Unity & Flash update

March 28, 2012 in Technology


Lot’s of news around Flash today! Let’s get started:

We’re officially collaborating with Adobe to make Unity and Flash work great together
We are committed to building the best tool there is to create content for the Flash platform, and are doing it with Adobe’s support and blessing to make the best product possible. You can check out the latest Adobe blogpost about our collaboration and their push to bring high-quality 3D games to Flash.

Development is going great (and we’re hiring)
We’ve been amazed at the content that has been created with the public preview (which is part of Unity 3.5 which you can download today). We took the feedback we got from that and fixed a lot of bugs and added some much requested features (Asset Bundles, WWW support, and tons of optimizations and bug fixes). We’re working on getting a new build with these new features out there very soon and expect to ship a final version later this year.

Adobe announced a brand new licensing structure for Flash games
You should definitely read the details as Adobe explains them here: www.adobe.com/go/fpl and here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/premium-features-licensing-faq.html The short version is that Adobe is introducing a new revenue share licensing model where they will take a revenue share from some content publishers.

Adobe will charge publishers 9% of only the revenues directly caused by the game which exceed $50K.
If revenue is not directly caused by the game you pay nothing. i.e. An online teaser level for a iOS / Android game, a car company having a realtime 3d demo of their newest model which you can inspect and drive around, a 3d walkthrough for a library, etc, all would not pay the revenue share.

We see this as Flash positioning itself alongside other well known distribution channels: make money through the App Store, Apple takes a share. Make money through the Android Market place, Google takes a share. Make money through Flash, Adobe takes a share.

It’s also worth noting that the new Adobe license will prohibit scenarios where you’d have the first level of a game in the Flash Player, and the full experience inside the Unity Web Player. Alas, this is something you’ll need to be aware of if you were considering such a route.

Announcing pricing for Unity Flash add-on
We’re sticking with the add-on pricing model that has worked for us for years: Unity Flash Basic will cost $400 per developer, and Unity Flash Pro will cost $1500 per developer.

We are excited about what you’ll be able to do with Unity on the Flash platform and look forward to help you get the most out of it.

Comments (95)

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  1. Frederick

    June 18, 2012 at 11:09 am / 

    So, not only I have to pay $400 to publish for Flash, with less features than the normal player, and have to paid 9% of the revenue to Adobe?
    50k is something that I can only see achieve with online browser mmos, but then you targeting players that probably will want to install unity player.
    Maybe I am being too naive, but I can’t see a small company and even some big, planning that their casual game will achive 50k, even knowing that some games did.
    I always saw Unity 3D to a solution to Indie developers, but this is certanly not targeting them. I’m sad that we are back where we were before the port feature…

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  11. Jason

    May 29, 2012 at 5:43 am / 

    It is also important to note that Unity must also start testing these things for the next release of Unity 3D:

    – Destructible Geometry.
    – Interactive Fluid Surfaces.
    – Material Instancing.
    – Visual Script Editor.
    – Matinee style cinematic editor.
    – Normal Mapping for terrain.
    – Multi-texturing Shader.
    – Realtime Reflections (so without a render texture).
    – Voxel Clouds.
    – Underwater god rays and caustics.
    – Realtime Global illumination.
    – More realistic glass shader.
    – etc,etc,…

  12. Tax Brackets

    May 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm / 

    Republicans will only compromise’ if there’s a tax cut proferred. I don’t believe cutting tax rates has much to do with economic health, as long as the existing rates are reasonable and progressive. So I’ve been against them all along.

  13. Leonore Mauch

    May 28, 2012 at 5:13 am / 

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  14. Geoff

    May 28, 2012 at 2:36 am / 

    Just another tax

  15. Agen Bola

    May 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm / 

    great article.. its solving my problems.. thanks for that idea..
    starts updating my flash… thanks..

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  17. Jason

    May 21, 2012 at 3:39 am / 

    Nice.
    And don’t forget the interactive fluids surfaces and destructible geometry for the next unity 3D release.

  18. Air Proxy

    May 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm / 

    Hi, Thank for sharing this news !

  19. jon

    May 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm / 

    why waist time and resources on flash? am i missing something? HTML5 already killed flash on mobile. let flash die its slow death.

  20. MA

    April 20, 2012 at 7:07 am / 

    What do we need Flash for ? if i want my game on the web there is web player and it’s for free ,and flash is limited and there is no store for flash games ,and 1500$ for Flash pro will not sale ,because people can buy an android ,ios or PS3 or x Box License that will make money, when i first heard of Flash coming to unity I thought it’s gonna be free .but here’s my offer i will bay 0$ for Flash pro and 50$ for Flash Pro Pro Pro ,that will make the game for me .

  21. Vincent Pride

    April 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm / 

    This move is clearly targeted to developers producing games for Facebook and for flash portals like Kongregate, Newgrounds, Armor Games, Big Fish, etc.

