What does the Death of Flash Mean for Online Casino Games?
Ever since the earliest days of the internet, the software now known as Flash has been fundamental in how online media operates. Following decades of popularity, this software is now being phased out, and by the end of 2020, major browsers will have dropped support for the system permanently.
Taking a look back at the history of Flash, we want to examine how far it has come, and how its development affected the growth of browser games like those from online casinos. What does Flash’s death mean for the internet, and what will happen to the legacy it leaves behind?
Sketching a Future
What would eventually evolve into Flash was a program named SmartSketch. Launched in 1995, this vector drawing application originally started on systems running the PenPoint OS, but was ported to more popular operating systems when it failed to gain traction. After the addition of some key features including frame-by-frame animation, SmartSketch proved a hit. It was sold to Macromedia who changed its name to Macromedia Flash.
Flash immediately found ground among both amateur and professional users due to its then advanced features and user-friendly design. One of the first professional industries to adopt this technology was online casinos, which helped solidify faith in the system and what it could accomplish. Combined with the attention given with smaller games on websites like Newgrounds, Flash began its rise to superstardom.
The Feedback Loop
Once Flash was established on a basic level, the elements were in place for what would essentially become a self-sufficient pattern of evolution and growth. This was especially the case for bigger businesses, which online casinos had quickly become. The more work that digital casinos put into Flash, the more popular Flash became. The more popular Flash became, the more likely new online casinos were to use Flash. This pattern repeated, over and over, as the system came to dominate.
Casinos Abandon Flash
The problem as it existed with Flash came from its roots. The basic components of Flash were set more than 20 years ago, and this proved a limiting factor. Over time, advances in Flash and device hardware made the likes of online casino games ever more impressive, but the innermost core of the software had drawn a line as to the maximum evolution possible.
Eventually, the program became more trouble than it was worth, and this tipping point necessitated something new. Websites like online casinos begun a mass-exodus away from Flash, towards HTML5 and related newer technologies. These new systems offer far greater possibilities than traditional Flash, and with far better flexibility on different systems.
For an example of this, consider how you can now play casino roulette from your phone over an enormous range of devices, without the need for special software. Games like Penny Roulette, Quantum Roulette, and even Live Roulette games are now far more freely available over multiple devices thanks to this shift. With the last remnants of Flash now being phased out or rebuilt into new forms of software, the end has officially arrived.
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That is not to say that all Flash games will be lost forever, however. Most major games from online casinos have simply been ported over, still functionally the same, to HTML5. For others not in the online casino industry, there are efforts to both archive and emulate older titles, many of which have no hope of being rebuilt. Like Windows 95 or Mac OS 8, the legacy will remain, marking the ever-important path showing just how far we’ve come.