Saying Goodbye to Online Flash Games in 2021Dec 27, 2020 | 0 Votes by jose - rate Flash will no longer be supported by Adobe beyond 2020. It will no longer work with current Web browsers where Flash content will be blocked. This will no doubt affect millions of users worldwide!
During the early days of the WWW in the 1990's, there was a growing demand to create Dynamic content (animation, movement and videos) for web pages and sites. Unfortunately, the method of transmission was quite slow at the time as the bandwidth of the then current dial-up ISPs was not satisfactory enough to transmit animated data. As a go-around for this, engineers at FutureWave Software modified an application originally designed for drawing on tablet computers into a vector graphics animation app that allowed animated images to be sufficiently streamed through the then dial-up phone lines. They called it FutureSplash Animator which was then bought/transferred to MacroMedia and renamed as Flash.
Aside from becoming very popular and the backbone of animated content during the early decade of the WWW or Internet as we know it, the program has gone through a myriad of updates and was later again acquired by Adobe who published the app till today. However, it is unfortunate that after so many years (kind of two decades and a half), the app's immense popularity has continually waned and today, Flash has become a massive security risk.
Internet browsers, when surfing to a page, access info coming from multiple servers via links to the displayed main page. A browser has to maintain a level of security to make sure that data is not bleeded over to multiple servers that are not concerned with it. Add-ons and extras that run on the browser must also have ample security features to prevent any un-necessary leakage of data from server to server. Unfortunately, Adobe however has failed to secure and guarantee the safety of data when running Flash on the browser.
Online hackers use resources called exploit kits that take advantage of Flash for varied purposes of which one is online advertising. A more dangerous use of such resources would be to capture more sensitive information like passwords and personal data by this exploit applications that can be embedded on Flash Scripts or link codes running on a certain webpage or site. Adobe has to release updates to Flash (every now and then) to take care of this security issues. However, as the years went by, more and more exploit resources where released and discovered by hackers to counteract or subvert Adobe's security updates related to Flash.
These vulnerabilities can cause a lot of problems for the browsers and pose a massive security risk to the data of the users. Compared to other online apps, the quantity and risk of discovered vulnerabilities has (so to speak) maxed-out and probably too much for Adobe to handle at this point. These problem has caused almost all current browser companies to block Flash to prevent the spread of more damage from data leakage and sensitive information capture. Flash has become deadly to both users and the WWW itself.
Adobe has announced that it will no longer support and will take the necessary steps to terminate access to Flash content after Dec.31, 2020. This means that before the end of Jan. 2021, Flash Player will no longer be able to access Flash data online. This will affect millions of web users who rely on Flash on (their) websites for a number of purposes like graphical interactive media, application interfaces and of course the old and venerable Flash games which so many have played, enjoyed and come to love through the years.
This will mean that casual gamers who still love to play Adobe Flash based games will no longer be able to access them online through their current browsers. Also, with Adobe seeking to block Flash content, playing Flash games will no longer be that easy to do. However despite this having to say goodbye to Flash gaming in the normal way (via the browser) one can still access the games through other means. These alternatives may not be as easy and convenient to use but they will be available to gamers who are resolved to play Flash no matter what.
As of now, there are Flash dedicated sites like NewGrounds (which by the way, started the whole Flash game era) and BlueMaxima's Flashpoint Project. Both are dedicated to preserving Flash games which can be continued to be played beyond 2020 via download and running with their own dedicated apps. The Flash games will then have to be run off-line. There may be other sites as well doing their own share in preserving the Flash game era in as much as they can though Flash gaming will really never be as convenient as before. Installing the dedicated apps alone can bring up several issues with current anti-virus software which will have to be dealt with to be able to and continue enjoying these venerable games. However for many, in the mainstream WWW, the Flash game era is sadly coming to an end with a formal goodbye to an old friend.
Bye Bye Flash.