    While you guys are complaining, there are lots of small details that should be taken into account:
    1) If you want to publish your 3D game on flash portal, you have no alternative but to publish in Stage3D API, since no flash portal besides Kongregate allows you to use Unity3D Web Player games, and Chrome’s NaCl won’t help either. But they all are still targeting 10 flash player, just FYI.
    2) Kongregate is cool, but it’s Unity portfolio is shamefully small and it seems nobody plays those games. Kong’s Javascript API for Unity Web Player isn’t quite there yet either. And of course, no sponsorship for you whatsoever.
    3) Facebook is rather good – it utilizes iFrame and has good Javascript API, but making Farms in 3D… really? Can’t wait to run terrain engine on these parsley and potato beds?

    Besides all that, if you’re developing fully fledged 3D browser game with dedicated budget, do not rely on sponsorship and have development cycle measured in months not in weeks – the advantages of 11.2 are really questionable for you.

  22. Allen

    April 9, 2012 at 8:32 am / 

    In the CarTutorialSection_1.pdf, on page 10, at line 15, actually “Add a Projector component to the Blob shadow projector (Component->Renderer->Projector)” is wrong. It turned out to be Add a Projector component to the Blob shadow projector (Component->Effects->Projector) is correct!
    Just a mistake. :-)

  23. Jason__Amstrad.

    April 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm / 

    — Dynamic Fluid Surfaces .
    — Destructible Geometry .

  24. Tomoprime

    April 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm / 

    I wouldn’t hold my breath with Flash. When HTML5 is native and browsers are going native without the need for a “you must download this plugin” nonsense what’s the point really? Games in the web browser is changing, it’s going native. Mobile web is also going native. The full desktop app experience is here. Can we please stop JavaScript ? LoL.

  25. Runtime

    April 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm / 

    At the very least, why can’t Unity work out a deal where content published with Unity/Flash pro is exempt from this foolishness, considering we’ll already be paying 1500 for the exporter? Without that, I have no intention of getting this.

    Since those fine fellows at Adobe are taking a swan dive down a cliff, Unity should use this as an opportunity to push their own web player to both devs and browser makers, especially since there is now an advantage for developers that even a fool can understand (“they want a cut of your money, we don’t!”). Assuming Unity themselves aren’t mulling going down this road in the future…

  26. ader

    April 2, 2012 at 4:26 am / 

    This is yet another nail in Flash’ coffin.

  27. RCrowe

    April 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm / 

    If I’m reading Lucas’ reply correctly, Unity will always require domain memory. I think that is a mistake, because it forces developers into paying the 9% revenue share whether they want to or not. Developers like me would view Unity much more favorably if we are allowed to choose at publish time whether or not to use domain memory. For many applications it is not necessary. My guess is that using domain memory makes it easier for Unity to publish to Flash, so there would be additional development required to support not using domain memory. If that means that we have to use it for now, but that Unity can commit to offering the option in a later release, then that would make me more comfortable investing in Unity.

  28. koblavi

    April 1, 2012 at 6:27 am / 

    I guess You devs at unity are happy about this adobe announcement cos wither way you win! Adobe had just given it’s users one more reason why they should port their games to the unity web player… Adobe just made your lives a lot easier! Adobe would not know what hit them when the unity web player becomes first choice for web games. Even current loyal flash devs will run to unity!!

    Cos really the Adobe player has only two clear advantages over unity’s web player: Ubiquity and Linux support. And guess what now we have NaCL, which just fills that gap quite nicely. All the best burring flash, Adobe.

    Find another pricing model adobe, cos this one is just going to kill flash.

  29. Ashkan

    April 1, 2012 at 12:51 am / 

    The heat about Flash and it’s %9 rev share closed our eyes guys. Flash export can be really useful in advergames and advertising apps scenarios as Lucas mentioned in the blog post. First of all we should say thank you to UT guys for developing such a great exporter with lots of effort.
    As Jashan said we all know that Flash is dead platform and will go away soon. MS silverlight might exist a little more however due to MS support and being available on many platforms including windows phone and symbian.
    So most of apps/games won’t hae to pay and i think if someone would like to build a great MMO in 3d then they’ll not going to use flash because with a fraction of that 9% they can due more ads and users are installing unity player with a good rate. When big point is using it and EA using it so for any big games it’s ok to use it. For small customers which want flash, We can go with that option if it worth.
    I don’t believe that it’s a good licensing option and model but it’s not important for me the only important thing is that UT can earn back what engineers spend on the exporter. It will allow us to have a good engine. oh and does flash support UDP for MMOs?
    The unity licensing model seems natural to me because exporting to NaCl and unity player did not take much time to develop and unity player is unity’s own platform. NaCl uses C++ and the engine is not rewritten for it but flash is different. a rewritten engine with AS and also UT should do this to protect their own web player platform and to motivate people to use unity’s platform instead of flash one. Think about that, if it was free you might publish much of your content in flash and it’s not good for unity player. Flash performance is less but it’s not that important for simple stuff. Really reasonable and acceptable, maybe because i love unity or am biased toward it or maybe because it’s the correct way to do it.

