Adobe’s Flash is a central component of many modern games (especially those of the web-based variety), but Apple’s iOS devices don’t get along with the multimedia platform. The iPad and the iPad 2 don’t support Flash, and it’s unlikely Steve Jobs will budge with the iPad 3, as he regards Flash as cumbersome and outdated next to HTML 5.
But there is still enough of a functionality difference between Flash and HTML 5 that some developers would like to see Apple ease its stance and build devices that support Flash. Steve Couture, the CEO at Frima Studio, hopes that support will arrive with the iPad 3, which may be out as early as the end of 2011.
“The one feature we want to see in the iPad 3 more than anything else is Flash support,” Couture told media outlet IndustryGamers in a survey that asked developers what they wanted out of the iPad 3. “Even though we develop on iOS and are adjusting to HTML5 as an alternative, we still feel that Flash support is something the consumers and developers alike would want to have in our future iPads.”
Couture added that the iPad’s lack of Flash was “quite limiting,” and that the iPad could become “even more popular” than it already is if it let game developers utilize the platform.
Regardless of Jobs’ stance on Flash, there’s no doubt it’s still relevant: As Couture himself points out in his interview, Facebook’s social games are built on Flash. But as long as Jobs is involved with Apple, developers are going to have to make due with HTML 5. The lack of choice is disappointing, but as far as Apple sees it, developers do have a choice: “Take it or leave it.” The iPad is by far the most popular tablet device on the market, and any studio that wants to make a game for the machine simply has to abide by Apple’s rules.
But with Amazon’s Android-powered tablet on the horizon, some hefty competition might prompt a business like Apple to change its mind about restricting game developers to HTML 5. Things aren’t set to change on a dime, however. The iPad 3 won’t support Flash, but the inevitable iPad 4 might have a flashy surprise in store.
(iPad 3 concept from IndustryGamers)