Flash Takes Another Step Towards Death As Unity Drops Support

Oh, Flash. Remember when there was still a little reason to believe that it wasn’t a dying medium? When the angry Android masses swore up and down that the absence of Flash would be the death of iOS… only for Adobe to kill their Android effort after just a year?

The shambling corpse of Flash takes another punch to the face today, with game engine Unity announcing plans to drop support.

For the unfamiliar, Unity is a pretty friggin’ awesome game development engine, used in releases like Rovio’s Bad Piggies, Temple Run 2, and a host of other games. I used it pretty heavily to build my Augmented Reality TARDIS project, as well.

One year ago, Unity began work on a feature that allowed developers to export their Unity projects to a Flash SWF file. While the company plans to keep Flash support around until the next major Unity release, the only work they’ll be putting into it moving forward is bug fixes.

Unity CEO David Helgason has a full post on his reasoning here, and his three-part logic is pretty straightforward:

  • Unity doesn’t see Adobe as being committed to Flash anymore
  • With things like mobile support and Adobe’s crazy Flash revenue sharing requirements being announced and then quickly abandoned, Developers have seemingly stopped trusting Flash
  • Developers seem to be moving away from Flash, so Unity would rather focus on improving their own web player, which has suddenly found its footing amongst Facebook developers

As you might expect, the comments on the Unity post have turned into a bit of a war zone, with much of the heat thrown by those who somehow haven’t moved on since the summer of 1999.

It’s been fun, Flash. We had some good times on Newgrounds back in the day. You’re still my favorite platform for video playback until HTML5 gets its W3C wings. But it’s sleep time soon, okay?