  30. Jarrad

    March 31, 2012 at 11:22 pm / 

    haha great april fools joke, really had me going there!

  31. Richard

    March 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm / 

    “none of this applies to creating AIR applications for the desktop or for mobile app stores. Use the Alchemy opcodes in conjunction with Stage3D as much as you want in AIR, license-free.” – http://www.leebrimelow.com/

    so it’s not as bad as it first sounds, it’s just the browser. still sucks though. adobe should just focus on revenue from tools. perhaps their deal with unity could have been to make this new flash exporter optional and sell it as a plugin.

  32. Jashan

    March 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm / 

    Thinking about it, I can understand Adobe doing that. The only advantage of using Flash export is the install base, and that’s what they’ll make you pay for. So, from their point of view, it makes a lot of sense – even though I completely don’t share their point of view ;-)

    But there is a very simple solution: Make the best games evvaarrr, and publish them only for the Unity Web player and, if you so wish for NaCl (or standalones, or iOS, or Android, or Wii, or Playstation or Xbox … or via Union … did I miss anything?) That will be much more effective than complaining because in the end, the users go where the content is – and I think by now we all know that Flash is a dieing platform, don’t we?

    For me, publishing to Flash is not an option because I simply don’t like Flash (or Adobe) and don’t see why I should support it. Especially not now that they are adding a tax on publishing to it. The nice thing about this particular kind of tax is that it’s really easy to opt out: Just don’t publish to Flash and you’re all good.

    That’s the first “small” Unity license I’m not going to buy immediately (“small” compared to the console stuff). If HTML5 ever becomes a feasible target platform for Unity – that would be something I’d be tremendously excited about (and a no-brainer for me to get yet another Pro license ;-) ).

    There’s one very funny irony here: I do have potential customers for whom plugin installations would be an issue. They do have Flash installed. But it will take many many years until they will have the Flash version that Unity content would run on. So, even though they do have Flash, it’s not the Flash that would ever run Unity content. And most likely, by the time they would finally get Flash 11, they won’t because HTML5 does everything they needed Flash for ;-)

    So they’ll either have to get the Unity Web Player or they’ll be getting Unity standalones. Flash is obsolete … but hopefully, creating Flash export for Unity will help eventually build HTML5-export into Unity so the time wasn’t wasted even if Flash dies.

  33. carlos santos

    March 31, 2012 at 9:20 am / 

    I have 100% shore that i will NOT buy the flash licence. I didn´t like what adobe did to macromeia some year ago and I´m not liking what their doing now with this non-sense licence. paying to use their virtual machine??…. no tks, and we have the unity web-player and the awesome native client in chrome.

  34. DeX

    March 31, 2012 at 9:07 am / 

    Is this a joke?

  35. pixnlove

    March 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm / 

    I am sorry but the player 11 still run at 5 frames/second on my PC where the unityweb player is running so smoothly for the same game.
    Sorry but flash development will not be for me I will stick with UnityWebPlayer

  36. Lucas Meijer

    March 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm / 

    @GL: Yes, I share some of those memories :-). The attractiveness of going for flashplayer deployment over the unity webplayer is the install base. if that’s worth paying for the adobe’s premium feature license, and our flash deployment addon is up to you. If it’s not, you can just target the unity web player, which would have lower initial cost.

    At the end of the day what we always try is to help you get on the platform of your choice. Which platform you choose is up to you.

  37. Guney Ozsan

    March 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm / 

    Adobe goes mafia style: “Wow you are making 50 grand, then you owe me.”

    This means success credits goes to Adobe but they don’t take the responsibility for the ones that doesn’t become successful?! Come on…

    If one making above 50k owes Adobe (for their tool) something, then they should pay %9 back to the developers who can’t make 50k.

  38. GL

    March 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm / 

    What if I make Game v. 1.0 and it makes 49K USD. Then, I’ll make 1.1 version – is this the same game still or it’s a new game? What if I name it differently (ie. Moloch Horridus and The Return of Moloch Horridus)? What if I just change the name and recompile with different music? Is this still the same game or 50K limit should be counted from zero?

    This pricing model isn’t very nice: I have to pay for Unity, then again for Flash exporter (did I understand it well?), then again for using Flash Player. Is the only difference that most people have FP not UnityPlayer?

    My feeling is that: guys at Unity, I really treat you as a nice, friendly company and I’d like to stay loyal customer. But don’t push me too much. There are always some other options… remember that. I have already bad memories using Macromedia/Adobe Director (which is now dead…), don’t you have the same, Lucas?

  39. RCrowe

    March 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm / 

    As I read the Adobe announcement, the 9% would only apply if the game uses the new “premium features”. So it would be great if that could be a publish option, a checkbox maybe, like “Use Flash Premium Features”. Right? Who’s with me?

  40. imRobert

    March 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm / 

    From the Adobe blog post :
    “With today’s release of Flash Player 11.2, we are making premium features available free of charge for content published prior to August 1. Starting August 1, these features will be licensed for commercial use, and there is no charge for the first $50K in application revenues. The use of premium features within Adobe AIR, including for mobile applications for iOS and Android, will be royalty free.”

