The Future of Flash on Armor Games
Dear Armor Games Players,
Flash’s end-of-life is fast approaching in January of 2021. First, thank you for your years of dedication to the site and countless hours playing the best free web games over the past 15+ years. Second, we wanted to reassure all of you that we’ll continue to be a great place to play games with new games coming in each week and supporting our legacy Flash content as well as we can.
To provide some history, Adobe announced in 2017 that its Flash player and browser plugins would be end-of-life at the end of 2020. All of the major browsers soon followed in a coordinated effort outlining their plans to remove the Flash player from their browsers:
- Saying goodbye to Flash in Chrome
- Firefox Roadmap for Flash End-of-Life
- The End of an Era – Next Steps for Adobe Flash (IE11/Edge)
Armor Games currently offers over 3,700 Flash games dating back to 2007. In 2014, HTML5 games started to become more widely available and slowly began replacing Flash for web games. Here is a quick chart comparing the percentage of released Flash vs. HTML5 games on Armor Games over our site’s lifetime:
You may not have even noticed our new games are no longer Flash. HTML5 has continued to mature as a games technology, and we’re excited to see the future of this technology and the incredible games to come with it.
Given our large catalog of Flash games, we would like to continue to offer these games to our players as well as help preserve Flash games in general. Flash is an important medium for game developers and many developers have fond memories and experiences creating and publishing games using its technology. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any perfect solution or replacement for Adobe’s Flash player as of writing this post in December of 2020. Outlining some potential solutions and our thoughts on each of them:
- Converting games to HTML5 (or other technologies) – This can be an ideal solution but can’t be done in any mass or automated way, as it is expensive and time-consuming.
- Requiring a desktop application to play Flash content – We don’t believe in asking you to install third-party software to play web games is a great experience. Part of the joy of web games is the ease of dropping into games whenever and however you want, and we want to preserve that.
- Flash emulation in the browser – This is our final and most preferred solution. With all of today’s modern browsers supporting WebAssembly (a technology that enables high-performance applications to run safely on web pages), it is perfect for this task. While several emulation options are still in development, the ones we have explored currently support a small number of games and will continue to support more in the future.
We have always strived to deliver the best web games with a seamless experience. Given our research and play testing, we have decided to use Ruffle, an open-source Flash emulation project to continue offering as many Flash games as we can. Our Ruffle integration will not require installing any software or making changes to browser settings.
Games that do not work with Ruffle will be temporarily deactivated on January 12, 2021. We don’t see this deactivation as permanent, and we will continue to seek solutions that allow for in-browser, plugin-free ways for you to enjoy every one of your favorite games. The game pages themselves will remain live, as a way for you to post comments and talk about the games with friends. As soon as we have a solution to bring deactivated games back, we will.
If you have made a purchase in a Flash game using the Armor Games payment system since October 1, 2020, we welcome you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a full refund. We will mention that your purchases go directly to allowing us to continue to maintain the Armor Games website and also to the developers creating these games. Your support is always appreciated, but we will be happy to refund you for content that will not be playable in the near future. Any purchases you have on your account will remain, and will be accessible again when we are able to reactivate those respective games.
Again, thank you so much for being an amazing community and the best supporters of free games anywhere on the internet. The Armor Games website is not going anywhere and we continue to release new games every week. We look forward to continuing to game with you for a long time to come.
– The Armor Games Team