Html5 vs Flash, from being a sanctuary of multimedia for gaming to fading into the background as an alternative to HTML5, what happened that inverted the world for Flash? Why is Adobe Flash player retiring from the place it completely ruled? We would be discussing all of that and more in this blog relating to the ‘game changing’ versions of HTML5 games and Flash Games.
In a conference in San Diego, Google’s Director of engineering revealed that the number of people viewing chrome via Flash has made a tremendous fall in just four years. It has decreased from 80% in 2014, to even less than 8% in 2018. What caused this disruption? First, we should know a little more about Flash. Understand the background to analyse its fall in demand in the market.
The era of Flash
Flash was developed to be a vector-based drawing program, which was later recreated into a vector based animation program, a close contender to Macromedia’s Shockwave player. In 1996, ‘FutureSplash’, as it was called earlier, was purchased by Macromedia and transformed it into a full featured web application tool. It’s downloading size and its powerful outreach against its size was the prime feature that attracted most developers to embrace it as the preferred browser plugin.
In 2005, when Adobe purchased Macromedia and its whole line of products, it made significant changes in the scripting abilities of the software and also added 3D support. Soon after, they developed ‘Adobe AIR’ in 2008 that constituted extraordinary gaming abilities, unmatched by any other at that time and it received enormous success. What happened next was almost tragic.
The fall of Flash
The coming years were tough for Flash to survive, as it was the rise of smartphones with Android and Apple competing against each other to grab the market presence. In 2010, Steve Jobs hurled away Flash from being used in IOS devices and because the market was brimming with the welcoming of Apple devices, developers also moved away from flash to create apps and games suitable for Apple devices. In 2011, Adobe also pulled away from Flash and ensured that there are no associations made to develop Flash player on mobiles, which used to be the marketing advantage of Android over Apple. Gradually no developer was interested in taking up Flash as a platform.
What were the demerits of Flash?
There were certain demerits that could not be overlooked for Flash. At present very limited websites use Flash, which are either dormant and never been updated or simply dead. So, what are the disadvantages that Flash puts us in while playing web games?
- Plugins– You need to install the Flash player plugin. If you have an outdated version then you need to update your Flash player. This is a rather time consuming and irrelevant part just to play a game over a website. Also, there are newer technologies that do not require a third-party plugin, thus reducing it to a baggage.
- Security- This can be the major reason why people felt threatened to use Flash. To run a flash file, it has to run its own memory within the web browser application and it was no longer secure, for hackers could skip the memory pedal and take control of your entire system. It was a gaping direct flaw that couldn’t be fixed.
- Smartphone Compliance- When the entire world is scrolling on smartphones, you just can’t leave as an exception. Most smartphones cannot learn Flash and they simply do not display flash websites or web games. Almost all video content is available in modern H264 format and Flash is now redundant.
- HTML5- With the launch of HTML5, in 2014 there is no coming back for Flash. In fact, it is created to enable multimedia playback minus the plugins and extensions. It uses its native capabilities to play a video and that was a major feature that excluded Flash from the race.
Html5 vs Flash: HTML5 is the Game changer
HTML5 was first launched in 2008 and later came after a vital transformation as a brand new markup language for scripting with its relaunch in October 2014. It is used to make complex effects and animation for websites and smartphones without any plugins which was why Flash was used. Here after the real combat begins Html5 vs Flash. The advancement in technology has made a space for HTML5 to be adopted by developers. However, let’s find out why is HTML5 game development preferred over Flash?
- Accessibility- It is devised to provide cross-browser accessibility. So, it can run in any web browser like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge etc. This easily gives an upper hand to developers on functional flexibility. In addition to that, the Cache Manifest technique of HTML5 allows games to store data in the cache.
- Cross Platform Support- It enables developers to create games easily for multiple-platforms, devices, operating systems etc. by providing an opportunity to create engaging games irrespective of its resolution, screen size and requirements.
- Real-time Updates- HTML5 facilitates real time updates of games and features. Having a single code base, the game is automatically updated and configured. It is then sent across various platforms and gamers get to experience the latest version.
- Easy Sharing- For gamers, the most important aspect is variety, along with quality, and HTML5 ticks all those criteria. All they need to do is share a link of the game to be played with their companions and it can be played by all.
- Backed up by Technology- HTML5 is also preferred because of its versatility of complying with various libraries and frameworks to create better games with 2D and 3D graphics. It is used by developers to create attractive gaming environments efficiently and easily.
These were the additional features that HTML5 games provided to its users. It can be said that the emergence of HTML5 put Flash on the back seat but there can be no comparison that can be made between the two. The contribution to the legacy of games developed on flash would always be remembered in the history of the internet. If you wish to play flash games even after its shut down in 2020, here is a way you can do that.
As of now, HTML5 is the present of game development and it is flourishing with no shackles. How it is going to frame the future of the gaming industry, can be read at How Does Advent of HTML5 Games are Boon to the Today’s Gaming Industry.