    So from August 1st,
    – publishing to Flash (browsers/Flash player) with use of premium features will incur royalty payments of 9% (of all above $50K in revenues).
    – publishing to AIR (desktop/TV/mobile) with use of premium features will be royalty free.

    Comes across like pretty schizo to me.

  41. Bm

    March 30, 2012 at 6:07 am / 

    If used in the UNITY AS3, it will avoid the 9% smoke

  42. Bm

    March 30, 2012 at 6:04 am / 

    Future UNITY will support AS3?

  43. Stefan Embleton

    March 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm / 

    Adobe shoots themselves in the foot once again… ya got love the incompetence or wonder why they dont just shut down Flash instead of condemning it to a long lingering death…

  44. FooBar

    March 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm / 

    I find this 9% royalty appearing out of the blue to be ridiculus. Stage3D is nice, Unity3D is great, but I don’t see having my game playable in the browser worth 9% fee to Adobe. I think this is going to finish killing off Flash (and eventually AIR) game development. HTML5 has already started things going in that direction, and this is going to finish it.

  45. Andy

    March 29, 2012 at 6:29 am / 

    No way Adobe, that is an absolutely bad Idea of a Business Model. What are you thinking?
    It _would_ make sense if Adobe would offer Tools and Services. But 9% for a runtime, no way.

  46. Diego

    March 29, 2012 at 6:21 am / 

    More taxes! This is just what I needed! Thanks Adobe, I trust you more and more everyday.

  47. tomsamson

    March 29, 2012 at 5:38 am / 

    Adobe trying to charge content creators a premium just for using certain features of the PLAYER is as if dvd playermakers would attempt to charge movie creators for using the dvd player.
    Its madness.
    I hope noone pays Adobe cause their acts regarding Flash get more and more crazy.
    If Adobe wants money they should create a flash ide version where all graphical operations get hardware accelerated, no matter if one uses AS1,2 or 3 and also anything one creates in visual workflow in the IDE (visually creating 2D content is the only reason to use flash over any other choice anyway).

    Adobe failing to create a proper IDE and then wanting to charge content creators creating content with other tools (and by doing so helping Adobe to keep their player alive longer) is madness.

  48. Jeffrey Carpay

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 am / 

    I think the flash exporter is overpriced. Considering the other web exporters are integrated in Unity as part of the base package, sticking to the standard add-on pricing model doesn’t sound right especially since it’s basically another a web deployment option. With the flash plugin having a not so bright future (limited support in Windows 8 Metro) and at the same time having the flash plugin losing traction already, I think Unity could attract way more costumers if they would break from the standard add-on pricing model and restructure the flash deployment pricing to a more reasonable one (e.g. US$200,- for basic and US$750,- for Pro).

  49. DFuzzx

    March 29, 2012 at 2:07 am / 

    HTML5 support would b better.

  50. Alejandro Gonzalez

    March 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm / 

    My 2 ct: 9% tax on using Flash player to show unity games seems shallow minded, especially when web games exist in an ecosystem such as Facebook, where the platform provides you benefits (user base, payment systems, some virility, social context, etc) for a 30% cut. For companies wanting to do core Facebook games this seems like very tough hurdle. We would be willing to pay Adobe for a Flash Pro Pro Pro+ license but Rev Sharing? c’mon… an additional 9%? Not sure about the sustainability/enforceability of this offering from Adobe.

    Anyway, my fingers re crossed to have Flash export on a usable state soon!

    Question, if we have an html proxy that detects alternate possibilities against Flash (ie. Nacl, Unity Web-player) BEFORE loading the game page, we are 9% tax free?

  51. Robert Crane

    March 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm / 

    Even though the 9% is a pain, it isn’t even the biggest issue for me.

    If I were to distribute my game through say 6Waves on Facebook, does that mean that 6Waves has to pay 9% of earnings to Adobe or do I do it with just my share of what 6Waves gives me? I doubt 6Waves will accept flash games that will require certain extra license deals on top.

    Also, for their 9%, are Adobe going to work out a way to play Flash titles on Metro when Windows 8 comes out as most of your IAP market (35+ soccer mums) will be using Metro. Otherwise, Adobe’s Ace card about having such a huge market penetration is going to vaporize.

    Would make much more sense to just wait for Unity’s Metro exporter and pay $1500 for that.

    This basically boils down to a Unity tax because Unity and maybe Epic will be the only two that need to harness both Stage3D and DomainMemory to run cross compiled code at a decent speed. Most other Molehill engines would probably just use Stage3D and be exempt from the tax.

  52. Lucas Meijer

    March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm / 

    Obviously the 9% isn’t liked by everyone. I don’t think many people would end up actually having to pay anything, but the few that do would obviously prefer to not pay. For some people it might be enough of a reason to choose a different platform to publish to. We hope to be able to help those users publishing to the platform of their choice. I expect that for the majority of people, the reach of the flash player is worth the 9% revshare. We will be helping these people too by having a great flash deployment product.

