The Impact of the Flash Player Unpublish Announcement on Android Video Delivery

As announced last fall, although Flash Player for the Android mobile browser will not receive any further version updates, it remained available in the Google Play Store. This week we announced Flash Player for the mobile browser will be unpublished from the Google Play Store.

Does this mean Adobe is not committed to video on mobile devices? Absolutely not. We continue to innovate and solve mobile video fragmentation challenges. Specifically, on Android, we solve this with Adobe AIR, with high-end video features such as Adobe Access DRM, and frequent new releases with new video features. In addition, we introduced “Project Primetime”, focusing on solving video fragmentation and monetization challenges across desktop, mobile and digital home.

We made the decision to discontinue support for Android mobile browser because of two reasons: 1) Premium experiences on mobile devices are typically being delivered through apps and 2) Mobile websites mostly rely on HTML5 based video delivery.

What does the mean for you if you use Flash Player on Android for mobile browser video delivery? First, existing users can continue use as is. Android market unpublish does not mean Flash Player will be uninstalled from devices. Devices with Flash Player already installed will continue to receive security updates. Second, you should develop a migration plan. New users will not be able to download Flash Player and install to their mobile browser.

Adobe’s solution for video delivery to mobile devices is centered on enabling apps. As an immediate future-proof migration path, Adobe AIR provides the same advanced Flash based video features, which means no changes to your content protection or video delivery infrastructure. AIR enables advanced video features for playback on Android 2.2+ devices, including Adobe Access DRM, live support, and adaptive streaming. Adobe is fully committed to further develop and support Adobe AIR on Android. Adobe AIR does not rely on the in-browser Flash Player and is not impacted by the unpublish change.  Popular AIR video application examples include WatchESPN, iTV, and Snagfilms.

To learn more about Adobe AIR based video delivery, read the Adobe AIR mobile video delivery guide.

(Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.)

Adobe Introduces Premium Features for Gaming with Flash Player 11.2; Announces Collaboration with Unity Technologies

Gaming is experiencing an unprecedented period of innovation and growth, with online and mobile gaming attracting new users, enabling innovative game play and driving new business and distribution models. Social and casual games on the Web are fueling global growth in gaming, with worldwide social gaming projected to grow from $4.94B in 2011 to $8.64B in 2014 according to the Casual Games Association. With unparalleled reach to over 1.3 billion PCs, Adobe Flash Player is a catalyst for this growth by providing a consistent, powerful, and innovative gaming platform – the game console for the Web. Adobe is investing in Flash technologies for gaming, allowing developers to deliver console quality games across browsers and devices. We are investing not only in improving game development, but also in new features and services for game developers to help them reach new markets and build successful gaming businesses.

Today we’re announcing premium features for gaming with Flash Player 11.2. These will allow game developers to publish advanced games with console quality experiences to Flash Player. We’re also excited to announce that we are collaborating with Unity Technologies to enable Unity customers to publish web-based 3D games, like Madfinger’s Shadowgun, to Flash Player using the premium features from directly within Unity’s tools.

Rich online and social gaming experiences are attracting consumers from traditional consoles to the Web, creating opportunities for developers to introduce new genres and types of game play. Game developers are also committed to increasing production values for their online games by tapping into a broad ecosystem of game development tools. Adobe is enabling third party tools and gaming middleware partners, like Unity, to target Flash Player by taking advantage of premium gaming features designed to enable console quality playback of the most advanced games. In addition to premium features, we’ll also be working closely with Unity to integrate future Adobe Digital Marketing services for game developers into the Unity tools to help them more easily build successful gaming businesses.

Premium feature APIs in Flash Player 11.2 will benefit graphically demanding games by giving developers access to hardware accelerated graphics rendering in combination with domain memory, which is used by C/C++ cross compilers such as Codename “Alchemy“. Developers can use the premium features to publish games for Flash Player across PC browsers and as natively packaged mobile apps using Adobe AIR for distribution through the Apple iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore for Android and other mobile app markets. Many great games are not expected to require these premium features, and will rely only on the rich core platform capabilities of Flash Player. We will continue to advance the core platform as well as introduce new and exciting premium features and services to provide a foundation that allows any game developer to deliver rich games and experiences more easily to more people than any other platform.

With today’s release of Flash Player 11.2, we are making premium features available free of charge for content published prior to August 1. Starting August 1, these features will be licensed for commercial use, and there is no charge for the first $50K in application revenues. The use of premium features within Adobe AIR, including for mobile applications for iOS and Android, will be royalty free.

We’ve designed this pricing to encourage the kind of innovation and experimentation that often helps to spark inspired and inventive games. This also enables us to invest in and support innovation in Flash technologies that will benefit the ecosystem of popular game middleware and development tools, beyond Adobe’s first party tools. For more details about Adobe’s licensing program and premium features, visit www.adobe.com/go/fpl.

