Adobe to charge Flash devs for ‘premium’ 3D features

As we saw earlier this month, the latest version of Flash has all the right bits and pieces to allow for a playable Unreal Engine 3 tech demo. Pretty impressive stuff. According to CNet News, however, there’s a slight catch: starting in August, Adobe will require a cut of commercial projects that use the "premium" features required to make such games possible. Adobe says so quite plainly on its Adobe Flash Player Premium Features for Gaming page:

The premium features are available royalty free and without restriction through July 31, 2012. Starting August 1, the premium features will require a license from Adobe. Applications that make less than $50,000 in revenues will remain free of any royalties, as will any use of the premium features in applications packaged with Adobe AIR, including mobile applications for iOS and Android.
There is no charge to use premium features in applications that generate less than $50,000 in application revenue. For each application that has net revenue up to $50,000, the fee to use premium features will be a 9% revenue share on application net revenue above $50,000.

The official FAQ page says the first (and currently only) "premium feature" allows developers to use domain memory with Stage3D hardware acceleration in the Flash Player. As I understand it, accessing domain memory currently requires the use of Alchemy, a C/C++ cross-compiler, but Adobe aims to implement similar functionality in a future ActionScript compiler.

Adobe told CNet News the aforementioned fees will help improve Flash and its support for game developers. The company also said the pricing was designed to "encourage the kind of innovation and experimentation that often helps to spark inspired and inventive games." I’m sure no additional fees at all would have been even more encouraging, though, of course. (Thanks to TR reader SH SOTN for the heads up.)

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 11 years ago

    Die, Flash, die.

    Why wouldn’t you use HTML5? Adobe have officially confirmed that they’re killing off mobile variants Flash, and I suspect mobile devices are already the largest (and still-growing fast) target audience for most devs anyway.

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 years ago

    a license, but you don’t pay unless you make 50k, if i’m readin correctly.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    This is far less (21%) less than most application revenue sharing models (70/30), and doesn’t apply for small shops. I don’t see this really impacting adoption much.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 11 years ago

    It looks very similar to me. The only difference I can see is that the UDK is free for non-commercial use, whereas everyone needs a license to use premium features like Stage3D.

    Ways to obtain a license haven’t been released yet, so we’ll have to see about that.

    • Scrotos
    • 11 years ago

    That seems similar to Unreal engine’s terms, one version of it? I’m at work so those gaming sites are blocked to me, but I recall UDK being similar.

    • Farting Bob
    • 11 years ago

    Yea that’ll encourage developers to use their slowing dying platform….

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