  53. Lucas Meijer

    March 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm / 

    @focus: yes
    @christopher: unity uses both stage3d and domainmemory. you could bypass the revshare by going software rendering,
    however initial tests have shown that to be only fast enough in very simple scenes.
    @martin: thanks for your pricing suggestion, I will tell marketing you’d rather be paying for UWP & Nacl too for consistency in our pricing :)
    @adamb: I expect so but we’ll need to wait until the actual license text appears.
    @devin: I would expect that to not count as directly monetized, however the only ones with a defenite answer are adobe.
    @adamsimmersive: if you publish to a webportal, the revenueshare “problem” would be the portals not yours
    @scott: Unity uses both stage3d and domain memory.
    @mike: yes, if you make 51k, you pay 9% of 1k
    @carl: we are very happy with our as3 integration. see Flash.ActionScript.* in the docs. We also have our embedding api which Ralph posted a bunch of examples for in the forum. You can continue to use the public preview in Unity3.5. At some point a new version will come out where publishing to flash requires the purchase of an addon.
    @carl: new features that will go into the next build: WWW & AssetBundle support. we’re also working on improving our support for .net generics
    trough technical collaboration with adobe we expect to make improvements on startuptime, performance, removal of bugs, etc.

  54. ralf maser

    March 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm / 

    very very bad … and now i switch to html5. construct 2!
    i will never use an adobe product!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    bye bye

    (and i will delete the flash player and adobe air)

  55. mongol

    March 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm / 

    From what I understand at this point, Adobe’s decision seems to want to nail Unity by confusing its developers with regard to lthe new licensing scheme.
    Unity’s approach to explain the terms is even more important now.
    Then, the cases where the new terms will apply seem very limited: paid flash-based games.
    The problem is: who does pay for flash games? These are not on mobile devices and on my browser I have never felt the need to purchase a Flash-based game.
    So, to me, it looks more like a scare tactic aimed at Unity’s developers.
    This will protect the development tools that Adobe is selling.

    because, let’s be frank: you are provide the tools for free and charge for the distribution (the Apple way)
    or you charge for the tools and provide the runtime/distribution for free (the Adobe way).
    It might be a generalization, but the gist is there. Is Adobe planning to give the tools for free? I am sure as hell they’re not.

    So, we should start complaiing that Adobe is not open and that they are imposing unfair controls on developers. (Does it ring a bell? – Adobe vs Apple)

  56. Carl Lydon

    March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm / 

    This thread seems to be mostly about royalties but what I want to know is what new features have been added recently to make Flash and Unity integrate better?

  57. Jason

    March 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm / 

    I was knee-jerk angry this, like everyone else, but honestly it makes sense.

    Imagine a world where everyone uses Unity and no one uses Flash Authoring/Flash Builder. How much does Adobe make? $0. But they’re still putting in capitol to update Flash Player. Why would they do that? There’s no profit there. So, they institute what is essentially a “middle-ware” tax of 9%. It’s scary, but honestly – this is something they may have to do to guarantee Flash is still generating money for them, and worth their time to continuing developing.

    This is a survival tactic. Not something motivated from greed. Not something “criminal”. And they don’t owe us anything, like free product usage. This is just one more financial factor to consider (I think this hurts UDK a lot more then Unity, since it also has a percentage-cut business model)

  58. Matt

    March 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm / 

    Exciting news! I am really looking forward to the Unity Flash add-on. Will the new build of the Flash exporter support the Domain Memory feature of flash player? If so does that mean its possible that C/C++ plugins written using the low level Unity SDK could work in Unity content published to Flash player?

  59. Carl Lydon

    March 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm / 

    So, with the unity I have, Unity Pro 3.5, I can already output Unity to run as a swf, and it works great, but trying to combine that swf into a flash project with all the advantages of using my old AS3 code to do interfaces and loading screens etc, that seems problematic. Does this new announcement in some way make the integration of unity swf into Flash easier? Also, are you saying I’ll have to pay more to use it, or is it still covered by my 3.5 Pro license?

  60. Mike

    March 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm / 

    Ah I see that it’s to use their premium features of flash, so even creating your game with Adobe Premium features would cost you. So If I am just making a 2D game and I don’t want the premium features to just make it in Flash.

  61. Mike

    March 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm / 

    Does the 9% count for the revenue after 50k? like if I make 51k do I only pay 9% on the $1000? (just making sure) still ridiculous. If I believe my game is going to make more than 50k, might as well make it in Flash to begin with, and not having to pay 9%.

  62. Scott

    March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm / 

    Per the licensing FAQ (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/premium-features-licensing-faq.html) – “The initial version of premium features includes the ability to use domain memory in combination with Stage3D hardware acceleration in Flash Player.”

    The primary concern I have is that it is not clear if Unity’s standard suite of “Flash support” will require either Stage3D and/or domain memory. I would expect that if it is an either or scenario most developers will be fine and fall under the case of not using the premium features. In which case revenue targets are moot. If Unity forces using both than I feel they are cutting developers off at the knees.

