Unity dropping Flash, says Adobe isn't 'firmly committed'

Unity is dropping Flash. The company explained the decision with some harsh criticism for Adobe for not being committed to the platform.


Unity has decided to stop selling Flash deployment licenses, the company announced today. Though it will continue to support Flash customers through the rest of the current cycle, it has decided that Adobe is not "firmly committed" to development on the platform.

The company blog explained the decision, peppered with criticism of Adobe. "We don't see Adobe being firmly committed to the future development of Flash," it stated. "This is evidenced by the cancellation of Flash Player Next, the instability of recent Flash Player versions and by Adobe’s workforce moving on to work on other projects. By introducing, and then abandoning, a revenue sharing model, Adobe eroded developers' (and our) trust in Flash as a dependable, continuously improving platform."

It states that Unity's own web player has gotten a lot of traction in the last 18 months, which helped make the decision to move away from Flash. It promises that it will keep the feature set throughout the 4.x cycle, with bug fixes, but doesn't plan to make "further significant investments" on the platform.

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  • reply
    April 24, 2013 5:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Unity dropping Flash, says Adobe isn't 'firmly committed'.

    Unity is dropping Flash. The company explained the decision with some harsh criticism for Adobe for not being committed to the platform.

    • reply
      April 24, 2013 5:22 PM

      It's a shame. Flash is a really simple environment to get a lot of the basics of game development learned. Actrionscript 3 and JAVA both use ECMA scripting structures and are thus very similar. While I won't say it's an ideal development platform (Flash and AS3 do have a fuck ton of inconsistencies) it is a good learning tool.

      Its place on the web is certainly dying but I think Adobe could have salvaged this if they put their mind to it.

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        April 24, 2013 5:42 PM

        Java != Javascript. Javascript is based on Ecmascript, Java isn't. That being said, a shame really. I'm no fan of Flash myself but the platform has its place. Too bad it's dying because of the personal hatred that of Steve Jobs.

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          April 24, 2013 6:29 PM

          Javascript is not very similar to AS3. However AS3 was very much modeled after Java. Their syntax and structure are almost identical.

          You are right though, JAVA does not adhere to ECMA standards. They withdrew their petition to.

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      April 24, 2013 5:24 PM

      Kind of sad that Steve Jobs died before Flash.

      Banning it from the iPhone should go down as one of the greatest tech decisions in history.

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        April 24, 2013 9:52 PM

        It's more of a shame he didn't die sooner. Maybe we could have avoided the whole episode if he had.

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      April 24, 2013 6:33 PM

      I don't know why Unity is all up in arms about this. Adobe has been stepping away from Flash and toward HTML5 since back in 2011. For a company that is not in the business of creating their own OS where they can accelerate their plugins all the way down to the kernel, trying to compete on what ar essentially Microsoft's terms just doesn't make sense. Adobe is smart to be encouraging and contributing to the standards-compliant route because in the end, they'll be able to deploy awesome products across the gamut of devices and operating systems, where their competitors will basically just be playing with themselves.

      Honestly, this is a good thing for Unity. If they take Adobe's lead and start leveraging the technology that so many other organizations are moving toward, they'll be in a far better position in the long run. Sure, target DirectX and whatever, but they will be better off if they embrace the eclectic community focusing on multi-vendor solutions.

      I'm probably in the minority, but I'm stoked as hell that Unreal 3 is ported to HTML5. It would be awesome if Unity would do the same thing.

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        April 24, 2013 6:46 PM

        I'm in the same book with TiTaN10K that Flash still has a place in this world despite its declining market. It's still a very simple platform to develop for and I stand by my statement that it's an excellent learning tool even though it's a dead end environment.

        HTML5/CSS with Javascript has very large learning curve if you want to get into the meat and bones of it and start making some really dynamic scripts. DOM is confusing as fuck at times when you are first learning. Especially when you are trying to juggle 3 scripting standards and error checking is relatively weak for all 3.

