Flash Games As We Know Them Will Die Forever In 2020. One Guy Is Trying To Save Them All

Image: Finji

Flash is universally despised today, but it was an important part of the internet for a long time, providing websites with interactive content before modern web standards could take over. Flash games in particular were massive, some even spawning genres like tower defence, but this digital history will be lost forever when Flash kicks the bucket completely. So, how can we save it?

Not all games will be lost to the electronic ether once Flash goes. For example, Adam Saltsman's Canabalt has self-contained mobile and PC versions. But there are thousands, if not tens of thousands that sit forgotten on portals such as Newgrounds and Kongregate.

A fellow by the name of Ben Latimore, recognising there was no proper archive of Flash content, took it upon himself to organise an effort to download every SWF game ever.

Some of those have been incorporated into a program called "Flashpoint", described as a "preservation project, museum, and one-click-to-play collection in one box".

However, Flashpoint currently only covers 850 or so titles. And there's a lot more than that floating around the internet.

So, if you're up for it, Latimore has a one terabyte archive available for download, called "Flashfreeze", that should keep even the most addicted player of Flash games busy for thousands of years.

I don't think Latimore will get every game, but hopefully, he can track down a fair chunk and preserve them, even if some of them can't be played.

Adobe Flash’s Gaming Legacy — Thousands upon Thousands of Titles — and My Efforts To Save It [Medium, via Gamasutra]


Comments

    My introduction to Flash content was most likely watching Animutations by Neil Cicierega (Gahbunga!) but I think my first introduction to Flash games was the Orisinal website. I spent more time than I care to count on Newgrounds when it was starting to take off though but when Kongregate came out was about the time that I started working and my interest in Flash games declined.

    It's a vital piece of gaming history though as a number of people making console and PC games today started out in Flash.

    I remember Newgrounds well. As for flash games I still have a download of Thing Thing Arena 2, Stick Man Sam, Tactical Assassin and Heli Attack 2 somewhere. All these years and they're still better than most mobile games despite the fact modern phones could run Playstation 2 level games at this point. I'm even more worried about all the flash videos being lost, there were some really great and artful ones, some hilarious ones, and iconic ones too.

      Hell yeah, I pretty much got into "internet" with flash animations. Even made somewhat of a mixtape (mix CD?) loaded up with a tonne of my favourites for a girlfriend when she was off to her rural home with may-as-well-not-be-there internet for the holidays.

    Not just flash games, there were some incredibly artful and amazing animations made that are just as equally worth saving.

    What is the 2020 date? Is that when it's stopped being supported full stop?

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