  63. Michael

    March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm / 

    I guess if our company is closing in on the 50k gap I will just create part two of my game and release it (at least cutting some shares). Still even 1% is ridiculous for the use of their runtime.

  64. AdamsImmersive

    March 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm / 

    Adobe’s terms (and the complexity of managing them) will probably keep me from deploying to web portals—which was always just an experimental idea to me, and not necessarily worth the hassle. iOS is worth the hassle!

    I’ll certainly appreciate basic deployment of non-paid-game stuff to Flash, though!

  65. Mike

    March 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm / 

    Google and Apple have their own marketplace that I can upload my game to, which they publish and advertise, unless I am going to be uploading to a Flash/Adobe store, there is no just cause for paying 9%. This would only make sense if we did not have to pay for the tool, as I am sure they will be giving some to adobe?

    I will be sticking to just using Unity Web to publish. I can’t even believe this! What stops me from stripping the compiled code, thus making my game seem like it was built in Flash, then I don’t have to pay any royalties.

    I don’t have to pay royalties for using Flash and making a game, why is this any different?

  66. Devin Reimer

    March 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm / 

    Thanks for clearing up a lot of this, just goes to show again how much better Unity is at conveying a message then Adobe. The most exciting clarification has to do with non-game content.
    ” a car company having a realtime 3d demo of their newest model which you can inspect and drive around” .. ” would not pay the revenue share.”

    Very good news, do you know how this would effect say a online news source. For example CNN made that Unity oil spill visual a little while back. As they generate revenue via advertising would they need to pay? Would they then need to keep track of advertising specifically related to that page?

  67. Pavel Lahoda

    March 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm / 

    My initial reaction to the post was identical to one of Martin & others. 9% of revenues for what ? Access to runtime ? Google and Apple have their own marketplaces, handles the payment on your behalf and keep a revenue share. Is Adobe planing to do the same ? If not, this is not going to work (at least for me). There is bunch of problems associated with this…How is payment expected to work ? Am I supposed to disclose all my invoices to Adobe to check if I am over 50k threshold ? What if the flash player is just a part of bigger web site ? Will I pay just a fraction of the 9% as a result ?

    While I really applaud that Unity is collaborating on Flash export with Adobe, the business model that was announced is suspect at best.

  68. Christian Lutz-Weicken

    March 28, 2012 at 11:35 am / 

    Thanks for clearing the mist with this very informative post! The Unity devs can’t be blamed for Adobes moves to make sure the flash platform is becoming teh new IE6..

  69. Fejuto

    March 28, 2012 at 11:29 am / 

    It’d be more reasonable if in return of the 9% Adobe would let you use their other tools for free. (Photoshop, etc.)

  70. Berndt Garbotz

    March 28, 2012 at 11:16 am / 

    @ Matt,

    you need a license from adobe and they will track your data. THAT makes me upset. Even if you are not getting above that 50 k.

  71. Arowx

    March 28, 2012 at 11:14 am / 

    This could be complex as the best way to make money from a flash game from a small indie team is to license the game out. If you license the game out, would the purchaser still be responsible for the revenue share or would you as the developer be charged?

    Or what if I make a game in flash that is free to play then port it to Android / PC / Mac and make money from those?

  72. Matt Diamond

    March 28, 2012 at 11:07 am / 

    I hear what people are saying, that Apple provides plenty of service for their 30% cut. But it’s completely closed- you can’t opt out of services you don’t need. And even if you give away your game for free, you still have to pay them $99 annually.

    Adobe charges nothing unless your game makes 50K, net. I think that is quite difficult to do with a Flash game on the web.

    Adobe’s terms: “net revenue is calculated as revenue after taxes, payment processing fees, and social network platform fees are subtracted.” Apple of course charges 30% of gross earnings.

    If you make two games that net 25K each, you owe nothing (by my reading of their terms.)

    If your game is not played on the web, you owe nothing- NO royalty payment for 3D Flash games packaged for Mac, PC, or mobile.

    So as an Indie developer it’s hard for me to get upset about this. 99% of developers will never pay anything to Adobe. A few lucky ones may owe them $500-$1000 dollars, and if they didn’t balk at paying Unity $400 I don’t see why they’d balk at that.

    Someone who writes a persistent web game like an MMO or Farmville with subscriptions or in-app purchases would definitely have to factor this royalty into their plans, and might very well pick a different platform. (Which is why I think the fee is a strategic mistake by Adobe, but that’s not the point of my post.)

  73. Hippocoder

    March 28, 2012 at 11:04 am / 

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Pretty sure Adobe is targeting larger companies that would be interested in using Flash for a browser based MMO and so on. All Adobe has done is basically encourage adoption of the unity web player.

  74. AdamB

    March 28, 2012 at 11:02 am / 

    “It’s also worth noting that the new Adobe license will prohibit scenarios where you’d have the first level of a game in the Flash Player, and the full experience inside the Unity Web Player. Alas, this is something you’ll need to be aware of if you were considering such a route”

    Will this Adobe license also prohibit me from publishing my full version to NaCl?