        I champion Flash as a learning environment because it's very simple to check for errors and its GUI combined with timeline control allows for some really simple shortcuts for animation control. You shouldn't be using Flash or timeline based movement in the long run but if you are just starting out, it's a good way to learn some principles while still getting results. From Flash I learned some pretty advanced things you wouldn't expect from the platform such as XML integration, parallax movement with Z depth, and event listening outside of the scopes of clicking elements. It certainly eased my migration to other environments when I knew what to look for and what results to expect.

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          April 24, 2013 7:15 PM

          I hear ya'. I cut my teeth in Flash, way back when Macromedia had just acquired FutureSplash, and that's when all you had was timeline animations and no listeners. If it weren't for Flash, I wouldn't have ever started writing code.

          However, I was young, the Web was barely born, IE vs Netscape was the raging holy war, and if you wanted interactivity, you pretty much had no alternatives. Since then I have changed my preferred OS, learned (and used!) some 25 programming languages, and have seen the software world move away from my-platform-must-dominate offensive development to embracing-standards-and-improve-everything cooperative development. And honestly, it's way better now.

          I'm not saying its perfect by any means, and Flash is not outright evil or anything. But I think it's had its run, and the next step is to make other platforms that allow the same learning but in a much more progressive direction. The good news is that this is coming.

          I'm pretty excited about Firefox OS, regardless of technical merits, because it's spurring a huge community effort toward creating just these tools and distributing them far and wide. I really believe that this and similar projects will create even more pedagogical opportunities for bugging programmers and designers, and that instead of divergent feature wars, we'll instead have many groups trying to be better at implementing the standards instead.

          And juggling the scripting standards... yeah, I'll give you that. But things have gotten so much better, and there are capable cross-platform libraries out there that are doing what Flash and AS have done and more. It'll only get better.

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            April 24, 2013 7:43 PM

            Oh without a doubt. Javascript and well.. just about everything else has more potential than Flash. I'm just saying at the entry level if one were to want to get into something like making games, a novice can start making some very dynamic things with AS3 and pick up on concepts like Object Oriented Programming with flash than Javascript and the DOM.

            Things that always have me pulling my hair to this day. Does script work? Fuck if I know, it runs, it's doing something but is there a syntax error somewhere in there? I will probably never know until there's the off chance I run into it doing something funny because the fucker is running now. Or it runs great here with all browsers, runs great on this other machine, then someone will send you the e-mail. It's fucked up here. WTF, what's different about your machine and/or browser? Do I have to drive 5 towns over to physically see it in action?

            Plugin environment is the user's bane but a developer's dream. It was for the most part consistent. 9 times out of 10, my little Flash sites and projects looked and behaved the same every time. I miss those days.

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      April 25, 2013 5:03 AM

      People keep mentioning Steve Jobs with Adobe Flash, but it was not Steve Jobs who killed Flash. Instead it was a mix between JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS which has a more native belonging in today's web browsers (including mobile).

      So, Steve Jobs may have said (loosely) I see can foresee that Flash is a dying fad and he just so happened to be correct.

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        April 25, 2013 7:17 AM

        The decision to not support Adobe Flash on the iPhone was the biggest blow to Adobe Flash.

        At the time of the initial release of the iPhone, Adobe Flash was the biggest memory hog and battery eater. But this didn't excuse latter releases of smart phones where Flash has improved its eficiency by later versions of Flash 10 while Canvas and other Javascript elements were just as bad with memory and battery consumption. Ultimately, the most compelling reason was because Adobe Flash would take a huge chunk off app store purchases.

        As for Javascript being native, while true, it doesn't mean that every Javascript element works well with mobile browsers. JQUERY itself sees a huge amount of functionality that simply refuses to work with mobile. Which is why they made JQUERY Lite. Flash attempted the same thing but ultimately Adobe just abandoned ship.

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