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Unity ending Flash support

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Unity Technologies, the company behind the Unity game engine, is dropping support for Adobe's Flash technology, it announced today.

The technology firm will stop selling Flash deployment licenses today, although it will continue to support existing Flash customers for the remainder of the Unity 4 cycle (the latest version of the engine is 4.1).

Unity cited what it sees as Adobe's waning investment in the Flash platform, a sharp turnaround from the two companies' announcement just over a year ago of a collaboration to help developers create and deliver Flash content with Unity.

"When we started working on a Flash deployment add-on some 18 months ago we had high hopes for the future of Flash as a gaming platform," said David Helgason, Unity Technologies co-founder and CEO, in a post on the company blog today. "Since then much has changed." Helgason went on to list three main reasons for Unity's decision to drop Flash.

"We don't see Adobe being firmly committed to the future development of Flash," he said, pointing out the cancellation of Flash Player "Next" as well as "the instability of recent Flash Player versions" and a shift of Adobe's employees away from Flash development. In addition, said Helgason, Adobe announced a revenue-sharing model in March 2012 but decided to drop it this past January, a decision that "eroded developers' (and our) trust in Flash as a dependable, continuously improving platform."

Helgason's third point was that Unity has noticed a marked movement by developers away from Flash at the same time it has seen "unprecedented growth" in the use of its own Unity Web Player. The company recently announced a relationship with Facebook amid increasing popularity of the web player on the platform, and Helgason said, "We expect this trend to continue over the coming year."

Lastly, Helgason teased an upcoming announcement of "an exciting new web publishing initiative."