Feeds

Another blow for Flash as Unity gaming engine kills support

Says Adobe 'eroded developers' trust'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Unity Technologies has announced that it has dropped support for Adobe Flash from its cross-platform Unity game development toolset, citing the declining popularity of the technology among developers and inconsistent support from Adobe.

"As of today, we will stop selling Flash deployment licenses," Unity founder and CEO David Helgason wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. "We will continue to support our existing Flash customers throughout the 4.x cycle."

Unity first announced that it was collaborating with Adobe to build a Flash publishing add-on for its platform in March 2012.

Around the same time, Adobe announced a revenue-sharing model for Flash content, in which Flash developers who took advantage of "premium" hardware-accelerated gaming APIs would have to pay Adobe a 9 per cent royalty, but only after their apps had earned $50,000 in revenue.

At the time, Unity saw the proposed royalty model as a positive development, comparing it to how app store operators such as Apple and Google also take a cut of developers' proceeds.

But game developers were less sanguine about the move, with many arguing that the 9 per cent fee would cut into their already-thin margins.

"Honestly, Adobe just killed the idea of making 3D flash games, especially for independent game developers that don't make that much money that they can afford paying Adobe taxes," game developer Nicolas Cannasse wrote in a March 2012 blog post.

Adobe eventually bowed to such complaints, and as of January 2013 there are no longer any APIs in the Flash Player that require royalty payments. But the way Unity sees it, the whole debacle did irreparable harm to the platform.

"By introducing, and then abandoning, a revenue sharing model, Adobe eroded developers' (and our) trust in Flash as a dependable, continuously improving platform," Helgason wrote.

Furthermore, Helgason said, Unity doesn't believe Adobe is truly committed to the future development of Flash. The Photoshop maker has been transferring developers off Flash to work on other projects, he said, despite recent versions of the Flash Player being unstable.

That, and the platform just isn't as popular as it once was.

"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," Helgason wrote, referring to the company's browser plugin for Windows and Mac OS X that enables accelerated 3D graphics for web-based games.

Doomsayers have been predicting the death of Flash since even before the late Steve Jobs famously banned it from Apple's iOS platform. But for as prominent a toolmaker as Unity to abandon the technology will surely deal it a heavy blow, given that Adobe has said that games are one of the key areas of focus for its Flash efforts.

While Unity will no longer support Flash development, however, Helgason said the company will continue its efforts to allow developers to bring high-end content to the web, both via the Unity Web Player and through other means.

"Work is also underway behind the scenes on an exciting new Unity web publishing initiative that we can't wait to tell you about," Helgason said. "We'll be providing more details of this soon."

Adobe did not immediately respond to The Reg's requests for comment. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.