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Unity drops Flash support, says Adobe is not firmly committed

Unity drops Flash support, says Adobe is not firmly committed

April 24, 2013 | By Mike Rose

The popular game development platform Unity will no longer invest in Adobe's Flash, as the company says that it does not believe that the future is certain for Flash.

Although Unity Technologies has been working on a Flash deployment add-on for Unity for around 18 months, the company's CEO David Helgason said that, as of today, Unity has stopped selling Flash deployment licenses.

"We had high hopes for the future of Flash as a gaming platform," said Helgason in a blog post on the official Unity website. "The performance of early builds was promising, and Adobe seemed to be dedicated to making it a success."

However, he added that "Since then much has changed... We don't see Adobe being firmly committed to the future development of Flash."

The cancellation of Flash Player Next and Adobe's decision to move away from Flash and focus more on other projects led Unity to make this call, said Helgason.

The post adds, "Developers are moving away from Flash, and while Flash publishing has gotten little traction, our own Unity Web Player has seen unprecedented growth in recent months."

Although Unity does not plan to make further investments in Flash deployment, Helgason noted that it will continue to support existing Flash users throughout the Unity 4.x version cycle.

Unity devs react

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, the news hasn't come as a huge surprise to a lot of Unity devs, and doesn't appear to have affected a large number of people either.

Chris Etches of Utinni Games questioned, "Did anyone ever actually release a Flash game built with Unity?", while Piwot Games' Andrea Sancio noted, "Unity has dropped flash? I was more surprised when they decided to support it..."

For many devs on Twitter, this news was inevitable, and simply marks the last nail in the coffin for Flash.

Demoscener and developer Javier Arevalo called the move "Not surprising," while Dom Raban, MD at Corporation Pop, said this was "more evidence of the demise of Flash."

Others are seeing this as a sign that Unity is gearing up to finally support HTML5. Unity's Helgason previously said at the end of 2011 that the company will only support HTML5 when it's right for games.

"Bets on when #HTML5 version gets published?" said Jammin Games' Benjamin Langerak, while indie developer Dave Reed noted, "Would be interesting to see a direct performance comparison of Unity -> Flash and Unity -> HTML5, assuming HTML5 is what's coming."

And Donnie Kerrigan of Chunk Group rounded off the majority of thoughts from devs on Twitter, stating simply, "Meaningful Flash publishing from Unity didn't really exist, so nothing's changed. But nothing's got easier."

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