If you frequently use the internet, then you may have noticed your web browser informing you that Adobe Flash Player will no longer be supported after December 2020. For something that has been in operation and functional for so long, Adobe has opted to remove Flash from its range of products, but there’s a bit of a problem with this. You see, many online casino games require Flash Player to successfully operate, having been built so as to utilise this service in the first place. Once the player stops being functional after December, what will happen to these games?
Furthermore, why is Adobe choosing to end this service anyway? And how have software developers been able to prepare for this eventuality? Will all casino games and other betting software be victims of the shut down? We’re going to be taking a look into the collection of Flash games that will find themselves no longer operational after December, and how developers are combatting this. What can you expect to experience once Flash Player is no longer supported?
The Decision Taken by Adobe
It was reported back in 2017 that Adobe had taken the decision to phase out its Flash Player plug-ins by the end of 2020. While the technology was considered to be one of the most widely used ways for people to view video clips and play interactive games online, it had also attracted widespread criticism from people, too. Flaws in its code had determined that hackers could utilise it as a way to infect other peoples’ computers, and so it suffered a huge drop in popularity during its later years.
The Apple brand was actually one of the most brutal critics of Flash Player, with Steve Jobs once writing a public letter about all of its downfalls. Within, Jobs highlighted relevant concerns of its reliability, security and performance. It was also due to this that plug-in was never supported by the brand’s iOS mobile devices.
Speaking of the decision to end those services, the Vice President of Product Development for Adobe, Govind Balakrishnan said that other technologies had now “matured enough and are capable enough” of providing viable alternatives, including the popular HTML5 rival technology. He was quick to note that fewer technologies had had quite such an impact on the internet age, though.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Barclay, who is an apps developer and worked on Flash in its early days, said that while the player did fulfil its promise, it didn’t really see the mobile device revolution coming. This, he said, is what has killed Flash Player in the end.
It was back in 2005 when Adobe got its hands on the Flash plug-in, following the purchase of Macromedia. At that time, the technology could be found on over 98% of personal computers. However, today, the player’s usage has fallen quite dramatically, with the Google Chrome web browser reporting astonishing figures. The most popular web browser of today said that in 2014, Flash Player was used by 80% of desktop users every day. Now, that figure is a measly 17% – although that is still around one in five people.
Google ultimately phased out full support of the Flash Player software towards the end of 2019. And while it will no longer be supported at all after December 2020, Mr Balakrishnan said that he does not believe it will have any negative effect on Adobe’s profits.
Now, the plan remains in place for all major web browsers to officially remove Adobe Flash Player on December 31 of this year. Microsoft will then proceed to remove it from the Windows operating system in January of 2021 via a Windows Update. A preview for the Windows 10 and 8.1 updates was revealed in October of 2020, without the Flash component installed on Internet Explorer.
Online Casino Games Utilising Flash Player
Throughout the years, it has become common knowledge within the online casino gaming world that many titles have utilised Flash Player. Most commonly found in slots, this allowed developers to incorporate better animations within their releases, thereby drawing more attention from prospective gamers. Some highly popular titles have been released over the years that have made use of Flash technology to power them.
These games include releases like Book of Ra, Book of Dead, Lucky Lady’s Charm and others. Table games have also been created utilising Flash, with a variety of blackjack, roulette and baccarat options providing players with entertaining titles, thanks to the plug-in. What happens to these games once browsers remove support for it at the end of the year? Well, the likelihood is that the same process will occur as what happened when technologies like Java and Silverlight plug-ins disappeared.
Games that have solely been created in the Flash format will completely disappear from online casinos on December 31 of this year. Those games in their Flash format will no longer be accessible by any means. Of course, software developers are much more on the ball than that and have been aware of the negativity surrounding Flash Player for some time now. Even before the announcement was made by Adobe that would result in the player’s closure, providers were designing games with other technology, so as to ensure their future longevity. As it happens, there aren’t many online websites that still use Flash Player, and we’d be surprised if any online developers of casino games still use it, too.
HTML5 Takes Over
While it’s true that flash games are quite an integral part of online casino gaming history, the future remains a positive one. Thanks to the introduction of technologies like HTML5, developers have been able to craft casino games with the same high-quality as they did with Flash, and even more. At the same time, many companies have opted to convert vast amounts of their former Flash games into HTML5 format, so that not only will they remain accessible in the future, but so that they can easily be incorporated into mobile casinos at the same time.
