Yesterday Adobe announced they will end support for the Flash player in 2020. This means they will no longer make updates or patches for playing Flash content in a web browser and the individual browsers are onboard with removing Flash completely by the end of 2020. This means you will have no way to view an SWF file in a modern browser going into 2021.
A lot of people get confused by what this means, so I wanted to clarify a few things:
1. Adobe will still support Adobe Animate, their re-branded version of Flash. You can still use it to make animation but you will share it in video format vs SWF. Most animators are already doing this. Just about every animation you watch on NG is now an MP4 loading in an HTML5 video player.
2. No, people don’t need animation software that exports animation in HTML5 format. We just need animation to be in video format. We created Swivel for this many years ago and it’s super popular.
4. The Audio Portal will be fine, with an HTML5 audio player.
5. The Art Portal has always been Flash-free.
A lot of people still don’t realize that NG has been transitioning away from Flash for many years now and 2020 won’t be as bumpy as some may think. The end of Flash won’t be the end of NG.
On the plus side, I got mentioned in NY Mag and was part of a Twitter Moment.
Some other things to note:
1. Flash was never the reason for bad advertising on the web, bad ad companies were. Most ads are now using HTML5 and the irony is they are larger files and often consume more resources than Flash did. We also have new problems, for example Flash-based ads were never able to steal focus from your browser and force the page to scroll back to the ad. HTML5 ads that do that have been cropping up on NG this past year and we have to chase them down. We’re also seeing more ads that do forced page redirects. This is why it’s a great idea to become a supporter, so you can browse NG ad-free and ultimately help us run less ads for everyone else.
2. Flash as a security threat was kind of a meme. Yes, Flash had vulnerabilities that needed to be patched and it was a bummer that it was a closed system. However your OS and your web browser also have vulnerabilities that get patched, as does all software. It became a popular thing to complain about but the reality is most people were getting their viruses and malware somewhere other than through an SWF file.
3. It really bothers me when people cheer the death of Flash. I totally get why it's time to move on but you shouldn't cheer the death of something that empowered so many people and brought so much joy to the web for 20+ years. I think it's a bandwagon that a lot of joyless people have jumped on, sorry if you're one of them.
Hope this clears up any confusion! If you appreciate our ongoing efforts around here, please become a supporter! For $3 a month you can browse ad free, get a ton of perks and contribute to the exciting future of NG.
In related news, this past week we unveiled Nightmare Cops at Comic-Con! This is the game I’ve been working on with @JohnnyUtah, @Spazkid and @Oney and it will be the first ever official Newgrounds game release for console and PC. It’s also the best game I've ever made and judging from the response at Comic-Con, it will contribute to keeping NG around for a good long time.
Check out the Behemoth Comic-Con Galleries: Preview Night, Day 1 & 2, Day 3, Day 4
You'll find never-before-seen pics of Nightmare Cops, along with our awesome Pit People arcade cabinets and the other cool games from the Friends of the Behemoth showcase: Salt & Sanctuary, Inversus, Rivals of Aether, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and Oxygen Not Included!
I’m still in San Diego for a few days, to participate in a Power-up! Inside Video Games panel featuring the Behemoth. Both Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid are on display at the Fleet Science center as part of a gaming history showcase. Our panel is Thursday night so come by and say hi if you’re in town! Bring some questions about game dev and we'll do our best to answer.