Adobe announced what could be a monumental collaboration between Flash & Unity 3d. It’s getting serious folks! Adobe’s plan is to provide console quality games across browsers and devices.
Those are some big words and aspirations which are at the same time exciting for anyone in this industry. This news certainly opened my eyes.
I took some time to really check out Unity 3d. Being a basketball jones, I started playing a game called Basket Dudes. You can find it at http://www.basketdudes.com. If you want to just check out the graphics, check out this youtube video:
So, in the future, you can take a game like Basket Dudes and bring it into Flash? Now, that’s powerful! For all of us who have a vested interest in Flash games, this is good news. There have been tons of discussions online about Flash games vs. HTML5 games, and there is a following that’s running around and preaching that HTML5 will kill Flash, as we know it.
My take is that the casual/social gaming ecosystem is big enough for both to coexist. I do like the direction Flash is taking in trying to position themselves as a ‘console’ quality casual game platform/language. Working with enough Flash games and developers, I do know that Flash, as it stands, is more powerful than HTML5 but we shouldn’t discount HTML5. Again, I think we’ll see both take their natural position in this massive industry.
Let’s get back to what Adobe is talking about. Social and casual games are fueling global growth in gaming. Seems like the industry will grow to approximately $8.64B in 2014, almost doubling numbers from 2011. Nice, nice. I’ll take a chunk of that!
With the new version of Flash (11.2), developers can publish games that are more demanding graphically. There are premium features available allowing you to take a game and publish it on Flash and as a mobile app using Adobe AIR for distribution on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon App store (Android). Wait, that’s pretty sick when you think about it!
There’s a caveat! Adobe is going to charge developers 9% to use these premium features, IF, their game makes over $50k. People are calling it Flash tax. It will be interesting to see how Adobe manages this Flash tax.
I’ve worked with a number of enterprise software vendors in the IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle worlds. Royalties aren’t unheard of in the enterprise sectors, however, how is Adobe going to manage this?
I love Adobe, but are they going to send an Adobe police guy or something to your studio or house? There are alot of deals that go on in this industry primarily sponsorships which may be a challenge for Adobe to oversee. Only time will tell…
The good news is the industry is growing and the possibilities are becoming insane! A word of caution though, the mobile games environment is becoming saturated. The number of games and apps being uploaded to iTunes and Android stores on a weekly basis is ridiculous. On the Flash end, if you want to make money with a Flash game, you really have to come up with something innovative. However, the amount of revenue you can make these days with a successful release is more than decent. You can certainly make a respectable living. It’s all about creativity and innovation!
To sum it all up, I’m excited about the direction Flash games are taking. ~$9B in 2014? There are some dollars to be had! 3d / console quality in Flash, with the possibility to push to mobile, one word: wicked!