Every day millions of users enjoy popular online games through Flash Player, such as Rovio’s Angry Birds, Zynga’s Farmville and EA’s Sims Social on Facebook, along with Gamegoo’s Qi-Xiong Hegemony, one of China’s top ten online games. And we’re already seeing some great AIR games that use the new Stage3D capabilities of AIR 3.2 appearing in markets, such as Winter on Whale Island, Rivers of Olympus, Spaced Away and ApexVJ. Games continuously push technology boundaries, and Flash technologies allow Adobe to deliver new capabilities faster and make innovative features instantly accessible to more users than any other technology. Today we’re also detailing how developers can realize these benefits with the releases of Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2. We expect to see games continue to push the boundaries of the Web and mobile and Adobe will be there to innovate and deliver technologies and services that enable developers, publishers and our partners to create and distribute amazing experiences to their users, regardless of genre, platform or location.

Visit gaming.adobe.com to get the latest gaming information and to see a showcase of the latest games built using Adobe technologies.

What our partners are saying:

“We’re thrilled to offer the 260,000 active developers making great games and applications with Unity the opportunity to take advantage of the unprecedented reach of Adobe Flash Player across all major desktop browsers on more than a billion PCs,” said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. “Unity developers will be able to take advantage of the stunning performance offered by the addition of hardware accelerated graphics rendering through Stage3D in Flash Player.”

“Kabam pioneered and continues to lead the way in the development of free-to-play, MMO-style social strategy and RPG games for the core audience, so we’re very excited with the tools Adobe is bringing to browser-based games,” said Kevin Chou, CEO and Co-founder of Kabam. “We rely on Flash Player’s enormous installed consumer base to reach legions of core gamers, and the outstanding fidelity levels achievable with Stage 3D acceleration means we can deliver the kind of immersive game experience our gamers want and deserve. That’s what we live for as a company. You’ll see this technology and enhanced game quality this year in our upcoming slate of high performance, next gen games.”

“As the leader in competitive online strategy and combat games, KIXEYE is always on the hunt for new tools that will allow us to continue to deliver the most fun and mind-blowing browser-based game experiences on the planet,” said Will Harbin, CEO of KIXEYE.  “Flash Player and Alchemy 2 will help us ensure that our highly performant, hyper-accessible games operate flawlessly in stunning 3D. We plan to utilize the technology’s full capabilities in our line-up of next generation RPG titles scheduled to launch this fall.”

“As a multiplatform and leading Flash developer, we’ve never seen a greater opportunity to produce high-caliber games – on the Web and on Facebook – that are artistically and technically outstanding,” said Steve Couture, CEO of Frima Studio. “With more than a billion installs, no other technology comes close to Flash’s reach and performance capabilities. We look forward to utilizing this technology to bring gamers a level of quality and performance that they have never seen before in browser based games.”

Learn more about the exciting new features and capabilities introduced today in Adobe AIR 3.2 and Flash Player 11.2.


Gamegoo Improves Web Based Gaming with Adobe Flash Player 11

The Chinese based development shop Gamegoo creates online games that take players to a fantasy land with its popular online games like “Might & Hero,” “Duel on Mount Hua,” and “Qi-Xiong Hegemony.”

Using Flash Player 11 and the Adobe Flash Platform , Gamegoo has created these highly popular and profitable Web games in China, attracting more than 1 million players daily. The key feature that the company used for to develop these games was Stage 3D, which provided Gamegoo with accelerated graphics and animation development. This allowed the company to providing gamers with enhanced 3D elements and a better gaming experience.  One of Gamegoo’s games, Qi-Xiong Hegemony, was developed with Flash Player 11 and has been a huge success China. Since it was released, it has brought in more than $780,000 each day and is now one of the top seven online games in China. To learn more about how Gamegoo used Adobe technologies to enhance the Web based gaming experience, read more here.

Tanki 2 and Stage 3D Streamroll Over the Competition

Video games provide you with the chance to be a fighter pilot, sharp shooter or warrior. With Tanki Online, the first, online multiplayer 3D action desktop game using Flash Player, you can be a pro on the battlefield and work with your team to destroy enemy tanks, help your team and build up your ammunition arsenal. More than four million people worldwide immerse themselves in this virtual battlefield.

AlternativaPlatform, a Russian based company that creates multiplayer browser games, created Tanki 2, the follow up to the popular Tanki Online,  with Flash Player 11, Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection components and Adobe Flash Builder, to create the 3D geometry and animation for the game. AternativaPlatform used Stage 3D to deliver Tanki Online as a cutting edge 3D experience for gamers. Stage 3D allowed AlternativaPlatform to create accelerated graphics and animation development, and create more realistic and smooth gameplay for Tanki Online.

