. The HTML+Javascript+CSS combo has always been a huge cross browser nightmare, even before they added a "5" on the end and conviced everone it's the second coming.

Which leads me to my point again, if Flash died tomorrow, what fills the void for web based games?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How exactly?

>I'm not knocking Unity at all. It's a great platform for indie developers that want to make games. Serious competition for Flash as a web based gaming platform it is not though

It was really expensive, not just in terms of Adobe Tax, but the 1000s needed for Unity. Part of this decision is down to lack of sales/uptake with so many OSS engines available for free - look at Starling for instance and it's a very different picture.

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Regardless of how you feel about using Flash one thing in certain it's a buggy mess.

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RIP Flash you won't be missed

The day when flash is no more is eagerly awaited. It's a cpu hog more so when some moron thinks having 20 swf's on a single page is a good idea because it's 'cool' but you can't do anything because you're standard spec machine cannot do anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

Can we add Java to the death knell sound also?

By that I mean primarily non-enterprise Java i.e. the web-browser add-in from hell!

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone know anything about the alternate Unity options?

Are there any game developers who will be hit by this and have spent a lot of time getting their games to work with Flash?

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Anonymous Coward

License

That license model is what Unreal uses as well. Though, I believe it is a 2.5% per $10k revenue depending on the expected sales after making your first $50K. 9% that adobe is asking is way too high.

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Adobe killed themselves here, though

They're dropping support for the Flash plugin on Linux. Really, why would Unity support them after that?

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Coat

Re: Adobe killed themselves here, though

Really, this is sort of like the "Cheese shop" sketch:

"Welcome to Adobe! Can we interest you in our cross-platform solution?"

"Great! I've been peckish for a good cross-platform solution! Does you platform support iOS?"

"Well, not so much. No, really. Never."

"Hmm. OK. Well, does it support Android?"

"Yes!"

"Brilliant! then I can get my code to work on Ice Cream Sandwich"

"Well, no. We dropped all support for Android past 3.0."

"Oh, well, at least you support Gingerbread...."

"Not so much, not anymore, no."

"Oh. I see. Well, then you support Gnu/Linux?"

"Yes! Yes we do!"

"Smashing! I've been looking for a way to run on the Raspberry Pi..."

"Sorry, we don't support ARM"

"Oh, I thought you said you supported Linux?"

"We do, yes!"

"... just not on ARM."

"No, not on ARM. But we do support Linux!"

"... on PPC?"

"Ye... well, no."

"Hmm. On MIPS? SPARC?"

"No."

"x86"

"YES YES"

"-64?"

"... No. Not anymore - not with the latest version."

"So, just on i686, is that it?"

"Yes, we do support Linux on i686!"

"So you really don't support Linux, just a specific Linux architecture."

"Yes, we do support Linux."

"So, what other platform do you support?"

"We support MacOS!"

"... on PPC? No, what am I saying, of course you don't"

"Yes"

"Yes? You do support Flash on PPC!?!"

"Yes, we DON'T support Flash on PPC. or 68K"

"I see. What other platforms do you support?"

"Windows! Yes, we support Windows. We support WinXP, Vista, Vista/64, Windows 7, Windows 7/64"

"Will you support Win8?"

"Yes!"

"For how long? <sotto voice>he asked knowing the bleeding answer</sotto voce>"

"Forever! We will never drop support for Windows!"

"Just like you never dropped support for Android or Linux x86-64?"

"...."

"So, your 'cross platform' solution really only supports two major platforms at this time, with no guarantee of continuing support in the future."

"Yes, that's about it, yes."

"Not very cross-platform, is it?"

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Happy

@David D. Hagood

LOL!

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Meh

ADOBE!!!

Adobe has killed some of the greatest creative software ever made. The CS6 suite is a bloated nightmare.

But if not Flash, then what for video? Vimeo? Don't make me laugh. Great quality, too bad about the reliability and bandwidth hogging.

Not everyone has modern fat pipes like some countries.

HTML 5? That's not actually standardized yet, is it.

So what else is there that is as efficient as Flash at delivering video and is a browser standard? Because I'd like to use it.

Flash has become far too intrusive into my personal browsing.

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Re: ADOBE!!!

For video go h.264 it's a standard alright, ISO/IEC 14496-10.

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Windows

First the EULA change now the Flash Turnaround

I can only imagine the bun fight going on in the Unity Forums right now. After the sudden changes they made to the EULA just after Unity 4 was released (VERY badly handled), and now the sudden turn around on Flash support.

That said, I agree with the move and it is a tricky situation for everyone to be in. The real casualties will be those developers caught in the middle of a development cycle, or with a long term Flash based strategy. Poor bastards.

<<Image because a few developers will probably look like this over weekend

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