Unity has plotted out the end of its venerable Web Player browser game platform today in a public roadmap, while also promising to investigate alternative solutions for making old Unity Web Player games playable in modern browsers.
This is chiefly notable from a historian's perspective, as we've long known that Unity is switching gears to focus on generating browser games via its WebGL exporter as companies like Google and Microsoft remove support for the Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) from their browsers.
The Unity Web Player requires NPAPI support to work, so when Unity 5.4 launches next March it will no longer allow developers to export Unity Web Player games -- they'll have to use the WebGL exporter, which has different demands and limitations.
Looking ahead, this puts a boatload of Unity Web Player games published over the past decade at risk of becoming effectively unplayable as modern browsers phase out NPAPI support.
"Unity deeply understands the importance and historical relevance of Web Player powered games and keeping this back catalogue of games playable is something we care about," reads an excerpt of the above-mentioned company blog post. "We have formed a working group to investigate alternative technical solutions and will update the community as we progress."