January 21, 2020
Web games, animations, mobile apps, and videos; the Adobe Flash Player did it all for 25 years and its company finally decided to retire its services permanently in 2021. On December 3, 2005, the Flash Player was acquired by the company Adobe from a smaller known company, Macromedia. During its time, Adobe Flash Player was meant for creating websites, running web browsers, and inserting interactive media into those sites. It ruled the click and tap games in secret for ages and lots of people never recognized that. People have most likely used the Flash Player for many years and barely noticed it. It helped provide web browser gameplay and customization for more than two whole decades.
It ran on five operating systems (Android, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS ,etc) while a tiny white bar popped up on every browser screen that allowed it, begging for permission to let the Adobe Flash Player to be turned on. After the second week of January 2021, that white bar asking for permission was to be dethroned. In 2017, the company, Adobe, first shared news on their official website about the permanent closing down of Adobe Flash Player. In the notice, the player was described as “outdated” compared to the newer, fancier softwares that had better protection from viruses that could totally mess up a computer. With that notice, the world was given three years to prepare for the Adobe Flash Player’s downfall.
Many independent-made Flash games such as Happy Wheels and Bejeweled were suddenly put on a life countdown. These games had to find a way to convert to a new software and quickly. Games that kids played in your elementary school computer lab like the previously mentioned, Happy Wheels, and CoolMathGames’ Run, would either share the news of their conversion; or their death. Many people knew of the inevitable downfall of the web software and prepared swiftly.
With a quick search, desktop users can find nostalgic Flash games already converted to updated softwares like HTML5 on websites such as the Internet Archive, which features multiple archived internet games converted by several internet users. Some sites even hurried to provide links and tutorials on how to convert games all by yourself. Several Youtube videos announced news after news of Flash and it’s soon-to-be death.
In preparation for Flash’s demise, Adobe’s website, in December, shared an update that could remove the Flash Player in minutes. It provides a message that says a little thank you for using the software after all these years. In the third week, Adobe shared a final notice for the player’s blocking on all operating systems and Wikipedia had added the word ‘discontinued’ to the Flash Player’s page. Goodbye, Flash Player. You were the mold of internet browser design. The old royalty of silly little computer games and classwork procrastination.