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Kongregate is shifting away from Flash gaming

No new games will be accepted

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Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

No more user-submitted video games can be added to Kongregate, the company announced Wednesday. The website as players knew it will change as the company shifts its focus toward “internal game development and acquisitions,” a spokesperson said in a statement to Polygon.

Kongregate launched in 2006 and has grown to include more than 120,000 games. It’s largely known for its web gaming portal, which allows users to play thousands of games for free. Developers, too, could upload their games to the platform, which made Kongregate a place to go to find weird and interesting games — many of which were made in Flash. In 2018, it expanded into retail sales with an indie-focused platform called Kartridge.

Adobe will drop Flash support at the end of the year. Kongregate and other Flash-heavy websites have been working on preserving their Flash titles — by converting to HTML5 or using emulators. Even then, though, Kongregate has to change. The company said its 128,000 current games will remain playable as normal, with developers able to update their titles. Social features, like some forums and chat rooms, will be closed. It listed details, which will go into effect “on or around July 22,” on its website:

• Chat rooms not associated with a particular game, including Badge-of-the-day chat rooms, will be closing.

• Many game-specific chat rooms will no longer be available, but some games (roughly 20) will continue to have chat.

• Certain non-gaming forums (Off Topic, Serious Discussion, The Arts, and Forum Games) will be removed from the site.

• Most other forums will be moved to a read-only state in which administrators can make announcements but players will not be able to post. This will not affect the forums for Animation Throwdown, Bit Heroes and other Kongregate-created games.

• Individuals wishing to create a new account will be required to verify their email address.

“To be more specific, we’re focused on our internal game development and acquisitions rather than our legacy flash gaming platform,” a Kongregate representative told Polygon. “As we outlined on our website, all of the current games on will remain playable, we are just not allowing any new games to be uploaded at this time.”

The representative also confirmed that Kongregate has made layoffs as a result of the restructuring. The statement continued:

Over the last few years, we have been transitioning our focus to better align with our strengths and the gaming industry as a whole. This year has been especially difficult for us, and the rest of the world, with COVID 19 affecting our business in a negative way and changing the overall games market. That’s why we had to take this unfortunate step to reshape our organization.

There are a number of games on Kongregate that remain playable only with Flash, however. We’ve reached out to the company to ask about the fate of those titles.

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