The Future of Flash

Hey guys, a lot of people ask me what I’m gonna do when Flash dies, and I’m making this post to clear up some confusion. What’s happening is that official support for the Flashplayer browser plug-in has ended, and browsers will block it completely, as it will be a security risk without any further updates. All this means is that browsers will not be able to run Flash files by default. (though I’m sure there’s a few browser extensions that will let you get around that. One that I keep hearing about, but have not personally used, is SuperNova SWF Enabler)

Flash is NOT dying. Adobe Animate (previously known as Flash Pro) is still a commonly used animation program, and you can still program games and apps with it. The programming features may eventually be dropped, but that has not been announced yet. The Flash file format (.swf) is also not going anywhere. These files will still run in Desktop and mobile Flashplayers, often through Adobe AIR, but there are other options. Windows is incredibly backwards compatible, and it will probably have no problem running Flash files for many more years, using any of the standalone Flashplayers that are out there. Adobe’s official one is the Flashplayer projector, which you can download from this page.

Newgrounds, Kongregate and Armor Games have not announced that they will be deleting any Flash files off their websites yet, and when they do, chances are they’ll back them up somewhere. At any rate, other people have already been doing that for a while. BlueMaxima has collected 60,000 Flash files that can be downloaded and run using their launcher.

On top of all that, many Flashplayer emulator projects are the works. Newgrounds is working on one called Ruffle – and it can run many ActionScript 2 games already, with plans to run ActionScript 3 games eventually. If you want to try it out, add “/format/flash?emulate=flash” to the end of a game URL on Newgrounds. These emulators even work on mobile devices, so you can test this on your phone right now if you want!

Here’s some of my old games running 99% accurately in it:
Epic Battle Fantasy 1The Kitten GameBrawl Royale
(Epic Battle Fantasy 3 doesn’t work yet)

Anyway, all of my old stuff will be up on Steam and Itch.io in a few months once the EBF Collection is done. The games will be getting quality-of-life updates, and new content in some cases! The collection will be installed as a launcher that opens DRM-free .swf files, much like how EBF5 runs right now. Even though the launcher is only for Windows, it’s easy to take the .swf files and run them on whatever platform you like. With a tiny bit of luck, they’ll easily survive a decade or more without any further updates from me.

A lot of old-school Flash developers are still using Flash in their game development pipeline. Tom Fulp and The Behemoth (Castle Crashers, Battleblock Theater, Nightmare Cops), Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel (Binding of Isaac, The End is Nigh, Mewgenics), Juicy Beast (Burito Byson), and more. These guys are still doing animation and some coding in Flash, and running it through their own custom made engines. Many old Flash games are also being re-released on new platforms, including Mardek, Swords and Sandals, Henry Stickmin, and probably many more.

All I’m saying is that Flash is very much still around, running in the background in a lot of subtle ways.

Adobe will finally kill Flash in 2020 - The Verge

7 thoughts on “The Future of Flash

  1. Jpx0999

    i wanted soo much for the HSC make a reference to the EBF series…
    because the henry stickmin collection do a LOT of reference to flash games
    but i found nothing….

    well.. it don´t matter

    GOOD NEWS

    FLASH INS´T DYING

    Reply
    1. Belyayev's Fox

      If you want to be particularly wishful, there’s a chance Flash games could make a comeback under the stewardship of Newgrounds and other Flash enthusiasts.

      Reply

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