Flash has had a good run, but Adobe has confirmed that it’ll be terminating the decades-old multimedia software platform this year, on December 31. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who remembers the company’s initial announcement from July 2017, which listed a 2020 date for Flash’s dismissal, but the new end-of-life (EOL) statement published this week does serve to remind internet historians and data hoarders to finish (or begin) their backups of classic .swf content (e.g., Flash games on Newgrounds).
“As previously announced in July 2017, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player after December 31, 2020 (‘EOL Date’),” wrote Adobe. “We made this announcement in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – which issued complementary announcements with more technical detail on what the Flash Player EOL will mean for developers, enterprises, and consumers using their specific OS environments or browsers. ”
As to why Adobe is killing Flash, we can thank safer, open standards such as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly, which aren’t riddled with vulnerabilities and execution flaws. “Also, the major browser vendors are integrating these open standards into their browsers and deprecating most other plug-ins (like Adobe Flash Player),” added Adobe. “By announcing our business decision in 2017, with three years’ advance notice, we believed that would allow sufficient time for developers, designers, businesses, and other parties to migrate existing Flash content as needed to new, open standards.”
Those of you who want to enjoy Flash content in the future may want to grab the company’s Flash Player projector, a standalone executable that allows Flash content to be run outside of a web browser (thanks, Vaugus).