  75. Martin Schultz

    March 28, 2012 at 10:55 am / 

    Well esp. I do not understand Unity’s licensing model. Webplayer is free, NaCL is free, Flash not. All 3 are exporting to the browser. I understand they put a lot of development effort into this, but honestly that can’t count alone. The deferred renderer has taken too a lot of time to develop, as also the FMOD audio inclusion. Did Unity charge extra? No.

    3 web exporters – one to license. 2 free. Not really a consistent licensing model.

  76. Berndt Garbotz

    March 28, 2012 at 10:43 am / 

    400 $ is fine for flash pro, flash basic should be 0,-. Folks it is just a browser plugin, what if firefox would let you pay for using a plugin. And adobe is earning money for the browser installs by third party installs with the browser.

    I have bought unity pro and people get unity web support for free. I really thing unity is going a bad way. Adobe marketing tools in unity ??? Hell, get out of it. I really wonder how long it will take untill the first unity users will leave for udk or other engines. I don’t want unity to be a marketing company. I want good and affordable tools for indies and others. If you are leaving that way, you are leaving your users. :(

  77. Cliff Owen

    March 28, 2012 at 10:41 am / 

    @Christopher: Domain memory is the fastest access. Stage3D is the fastest renderer. Unity will do both as performance is critical for most games. What we don’t know is: Will we be able to choose? Not all games are created equally.

    I dare say that it’s not if Microsoft where to charge you for using Visual Studio. Visual Studio is a dev tool and the Flash runtime is not a dev tool. There are many tools that can create Flash content the same way there are many tools that can build Windows applications.

    This is equivalent to Microsoft charging you for writing an application that runs on Windows.

    Like many, I had planned to make the switch to Flash via Unity. Now, I really am not so sure. It does appear from that press release that everyone will be required to obtain a license from Adobe and with this they can monitor usage. From there, they can probably identify the applications most likely to be generating revenue. What next? If you don’t obtain a license your content won’t run? It’s unclear to me how this is going to play out.

    The trick now is user education. Even my grandmother will install a Flash update but it’s hard to get someone who’s even tech savvy to install the Unity Player. Even if they trust it, it’s yet one more plugin to install when they already have Flash installed. People don’t want to do it.

    HTML5 looks better every day.

  78. elias_t

    March 28, 2012 at 10:35 am / 

    Really Adobe? 9% for just the runtime?

    Ok unity just lost a customer of the flash pro addon.

  79. Berndt Garbotz

    March 28, 2012 at 10:32 am / 

    Hi,

    Flash is no shop. Why paying royalties for using a plugin which is able to do less than unity plugin ??? I hope Unity will continue to support their own plugin and not just supporting adobe to charge for future premium features which will not be in unity plugin.

    Adobe is a bad partner for business. I had that story a few times with adobe in the past. Once something does not pay their expected rates anymore, they discontinue the product or do not update it anymore. They milked their flash developpers as long as possible and now they try to milk unity and udk devs. You can’t rely on adobe and should think twice before you make your naturally small indie investment into their products.

    I really hope unity is not going that path, too and stay indie friendly. Adobe products are mosty overpriced ****.

    My two cents

    Berndt

  80. umusu iruo

    March 28, 2012 at 10:23 am / 

    I think all adobe has to do now Is to go back to their draw and structure out a way to help developers market their apps to the rest of the world (even if it means opening up an online store).

  81. Christopher Romero

    March 28, 2012 at 10:21 am / 

    So in my reading devs are only liable for the licensing fee if they use Stage3D as well as Domain Memory (ApplicationDomain.currentDomain.domainMemory), do Unity applications always use the latter? Is this invoked to handle platform differences or something else?

  82. Firegod

    March 28, 2012 at 10:05 am / 

    Now i’m confused. Does this mean if you use unity to build a flash executable you now need to pay 9% to adobe on top of the fee to unity? Either way, i was considering releasing unity flash versions of my games, but i wont now. As said by someone else, this is exactly like microsoft trying to get a royalty because you used visual studio or one of its libs like directx. AND in my opinion the 30% cut apple take is far more fair than adobe’s 9%. you get nothing for the adobe cut but an entire store, payment proccesing and even marketing with apple!

  83. Thomas Klokosch

    March 28, 2012 at 10:04 am / 

    Martin is exactly right.
    I never understood why people complain about the 30% cut by Apple when they are providing such an awesome service with billing. (Try to implement that, technically and legally, it’s a mess)
    But Adobe taking 9% for just the runtime? No way.
    I might look into ScaleForm UI (based on flash), but publishing to flash is over for me – and they don’t even create a runtime for mobile devices, so I guess this whole thing will sort itself out eventually…

  84. Pegorari

    March 28, 2012 at 10:00 am / 

    IMO would be great if Adobe choose a model like the IOS Developer Program, just a fixed value to pay for year. The new 3d technology in Flash Plugin is awesome, but Adobe should give a close look to some new engines like Scirra Construct. They are showing us how is possible to make nice and stable html5 games in 2D, without the needs of plugins.
    Anyway, this is an awesome. For this time, I don´t see a better option to 3D browser games.

