Adobe to end Flash support in 2020

After 21 years, Adobe is winding down Flash support. Here's what game developers with Flash-friendly projects need to know before that process is complete.

Adobe has announced plans to end support for its once ubiquitous plugin Flash, and detailed the steps other major technology leaders are taking to ferry Flash devs toward other open standards before the plug is officially pulled. 

Adobe says it plans to stop updating and distributing Flash by the end of 2020. But while developers working with Flash have ample time to ween their projects off of the plugin, it's worth noting that there are a number of small-scale changes coming ahead of that date that the development community should also be aware of.

For one Adobe says it is eyeing ways to "move more aggressively to end of life Flash" in certain locations where unlicensed, outdated, and largely less secure versions of its player are widely distributed.

Many browsers like Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari are preparing to slowly phase out Flash ahead of the 2020 deadline to ease the transition as well. In many cases, this means users will be asked if they want to load Flash-based objects on a website more and more frequently.

Google, for instance, plans to start prompting users for permission to load Flash more often and will eventually disable the plugin for users that continuously decline. Likewise, Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla have each announced their own timelines for ending Flash support in the coming years. Details on those plans can be found in full on each company’s blog. 

With Flash fluent game developers in mind, Facebook has released its own blog post detailing how those with games on its web-based platform can migrate projects from Flash to HTML5. Flash games will continue to function on Facebook until that 2020 expiration date, but the company has shared a batch of resources developers can use to migrate their games in the coming years.

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