Why Unity isn’t the new Flash (yet)

Flash vs. Unity

Flash vs. Unity

Unity yesterday released Android and iOS addons for free making itself cheaper development tool than Flash. This will be great hook for new mobile game developers which do not have Flash CS6 yet.

Unity also dropped Flash deployment addon justifying it by saying that Adobe isn’t committed to the future development of Flash. I think it’s because they feel that Unity Web Player can compete with Flash Player – So why would they support their competition? They even said that in their blogpost:

Uptake of the Unity Web Player is growing exponentially, and, given its increasing popularity amongst Facebook gamers and new Facebook-friendly features, we expect this trend to continue over the coming year. All Unity users can publish content to the Web Player.

If that’s the case, it’s quite Apple style and I don’t want to work with tool made by people who want to defile their competition just because it’s good for business. But Unity might be right, and Adobe really isn’t committed to the future development of Flash. It surely looks like Adobe would rather recreate Flash to HTML5 creating tool. In that case:

Unity would be my No.1, but this is why it isn’t the new Flash (yet):

  • Unity Web Player penetration grows fast, but it’s still just a fragment of Flash Player and it can never get that high (It’s just for games – I don’t see any Unity Web Player in requirements to play YouTube video). This means:
      • Players will have to install Unity Web Player on every computer they want to use for playing web games. In schools, jobs and so on. Also that’s not possible sometimes.
      • Sponsors are not interested in Unity web games, because the reach is lower.
  • There is only external links which open in pop-up window or in current window – Which totaly ruins the distribution and make it non attractive for publishers, therefore it’s much less sponsorable (In branding-based model). Also the players are used to check sponsor portals in new window, so they will find this really unpleasant – especially when it suddenly stops their gameplay. (That’s the only reason why I did not published Motor Wars on NotSoCasual (Edit: Motor Wars 2 are now published even though it opens links in the same window)
  • Unity style preloader should be space where sponsors can advertise their portal
  • Casual gamers prefer casual 2D graphics and it’s easier to make it (game and graphics) in Flash than Unity3D
  • You can open five flash games in five tabs and you will (probably) not notice any performance difference (unless these games are using wmode=direct)                                  - Try that with Unity games.

Growth of Unity Web Player – cumulative installs in millions

Unity web player growth

Source: http://unity3d.com/company/public-relations/

So what do you think? Who wins the Unity vs. Flash fight? What’s your pros and cons?