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Adobe brings high-end gaming to Flash, but at a nine per cent cost

by Alistair Lowe on 29 March 2012, 14:00

Tags: Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE)

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Two important changes took place in the world of internet apps recently. The first, was the wide-scale support of accelerated HTML5 Canvas and WebGL elements, the second, Adobe's announcement that it would no longer be supporting Mobile and Linux platforms.

With these important changes taken into account, there's less reason than ever before for developers to begin investing in Adobe's Flash Player.

To clarify this writer's point, the greatest advantage of Flash for mobiles, was that it worked on browsers that didn't support other plugins, enabling a media-rich experience, even on a portable device; an advantage which will now dissipate as mobile operating systems move forwards, losing support for Flash Player and spurring on development of the HTML5 standard.

Likewise, the latest editions of Flash focus on 3D acceleration, however, several game engines exist, along with their own web plugins and mobile executables, that, with thanks to Linux and through apps, mobile support, will inevitably reach more platforms and a wider consumer base. One advantage of Flash is that many browsers come pre-bundled with the plugin, however, installing a third party plugin these days is hardly a task worth mentioning and with WebGL and HTML5 Canvas capabilities pushing forwards, the world of plugin-free web engines isn't too far away.

Adobe Premium Feature Charges

This leaves us with the primary advantage behind Flash and 3D acceleration, which is that, up until now, the plugin has remained free, at least with thanks to third-party development tools. However, Adobe has announced plans to begin charging users that utilise both domain memory and hardware acceleration. Should a firm or individual begin to bring in a net revenue of £31,000 or greater, Adobe will begin to charge a nine per cent royalty.

We wonder, as well, how this royalty charge may affect users of game engines that offer web support through Flash, where, both domain memory and hardware acceleration will likely be in use; would a user have to pay royalties to both the engine provider and Adobe? Likewise, bearing in mind that revenue does not represent profit, with the high costs of advertising and hosting, the nine per cent toll could have quite the impact on some firms.

This writer honestly doesn't quite understand just what Adobe is thinking. If any of our readers care to set him straight, they are more than welcome.

A good example of an affordable, multi-platform engine as a flash alternative (also supports Flash!):

Some examples of the progress of HTML5 Canvas:

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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It's almost as though they're trying to dissuade people from continuing to develop and support flash!
I find this a bit confusing too. I work with flash day to day and can see its death unless it evolves. And I think gaming is the only place it has to go. Banners will die in favour of html5 ad's, rich experiences are more and more becoming reliant on javascript (whatever your preferred flavour), css3 and html5. Its place in the new web is getting smaller and smaller. So it needs to create itself a new avenue.

I have actually been playing around with a few of the 3D API's for Stage3D and they are very powerful. CS6 and AIR3.6 for mobile has terrific performance but Adobe has to make people WANT to use flash. Keep doing things like this then I just see more people defecting.

I am also curious to know how this model is going to work…unless you are working within a professional capacity, most CS software tends to be pirated and no registration is needed to run the software…so how do they plan on charging for royalties? It's not like they have the equivalent of an app store or google play as far as I am aware.

An interesting use of webGL
I'm definitely sticking with Unity for 3D engine game/simulation development. No royalties on that (and it outputs to Flash).
pity that game is a Ferrari!
Die Adobe