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IGS: The State Of Flash Games
IGS: The State Of Flash Games
February 18, 2008 | By Staff

February 18, 2008 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Indie, GDC

The Flash games panel at the Independent Games Summit on GDC at Monday showed an interesting dichotomy of different approaches to making money from Web browser-based games - though it's clear that the monetization angle is still being explored.

The panelists for the session were Chris Hughes (, Chris Pasley (Kongregate), Joseph Lieberman (Arcadetown), Josh Williams (GarageGames/InstantAction), and they discussed the state of the Flash game business in terms of both real and potential revenue.

The state of the industry right now is that sponsorship and in-game ads can help fund already-developed titles - if only in a minor way. For developers, pay out $500 to $6,000 per game up front for use on their Flash game portal sites - and it's a non-exclusive deal.

For, one-off sponsor licenses could range up to $10,000 to $20,000 at the absolute maximum, with more smaller non-exclusive deals possible.

Overall, it's suggested that it's difficult to find an audience if you put your own game on your own site - and there are a lot of distribution channels for developers through external websites, so it's possible to make good money as a hobbyist, but it's not yet clear you can completely make a living making Flash games and then

New technology and the lure of the Web is a particular theme - with Kongregate experimenting with 'Premium' games that they are funding to the tune of $50,000 to $100,000, including multiplayer elements and microtransactions.

InstantAction indicated that its funding for its 3D browser plugin titles can run anything from $250,000 to $1 million, and may be funded through microtransactions or even subscriptions.

GarageGames is using a plugin on that has a single, 'download-once' plugin that will allow any engine to run through it - from Flash through Torque Engine even all the way to Unreal Engine, which GarageGames is testing using in web browsers.

In fact, GarageGames' Williams ended the panel on an optimistic note: "GDC 2013 will be mostly web games."

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Paul Reynolds
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While I would LOVE to be able to make a "web game" in something other than Flash, I'm not sure GG is on the right track. EA had this technology working and in production in 2001- you could play most of the full blown PC sports games within the browser. It really failed. Maybe the timing and technology are better now?

Benjamin Quintero
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That's always a possibility. There have been a lot of "first to market" companies who failed while their copycats were swimming in cash because of a better campaign or marketing or just a more eye pleasing design. It doesn't even have to be a better product, just one that more people are aware of and willing to accept.

Badazz Michelle
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I have been in the beta for two diffrerent 3D web browser sites. The grab a link, and drop it to a friend, and play within 2 minutes is amazing. No waiting to download a huge game and wait for set up and then worry about settings and layout is a quick way to get the attention of casual gamers that may never have played a hardcore 3D MMO. MMO players are not going to believe it until they see it!