This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication - Western Union memo, 1876
SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Adobe plans to charge Flash developers a nine per cent royalty should they make over $50,000 from a particular application.
Adobe's Flash programming language might be on the way out when it comes to video streaming thanks to HTML5, however the firm is repositioning the proprietary language for games development. The company has announced that developers who make use of its 'premium features' will have to pay a nine per cent royalty fee should their applications make more than $50,000.
Adobe claims that its Flash Player premium features allow games developers to reuse existing C and C++ code to work in a sandboxed environment within Flash Player. The firm tried to convince developers that its software will allow them to create "console quality experiences" on the web, but didn't mention the fact that it won't work on Apple's IOS devices.
Adobe's pricing scheme means no developer has to pay to use its premium services until August. After 1 August 2012, developers will require a license and on top of that Adobe will take a nine per cent cut on net revenue, which being fair to Adobe is less than Apple or Google take through their respective app stores.
The problem Adobe has is that its Flash Player has been banished from IOS and is unlikely to return. While Flash games will play on Android devices and on traditional PCs, games developers view Apple's IOS as arguably the most important market for their wares, so they will have to port code to work on both Apple's IOS and Adobe's Flash Player, while forking over two sets of royalties.
Adobe also faces the HTML5 threat in web gaming, as Mozilla pointed out. While Mozilla's HTML5 game was far from a current generation console experience, it served to highlight what can be done. By starting to charge for the most popular Flash applications, Adobe might be hammering another nail into Flash's coffin. µ
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