HTML5 is a term that has gone viral over the last few months. Its arrival has put a question mark on the future of Flash. Debates have been going on about the future of flash and many have considered Flash already dead.
The most important aspect about developing a game or an application is for whom it is being developed. It’s the users for whom we develop. So, it does not matter whether you use HTML5 or Flash because it's the users who will use it and all they want is the best user experience. Flash has always been successful in giving its users a delightful experience.
From games to Apps, slideshows to video players, Flash has delivered its content in the best way possible. Flash has always excelled in giving its developers the freedom to use their creativity. If you've had a great experience developing with Flash, then leaving it just because there is a new technology (HTML5), is not justified. It’s the ability of the platform that we should care more about while choosing a tool for developing a world-class UX for your audience. The experience for users should be engaging and rewarding.
Flash was first released in 1997, making it a 16-year-old technology. On the other hand, HTML5 is a new technology with a stable recommendation still to be released by the end of 2014. Only modern browsers have support for HTML5 and that too is not uniform across all browsers. For example, a few features might be available on some browsers but not others, whereas Flash is supported in nearly all desktop browsers and several Android devices. Nearly 95% of browsers have Flash support. There are over 100,000 Flash games out there with nearly 2 billion users.
With Flash Player 11, a new feature was added named Stage3D. It uses GPU-based rendering to accelerate the game's performance. With Stage3D you can now even develop 3D games for flash platform. To make the game development process a bit more easy a number of game engines have already been written in Stage3D. Two such frameworks are Starling and Away3D. Starling uses Stage3D to develop 2D games whereas Away3D can be used to develop 3D games easily.
Adobe has also been working on FlasCC. With this you can compile your C/C++ games to Flash. FlashCC also uses Stage3D. With FlasCC and Stage3D, there’s no question about the future of Flash.
But do we mean that you should not use HTML5 and use Flash? No! We don’t mean that either. HTML5 has only given you one more option to consider while developing for the web. Now you can choose the one that suits your needs better. In the end, what matters is the UX, and the user experience should be world-class. So, if you believe you can deliver the best experience in Flash, go for it. And so my belief still holds valid that Flash is not dead, not yet.