It’s quite surprising that Adobe want to get some slice of pie from its app ecosystem by offering Flash Premium Features. It will soon need licensing and royalty paid to Adobe. I’m not into flash game market. But I wonder its effects to existing Flash Ecosystem.
Here is full Adobe excerpt from Adobe’s website:
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. Net revenue is calculated as revenue after taxes, payment processing fees, and social network platform fees are subtracted. Revenues subject to the revenue share include application sales, in-app purchases, subscription fees, sponsorship, and advertising fees received for advertising in, or related to the application.
Adobe will introduce a program this summer through which developers will be able to license the tools necessary for their content to access the premium features after July 31. A nominal program fee may be introduced beginning August 1.
To ensure that any existing content and projects currently under development can be exempted from these new revenue sharing requirements, Adobe will provide royalty-free licenses for use of the premium features by any content publicly released prior to August 1, 2012.
To me it seems like Adobe now aware of its position in the Game Development Scene and try to squeeze out some dollars from developers. The most questionable things for me is the notion that Adobe charge you for two things:
- Direct Access to Memory via Alchemy
- Using Stage3D
Those two things are exactly what people will leverage out to make the game speed decent. And you need Adobe permission to use both. If you failing to fullfil your license, Adobe will switch your superfast hardware accelerated 3D renderer to superslow software renderer which will make your CPU Fan screams furiously, even more furious than playing 3D games because Flash will discard your GPU and put all the burden of graphic processing to CPU, a procedure that has been abandoned for decades in favor of hardware-accelerated OpenGL or Direct3D.
Not only that, Adobe will also slap some watermark to your content if you are using both API on debug flash player and I guess it will put it also on the release version after August 1, 2012
Starting with Flash Player 11.2, developers will see a notification watermark in the debug version of Flash Player if their content uses both of these APIs, informing them that they will need to obtain a license. Until the premium features licensing terms go into effect August 1 2012, no associated restrictions are enforced in release versions of Flash Player.
As a native game developer, it’s hard for me to consider those two are premium features, because we used to get raw memory access and 3D API for free for years. Some people may think that Adobe is fair. Hey, Apple and Google charges user too! Well, both Apple and Google gives its own 1st party IDE for free. Flash Professional and Flash Builder charges hundreds of dollars. Only flashdevelop that is free. However, it runs only on Windows, and it’s not 1st party IDE either, so expects hacks and workarounds.
From Adobe statements above it only mentioned that it will charge royalty to games sold grossly at least $50K and want 9% of your net revenue after tax. What intriguing me is the fact that Adobe will issues licenses for devs using those two so-called “premium feature”.
Adobe will provide a program this summer through which developers and publishers can license the premium features. Developers who wish to use them will be able to apply for a license for authorization. Applying authorization to content will allow it to access premium features.
Until August 1, 2012, developers can use the premium features without applying authorization to their content. Adobe will provide royalty-free licenses for ongoing use of the premium features for any content publicly released prior to August 1, 2012. A nominal program fee may be introduced beginning August 1.
This is a statement that makes me think that Adobe want to copy Apple and other App Stores that charge nominal fee and takes some of developers’ revenue.
From the wording, it is clear to me that license won’t be free, but content released prior August 1, don’t need to pay any royalty. They are still subjected to nominal amount of program fees if you still want to use the “premium feature” after August 2012.
For those developing for Flash via Unity or roll your own hardware accelerated game engine. Make sure you are prepared. As you cannot develop and produces Flash and Unity Web Player contents with different user experience of the same game. From Unity Blog:
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.
Finally, if you’re avid Flash Developers, you can buy digital version of Flash Builder and Flash Professional from Amazon via link below to start developing your games. I’ll appreciate it, it helps me covering the hosting cost.
&lt;A HREF=”http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=ss_ssw&amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fnwi-20%2F8003%2F3d499949-3f65-430f-93df-9341828b934f&amp;Operation=NoScript”&gt;Amazon.com Widgets&lt;/A&gt;