Unity 3D team dumps Flash for web gaming

Unity Technologies, the company behind the widely used Unity 3D game engine, has ditched Flash, arguing that it is unconvinced that Adobe's technology has any future in gaming. The company will stop selling Flash deployment licenses to developers immediately, though those who have already bought one will get support through the 4.x lifecycle of the add-on. Instead, Unity is working on a new web-publishing system, though the company isn't saying exactly what it is yet.

According to David Helgason, Unity's CEO and founder, the decision to abandon Flash is for several reasons, not least because the company doesn't believe Adobe's own heart is in it. Multiple members of the Flash team have been moved to other projects, Helgason points out, leaving recent releases unstable.

More importantly, perhaps, has been Adobe's decision to launch a revenue sharing model but then pull the plug on it, a move which "eroded developers' (and our) trust in Flash" the CEO says. The Unity Web Player has grown in "unprecedented" numbers, Helgason points out, while Flash publishing stagnates.

"We know that some of you have, like us, invested heavily in targeting Flash. We will do all we can to support you. We will keep the current Flash deployment feature set functioning throughout the Unity 4.x cycle, and will include bug fixes made in upcoming Unity 4.x iterations. We do not plan, however, to make further significant investments in deployment to the platform" David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies

One of the advantages of the Unity Web Player is its smooth integration with Facebook, Helgason says, in addition to teasing the company's new system. It's unclear at this stage whether it will use HTML5 and WebGL, current darlings of the web programming scene, though given their growing popularity it looks more than likely.