To learn more about how Alternativa Platform used Adobe technologies for the best multiplayer, battlefield experience, read more here.

 

Live Talkback and the Flash Platform Bring a Live Studio Audience to You

As loud as we may shout at the TV watching sports or offer our own advice during a talk show, the people on the tube never hear our insights—until now. U.K. based interactive content developer, Live Talkback, used the Adobe Flash Platform  and Adobe Creative Suite  to engage U.K. audiences during broadcasts with live polling, allowing them to use their PCs and mobile devices to vote during live broadcasts.  Live Talkback displays those voting results in real-time, keeping viewers on top of the buzz before, during and after these live events. Live Talkback applications include a “Clapometer,” which uses PC and mobile phone microphones to measure audience noise during a show.

An Adobe MAX 2010 award finalist, Live Talkback uses Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Flash Player and the Flex framework because the technologies provide a flexible development environment and an easy integration process, allowing Live Talkback to create the polling tools in a fraction of the time and cost. Popular U.K. morning show, “This Morning,” and top soccer club, Liverpool FC, have used Live Talkback to engage with its audiences. “This Morning” received more than 57,000 live votes in a recent live broadcast segment. The company is looking forward to emerging in other markets, namely in the U.S.

To learn more about Live Talkback and how it used Adobe technologies to enhance audience engagement with live broadcasts, read more here and check out the video below.

 

EPIX and the Adobe Flash Platform Engage Movie Buffs Across Multiple Devices

Today’s technology savvy audiences want to experience content across multiple platforms and devices, and are beginning to move away from passive forms of entertainment—they want to participate and interact with others to shape their experience. EPIX—a multi-platform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand, and online service– teamed up with Adobe to bring current releases, classics, and original entertainment to all video platforms—linear TV, on demand, online, and mobile—while also encouraging social integration and sharing to reach the broadest audience possible.

With the Adobe Flash Platform, EPIX, a joint venture of Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM Studios, was given the necessary tools to create and carry out broadband authentication systems to over 30 million U.S. homes through its distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications, and Verizon FiOS with little to no development effort.

Using multiple Adobe technologies such as  Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash Media Server, Adobe Flex, Adobe Flash Builder, and Adobe Flash Player, EPIX delivers content beyond the Web by building a library of available movie titles, which are encoded for delivery to a specific platform across different devices like Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Boxee Box. One of the notable capabilities in EPIX is “Screening Room: Watch With Friends,” a feature that includes sharing capabilities allowing users to watch movies in a social event, turning the experience into a more into viral, interactive, and engaging gathering. The Screening Room is great for large-scale events like concerts on-demand to bring fans together.

Learn more about how EPIX how it provides premium HD content to its subscribers on devices everywhere here.

Flash Game License and the Adobe Flash Platform Match Game Development with Marketing Savvy

Creating games is the easy part for developers, but finding ways to make money from their games is challenging because of resources and limited marketing experience. Marketers, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have the expertise to develop games, but they need them to drive traffic online for their brands. FlashGameLicense.com (FGL), an online marketplace engineered by the Adobe Flash Platform, brings them together.

Created by two previous independent game developers, FGL offers Adobe Flash game developers a venue to post games and an opportunity for sponsors to shop for games to feature on their sites. Lucrative deals between companies such as ArmorGames, Disney, Kongregate, Microsoft, The Cartoon Network, Viacom (AddictingGames) and Yahoo and tens of thousands of independent developers have been brokered throughout the years.

The Adobe Flash Platform helps both groups reap the benefits. Adobe Flash Player’s reach helps companies and their developer partners ensure the widest reception and best performance across multiple platforms. Mentorship, centralized technical resources, peer review and analytics provided to developers guarantee that the best game possible goes live. The quality of the site and its games are such that 30 percent of FGL users come back and uniquely visit the site monthly.

FGL’s strength is allowing developers to focus on what they do best—creating games. For example, Berzerk Studios created the hit games, “Homerun in Berzerk Land” and “Gunbot,” leaving marketing and monetization to the FGL platform. The games, sponsored by SlixMedia, have received 15 million and 16 million plays respectively. The team’s also excited about future endeavors into multi-screen and multiplatform Flash game development. FGL encouraged former game hobbyist-turned-developer Ben Olding to release “Warlords: Call to Arms,” which has accumulated 121 million plays in less than two years and still enjoys about 50,000 plays a day.

Adobe is also proud to work with FGL to further mobile game development. Last year, Adobe sponsored FGL’s contest, “Cell Your Flash Game,” to encourage more mobile game development. The competition generated 260 submissions either built from scratch or ported to mobile from web, up from its original goal of 150 entries.

To learn more about how FGL works with the Flash Platform to effectively match independent developers and designers with sponsors to not only deliver the best game experiences but also effectively monetize them, visit here.

