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The End Of Flash or The Changes In Web Game Development

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016

The end of flashThroughout the last year, the fact that Flash era has already gone become much more noticeable than before. The first signs that Flash is in trouble appeared back in 2010 when Steve Jobs has announced Apple's negative position concerning Flash technology. However, despite all the prognoses that Flash will be dead by now, it still owns a little part of a market of web-based games and approximately 9.5% of websites still use Flash technologies for advertising purposes. Program-Ace today decided to take a look at changes at the market and talk about new opportunities and perspectives.

Flash was a big success for Adobe decades ago when everyone think only about the desktop-based game. But the technology is evolving at a pace to be envied and the necessity to replace Flash a long time ago.

For many years, Flash was a source that powered animated games, videos, and graphics. However, it was also a source of troubles for users who suffered from repeated security issues. In addition, the industry changed its standards and claimed that it's necessary to concentrate on mobile devices. Here is where HTML5 comes to the light. But let's talk about it in a couple of moments.

What Happened To Flash

Years ago the answer to question developers asked - does the industry take the changing priorities seriously? - was unclear, however now it's obvious. Web development standards require new improved software which became HTML5. It’s not a secret that due to the fact that Flash was still a proprietary privately held system in an era of open-source code and was a popular entertaining for hackers because of its security holes, the society of users and developers made a decision to boycott this software.

Most of the well-known and widely-used companies officially disables Flash settings in their browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome, explaining that it doesn't have much influence on the web pages and they will be loaded without Flash just fine. Earlier last year, since Flash is also used to play game advertising content who no one likes, but sometimes needs, some browsers had an enable/disable button for Flash. However, a couple of months ago the actions of blocking any Flash activity have been taken across these browsers in a response to appearing of significant security loopholes.

How Adobe Reacted

Adobe company finally admitted that Flash will soon go into oblivion and on November 30th, 2015 announced that it is planning to change the name of Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC. However, the company stated that it's not just the name that will be changed, the team has completely rewrote the program to include an internal support of HTML5 Canvas and WebGL. According to the announcement, the new software is expected to correlate with contemporary web standards and can create animation for any platform. The first release of Adobe Animate CC should be expected at the beginning of 2016. 

Abode also stated that Flash won't be completely demolished and will be used in web gaming industry that doesn’t have such strict standards. For example, Facebook is still working with Adobe and uses Flash to power browser games and improve its security in order not to lose the community of users who play Flash-based games.

The Strengthened Position Of HTML5

The increasing needs in a completely secure markup language that will support mobile platforms, as well as desktop ones, gave birth to HTML. The 5th version of it is now officially standard for structuring and presenting content on web pages. For instance, Youtube that used Flash to play the video content previously now switched to HTML5-based players.

As for browser games, here everything is not that simple because some amount of games is still working under Flash settings and will remain so in the nearest future. Taking into consideration the latest updates, let's take a look at the comparison of Flash and HTML5 in web game industry.

Browser Support

Some time ago, Flash has been supported by 99% of browsers and HTML5, at the same time, has been working properly on approximately 85%. Today the picture is different. Since Google and Firefox refused to use Flash and Safari moved to HTML5 a long time ago, about 95% of browsers works with the new standard markup language.

Hardware Accelerated 3D

The same picture with programming libraries, WebGL today became a standard of interactive 3D graphics. It's supported by more than 90% of browsers.

File And Assets Managing

The nature of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) involves an individual location of all assets and requires careful management. One of the advantages of Flash was and still is an easy file organization. A developer can comply a single .swf file and share it.

Mobile Browsers

Web browsers aren’t only desktop-based anymore. Let's not forget about the mobile browsers that users run as often as the web ones. HTML's Canvas and WebGL are supported by all popular modern browsers on many mobile platforms including most popular like iOS and Android. Flash, on the other hand, have no plug-ins that support mobile browsers anymore. It was one of the reasons why Flash should be replaced by more developed software that correlates with market demands.

What We Have in The End

While Adobe is announcing its plans to remove direct links to  download Flash on January 22, 2016, HTML5 is becoming stronger every day. At the end of 2016, we should expect the improved version of HTML since W3C plans to release a stable HTML 5.1 that will introduce new features, elements, and extensions. 

It's pretty hard to predict the future, however, we can take a look at some facts and make a conclusion. The Program-Ace team is sure that HTML5 will only consolidate its position as an industry standard software and it's more likely that HTML will establish its rules at web game industry later this year. Despite the fact that some good games are being delivered using Flash, they appear to be 'the last hope' left for it. Popular browsers block Flash-related content without considering its type - advertising or game. Adobe has showed the world that even a community of Flash-faithful users is not enough to continue its existence. According to their recent announcement, Adobe is now decided to pay more attention in HTML5 and become an expert in that field. 


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