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LIVE LONG AND PROSPER! – How Adobe could step up its game to make a living on the Gamemarket

No technology we are committing to is future-proof, if we can`t rely on people which will stand up to power-hungry companies and coming up with viable alternatives to monoculture

Game Trek - Showing Enterprise members as metaphors for Adobe products

PREFACE

This (Flash VS. HTML5) was never a discussion about standards or battery consumption or viral threats. It`s about whether game developers want to have a gated community with all the pros and cons that comes with it or if they want to conduct their business exploring new frontiers.

If it’s the nature of companies to accumulate power, the nature of people is to challenge that concept when values such as Freedom of speech or Equality before the law are threatened.

People, which stood behind Firefox when Microsoft threatened to take over the way we are browsing the web.

People, which stood behind Linux when Apple and Microsoft threatened to make the PC-market a twosome.

People behind Android, when Apple swallowed up the mobile device market.

People behind openoffice, when Microsoft wormed its way into every office on this globe.

People tend to love underdogs, because essentially every Person is one compared to a corporation.

(Weird, you should think since a company, which is made of people should somehow be able to maintain its humane core…)

THE ROOT OF THE MATTER

I´m not advocating a “NO BOUNDARIES”-argument here. I`m also not in favour of having no borders, no preselection that distributors apply to the vast space of gaming. I think for example Steam does a pretty good job of applying Quality restrictions on which games get on their platform and which not.

But in my opinion, when any distributor has the “unreasonable” power to make or break your game by changing the rules as he sees fit, that`s questionable.

First Apple banned some products from their devices, then when the products found a way to publish to iOS they banned certain tools which could be used to make products for their devices. Anybody who now switches to HTML5 because he feels safe by Apples current commitment to the technology should at least be suspicious. At the moment the app/HTML5 marketshare is 20/80 so the overwhelming flow of what their mobile devices display is in control of Apple, but should the coin flip, who gurantees that apple won`t tweak their mobile safari to ensure that it gets unusable for gaming?

Of course, some game developers might like to get slapped in the face, and some companies like Adobe might develop a stomach to swallow any bitter Pill Cupertino has in store for them, despite the balls they showed in prehistoric times…

GAME TREK

In the new rendition of Star Trek a short characterization of James T. Kirk might sound like this: An arrogant, self-absorbed, impulsive, not too bright Captain-wannabe, whose main quality is GTD (getting things done). Sounds a lot like Flash. Trekkies are willing to ignore this characters “faults” because he is a tumbler: he gets beaten but refuses to stay down, he cheats to make a point, he isn`t afraid to get his hands dirty.

It´s clear that Adobe already is one of the biggest “invisible” contributors to the gaming industry. Practically every AAA-game on the market uses Scaleform as an UI-tool or for Minigames, which is based on Flash technology. Thousands of assets, textures, concept arts and characters are prototyped and designed in Photoshop and Illustrator as I write this, thousands of gameguides are typed and prepared for publishing in InDesign and Acrobat. Trailers and Cutscenes are post-produced with After Effects. Projects like SNESBox show that Flash can also preserve gaming experiences, when the devices they were built for long have vanished from the market.

Adobe has a great crew for a real Gaming-Enterprise, except for one thing: some integrated Interface to the real 3D-Gamespace. There are certainly some contenders to the post: Away3D, Flare3D, Swift3D all have shown that you can integrate Flash with some serious Modeling- & Animationtools.

Since Stage3D it has also a ship with solid engines. The only thing preventing Kirk from taking really of is the absence of Spock.

If you give the game-development scene this Spock, you have yourself the foundation of a Creative Gaming Suite and I can rest assured that all the money I threw at you over the years was well invested.

A collage showing Steve Jobs with Romulanian tatoos

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