Frima Studio and the Adobe Flash Platform Bring Zombies to Life

Canadian-based game development firm Frima Studio boasts a client list that includes Electronic Arts, Warner Brother and Nickelodeon and a reputation for high-quality 3D games such as Zombie Tycoon, one of the original six games available in the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Mini. Looking to expand beyond the console, Frima Studio uses the Adobe Flash Platform to bring those same, engaging 3D experiences to the widest number of devices.

Zombie Tycoon is a single-player game in which zombie squads take over the world. The game is full of puzzle-filled cities, 360 degree animations, and skybox effects, which have delighted PSP Mini gamers for years. But to bring that same 3D experience to web gamers, Frima tapped Adobe Flash Player and Stage 3D APIs, a new method of 2D and 3D rendering in Flash Player.

The Frima team recognized a number of other advantages in the Flash Platform for its gamers.  Since Flash Player is everywhere—98 percent of the world’s Internet-connected computers—concerns about downloading a separate player to play these games are dispelled.

Using the Flex framework to build the tools to create the 3D apps, Adobe Flash Professional and Adobe Flash Builder to build the game UI menus and Adobe Photoshop CS5 to texturize images, developers reap the rewards too. Flash Player’s reach across screens worldwide offers developers greater monetization opportunities, particularly for Facebook games and free-to-play games. The new set of Stage 3D APIs, allows Frima developers, most of whom are ActionScript developers more versed in 2D game building, to easily create rich effects, texture and atmosphere in its games without sacrificing performance.

Frima is also very excited about its future 3D games for multiple device platforms using the Flash Platform. Learn more about how they engage a new gaming audience with immersive 3D experiences enabled by the Flash Platform here.

Shantanu Joins RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis on Stage at BlackBerry World

During RIM’s BlackBerry World developer conference, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Danny Winokur, Adobe’s VP of Flash Runtimes, discussed how our developer community has embraced the opportunity to create innovative apps for the PlayBook. Shantanu announced that a large majority of the 3,000 apps in App World today are AIR apps, including the new Facebook app, which was built using Creative Suite tools like Flash Builder.

Check out the presentation and the demos of Flash Player as well as the Adobe Reader and Reader’s Digest apps below.

Growing Momentum for Flash Player and AIR Across Devices

The industry continues to rapidly innovate, continuously introducing devices with new CPUs, graphics processors (GPUs), operating systems and browsers. We are excited by this progress and the new opportunities it provides for end users to enjoy increasingly rich experiences enabled by Flash Player and AIR on their favorite devices, including PCs, tablets, smartphones and TVs. Our work with more than 70 leading partners through the Open Screen Project has delivered Flash Player and/or AIR for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS, Google TV, and Samsung SmartTVs and Smart Blu-ray players, complementing our long-standing support for major desktop platforms.

With the new Creative Suite 5.5, including Flash Builder 4.5, millions of developers and designers are able to accelerate and simplify development of rich applications for the web and top mobile devices including Android smartphones and tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook and all versions of the iPhone and iPad. We anticipate that we will certify Flash Player on more than 40 smartphones and 50 tablets for release this year, bringing Flash Player smartphone installations to more than 130 million by year’s end. More than 200 million devices will support AIR applications by this same time.

We continue to work closely with our silicon, OS and browser partners to provide users with regular performance and feature enhancements that build on the latest device hardware and software updates across this vast array of devices. This cooperation is critical, as Flash Player and AIR deliver rich web experiences and mobile applications, including HD video and immersive gaming, through a reliance on each layer of the complex and evolving technology “stacks” that embody modern devices. As these stacks deliver new optimizations and support new capabilities, we will take advantage of them in ways that deliver value to both end users and content developers.

Today we are releasing Flash Player 10.2 for Android Honeycomb devices, available for download from Android Market. This final release will take advantage of Google’s enhancements in Android 3.1*, including hardware accelerated playback of 720p high-definition video referenced in our earlier blog post. Users of Android 3.0.1 will not experience these improvements until their devices receive the update to Android 3.1*. In addition, this Flash Player 10.2 release includes a security update addressing the Flash Player vulnerability announced on April 15th for all versions of Android.

Our plan moving forward is to continue delivering improvements in performance, quality, security and/or new features with each new release of Flash Player and AIR in accordance with our regular development schedule. Devices and software updates from our partners which introduce new technologies are being developed on varied schedules that are different from our own. Flash Player and/or AIR may not be optimized or supported on some of these devices until a subsequent release. We will continue to provide developers with access to pre-release features through early access programs on Adobe Labs so that they can test their content and provide us with feedback prior to final release.

*Blog post UPDATED on May 10, 2011 to reflect Adobe Flash Player 10.2 support for Android 3.1, announced at Google I/O.