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Finally, Flash Support Comes To Unity

Finally, Flash Support Comes To Unity Exclusive

December 21, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Unity developers will be able to export their games to Adobe's Flash on Thursday when a public beta for its Flash deployment add-on becomes available.

The add-on enables what is one of Unity's most requested features, according to the company, and will allow developers to publish Unity games online without requiring the end-user to install a Unity browser plug-in.

The move -- and the demand -- may seem odd for those following recent headlines (on Gamasutra and elsewhere) about support for Adobe's long-running platform giving way to newcomers like HTML5 and WebGL. But as Unity CEO David Helgason tells us, Adobe's existing install base is just too large to ignore.

"For whatever shortcomings they may have or may not have, they still have an insanely large userbase, and that's not going away anytime soon," he says. "They're really good at getting the plug-in installed and making sure that it's always there."

Even in the company's most conservative projections, Unity still sees Flash as the dominant browser platform for some time, according to Helgason.

Of course, Flash support is only being shown off as a developer preview, and it's not an instant solution for getting Unity applications onto the platform. While Adobe's recent addition of 3D rendering support certainly paved the way for something like Unity exporting, there are still some things it just can't do: certain shaders, for example, will probably never be supported.

And on Unity's end, there are certain features the company just hasn't gotten around to supporting in time for this beta release. But as Helgason tells us, the ultimate goal is to have just about any Unity application be easily exported to Flash.

The preview comes by way of the open beta for Unity 3.5, which also adds (among other tweaks) support for Google's Native Client. The beta will be available at Unity's website Thursday, December 22 at 8am Pacific time.

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