Adobe itself has invested in the HTML5 technology, first moving in such a direction back in 2015. And today, it remains adamant on pushing for this technology to be utilised as a strong alternative to Flash Player. Seeing the way that things were going with Flash, most companies opted to migrate over to HTML5 technology several years ago, and this will definitely have added to the decline in its usage over the past few years.
Likewise, online casinos took the decision to start offering mixed content at first, and then once Flash is removed altogether, they will solely be providing HTML5 content in their majority. Granted, this will have an impact on some of the games that have not been converted to this format, meaning that those Flash games will be lost forever. However, developers and casinos have been aware of the changes for some time now and have had ample time to prepare for Flash Player’s demise. Therefore, as a player, the only real change that you may witness is one of your favourite vintage casino games disappearing from your chosen platform.
What Is HTML5 and Why Is It Better Than Flash?
To put it in its official form, HTML5 is a markup language that is used for both structuring and presenting content on the internet. It is named as such because it is the fifth and latest major version of HTML that is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). HTML5 was first released in public-facing form in January of 2008, and then had a major update towards the end of 2014. Within HTML5, goals were set to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia and other new features as well as to keep that language easily readable by both humans and computers without having the rigidity of XHTML. It was also crafted so as to remain backward-compatible with older software.
What exactly does this mean for online casino games? Well, if you look at HTML in general, this is the standard and basic coding language, and it has become a go-to option for many industries. Because of the considerable increase in mobile gambling in recent years as well, operators of online casinos were quite swift in recognising that they needed to solve the problem of security that Flash Player was suffering with, and consequently, so were the games included in these sites.
It was due to this that HTML5 was crafted, with a particular aim on being utilised within the gambling industry. With its creation, it enabled users to enjoy mobile games without having any worries about being hacked by third-parties at any time. Online casinos could also be accessed via a web browser that was optimised for mobile phone users. In essence, HTML5 made instant play casino gaming much more accessible and secure.
With this being the case, online game developers took to creating their titles in HTML5 format so as to cater to both the online instant play casino sites and mobile platforms in one go. Certain advantages are brought to the forefront with the introduction of HTML5 games in comparison to Flash Player releases. For example, slots and other games that utilise the HTML5 format are known to have a much higher quality of graphics running through them. This can also be seen in full effect via smaller mobile screens, and it’s questionable whether or not Flash would have been able to provide the same sort of experience.
One other great feature of HTML5 though, is that players do not have to download the casino game lobby to their desktop. This is a major step forward, as not everybody wants to have a casino lobby on their desktop, with instant play gaming being much more of an appeal. HTML5 provided all the necessary technology to make this a possibility. And today, most online casinos provide their players with instant play gaming options instead of downloadable lobbies.
The likelihood is that mobile gaming will drive technology even further. Not only that, but with the dawn of virtual reality (VR) gambling, even HTML5 could have some competition on its hands in the next few years. Technology is always advancing, and this is clear from the takeover that HTML5 has experienced in the gambling scene. Obviously, this was great for the technology, but has caused the outright demise of Adobe Flash Player.
Casino Strategy To Cope With No More Flash
To put it bluntly, most online casinos won’t need to adjust anything at all. Most of them have been fully aware of the removal of Flash Player at the end of the year for a long time now, so they have gone through necessary preparations in order to be ready for it. The same is true of software developers, who have been rigorously creating and converting their games in the HTML5 format.
The vast majority of online slots and casino games will remain accessible. This is especially true of those coming from big-name developers, such as Netent and Yggdrasil. While it’s true that some of the older games may disappear altogether, if the developer of those games had wanted to keep them active, then they would have chosen to convert them to HTML5 format before now. So, if you suddenly see that one of your favourite classic games is no longer accessible and has disappeared completely, there is nothing that can be done about this. The developer of it has likely allowed it to fall by the wayside.
As a casino player though, you will be able to continue accessing your favourite online casino and playing games in instant play mode. So, you can continue on in the same way as you did before. As noted, the largest portion of games will remain available and accessible, so you can look forward to many continued hours of enjoyable gameplay.