Posted March 28, 2012 by Phil in News

Adobe charging to use the Flash player??!? *Update*

I opened my Google reader this morning and was confronted with a few stories relating to this.

It seems someone at Adobe thinks it is a good idea to charge developers for using some of the “premium” features that the new Flash player offers in combination. This seems a very strange decision to me, to take a product that as far as I know has always been free, in a time when it’s struggling to continue as the premium platform for advanced interactive content (i.e games) and say to develops well to use these features in combination you have to pay? When you never have done in the past? You see even if the charge is warranted, and even if most developers never use those features in combination it’s just the notion of having to pay anything to use the Flash player tech that is going to be abhorrent to most developers, and just at the time when the Flash player is under attack from other tech, such as HTML5.

If they felt the need for this, I would of thought the better way to approach it was to come up with an entirely new brand, that way people feel they are getting something new and different for the charge, and not being charged for something they already use for free. Also by doing it that way they could of probably charged more for other things as well, instead of the current situation where every new charge (if there are any new charges that is) will be met by a negative outcry from the developer community.

Anyway the good news is that it doesn’t effect AIR 3.2, that stays free, and the link up with Unity is another good step.


Interesting comments here especially from some at the Flash player team.

Mar 28, 2012 at 19:56

Yes, no other existing feature will be turned premium.

Are there plans for additional features in the premium tier of capabilities?

Yes, Adobe plans to develop new premium capabilities, as well as the core platform features, to provide a foundation that allows any game developer to deliver rich games and experiences more easily to more people than any other platform. In order to continuously innovate and support gaming as the market evolves, Flash Player will provide key premium capabilities that will be delivered incrementally with each release. However, not all developers are expected to need premium capabilities to deliver great games and experiences on the web.

We are already planning premium features that enable “instant play” gaming experiences for content that relies on large assets which will be able to cache data using a local storage API. For content publishers looking for better branding and user acquisition, another planned new feature would allow apps to request if the user would like to create a shortcut on the desktop, task bar or start menu pointing to the application.

Adobe, from time to time, publishes a high level roadmap to provide guidance as well as insight into Adobe’s current thinking and plans around core functionality contained within Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR. Features will be designated as premium or part of the standard set of capabilities prior to the final release of the capability, and may be pre-announced through the roadmap, or during pre-release periods.


Right then, so this is just a first step as I suspected. The only way I can see this making any sense is if they offer a lot in return, i.e Flash Pro gets a big boost in some way, maybe a big cross over with Unity for 3D stuff. The other aspect about all of this is it’s all a bit of a mess, charging for a combination of some premium functions in the latest player, but only over $50k and then as other people have mentioned how will it be monitored? by looking at the dev’s financial accounts?!? It seems clear to me that perhaps an incremental approach to all of this from Adobe is not the way to go, instead why not launch a new brand, a “new” Flash player or platform even, which devs pay to use and offers a whole bunch of useful stuff for devs to make great games with, that way it’s cut and dried, maybe with a MTX’s API etc, basically go the Apple route.