Mar 2 2015

Flash or HTML5

Develop in Flash or HTML5? Both platforms have their avid supporters who will tell you that their platform is the best for this reason or that, but is there a definitive answer?

The website FlashVsHTML thinks not, explaining the point by point advantages and disadvantages they found developing the same game for both platforms, and ultimately declaring them even. But there were some telling points made in that analysis, perhaps the most important of which being;

Compatibility

FlashVsHTML pointed out that Flash can find support in 99% of desktop browsers against 82% for HTML5, and that Flash Player 11 with stage3D technology has an 81% audience compared to HTML5/WebGL’s 53%. While this may look bad for HTML5 on the face of it, there are two important facts that need taking into account.

  • The Mobile Market — Flash is no longer supported on most mobile phone devices, and Adobe has discontinued support for older versions of Flash on mobile platforms. Mobile gaming is a huge market, and not being able to reach it is a serious problem for any developer considering Flash as a platform.
  • The Future — Adobe is discontinuing support for versions of Flash while HTML5 is a growing platform that is becoming increasingly standardised and implemented. While Flash may have the advantage now, that looks set to change.

Flash has all the advantages of an established platform with a strong user base, but it is outdated and dying at the edges. HTML5, while still finding its feet, is built for the technology as it exists now, not ten years ago. In short, all the arguments about ease of use or market penetration are short term. In the longer term, HTML5 is the way to go.