  85. Ashkan

    March 28, 2012 at 9:31 am / 

    Flash will die i think with this royaltee. Most companies have free dev platforms (.NET, Java, compilers) and they sell tools. Adobe now does not make any tools for flash game development and the company is a tool seller by nature and now decided to have this idea. I think People either will use unity player for high end games or would go with silverlight if they want a more popular plugin. Flash will be used in scenarios like what Lucas suggested. Things that directly don’t make money. Stuff for advertising ag

    People should learn from adobe. It’s the way to kill a platform when it has the potential to become great again. :)

  86. Matthew Davey

    March 28, 2012 at 9:24 am / 

    The issue here is that Adobe does not provide a market or infrastructure to sell your game. This is essentially like Microsoft saying “hey you used Visual Studio … we would like 9% of your sales”.

  87. Martin Schultz

    March 28, 2012 at 9:22 am / 

    @Kaku: You seem to mix up that Adobe does not do any promotion for your game or offer it in any store. Adobe does exactly nothing for it except providing the runtime. Apple offers you worldwide financial handling (and if you ever tried to do it yourself: 30% is ultra cheap for that!!!), credit card handling, user services, download + bandwidth etc etc.

    30% is cheap for that. Really.

    Adobe does not do any of that for 9%. Just the runtime.

  88. Chris

    March 28, 2012 at 9:14 am / 

    This is borderline criminal in my opinion. They remove functionality in one version to break everyone then add it back in as a premium feature in the next version? This is just the nudge people in the industry needed to push them away from Flash and kill any chance of Stage3d gaining any traction. HTML 5 can’t get here fast enough .

  89. Kuku

    March 28, 2012 at 9:01 am / 

    @Robert…

    With Apple you pay $99 annual fee for the developer license, and then another 30% of anything u make with your games. 9% in the case of Adobe does not seem that high at all ( and only kicks in above $50K )

    K

  90. Robert Crane

    March 28, 2012 at 8:33 am / 

    I’m with Martin on this. It’s cheeky tactics at best. I understand that Adobe doesn’t want to be left out of the loop with products like Unity and such building direct to SWF without their tools but when the developer world is already looking with uncertainty at Flash, this is not going to help their cause. I don’t even know how they will police it yet. Just because you are using Stage3d, doesn’t mean you are selling IAP or similar. Yes, they would be much better off having a developer licence membership like Apple. I can already sense the html5 developers pointing and laughing.

  91. Jon

    March 28, 2012 at 8:30 am / 

    IMO 9% is quite high and how would Adobe know whom to charge? Why would anyone tell Adobe: “Hey Adobe, we’re making lots of money, go take your 9%!”
    Unfortunately I just don’t like the idea of it, maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture but me being a developer, I just can’t think about Adobe suddenly taking a pie of what I earn.
    I’ve been developing a game using Stage3D technology but I’m now at the brink of moving on to a different platform than Flash.

  92. booleanBoy

    March 28, 2012 at 8:30 am / 

    Revenue sharing for using Flash? What next? Revenue sharing for using Photoshop? Windows? Ikea as I’m sitting on a chair from them?

    This is what you get when a single company makes 90% of the tools you use to produce products as we have no real alternative to Adobe any more. I miss Macromedia.

    However, if you look at something like Youtube which pays per developer who works on the player, they are getting a bit of a raw deal in terms of profits made from their products.

  93. Jeff Weber

    March 28, 2012 at 8:20 am / 

    I just really hate revenue-sharing models. I doubt this whole flash premium thing will affect me as I’m currently focused on iOS dev with Unity, but as a one man shop, the idea of having to try and keep track of the revenue sharing is a huge turn off.

    Would much prefer a one time up-front fee.

  94. Martin Schultz

    March 28, 2012 at 8:00 am / 

    From my understanding, the above comparison is not correct. Google and Apple charge devs for the iOS / Play store for credit card handling, download hosting of the apps, world-wide payment financial handling and such. Adobe is not charging for that, they don’t even have a store. They charge for the RUNTIME. To stay in the above comparison, Apple and Google would take 9% from a dev only to allow games to run on their devices. And that is not what is happening. They charge money for store handling. For a one-time 25$ you can post as many games on Google Play as you want, even with different monetarization schemes that do not use Google Pay.

    I would happily pay Adobe a runtime license to export stuff to each version of the Flash player, but royalties is in my opinion not the right way. But it seems we have to live with it or continue to convince game portals to not use Flash but stay with the webplayer. Let’s see how it evolves.

  95. focus

    March 28, 2012 at 7:59 am / 

    Hey, Lucas, thanks for sharing this exciting news!
    So, we should buy add-on first and if our game will hit $50K, then we should pay to Adobe 9% next, right?

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