Flash Games aren't dead!
Over the past few years, there’s been a negative “fog” around the Flash Game industry. From the emergence of mobile platforms, steam, and progression of consoles, flash gaming just isn’t what it used to be.
Sure, we all have heard the doom and gloom. Seen the writing on the wall. Even tried to mask it, does anyone else remember the slogan to Flash Gaming Summit 2013? I remember it, it went something like “Flash Gaming isn’t dead!”… or maybe it was exactly that.
Now with recent news of Mochi media closing it’s doors the negativity has a whole new resurgence.
It’s no longer “Flash is dying” but more along the lines of “Flash gaming is completely, utterly, and defenselessly dead” (is defenselessly even a word?).
Well I’m here to shed light on a dark day. To uplift developers, and to push the market forward! I believe that Flash games aren’t dead, but their niche in the gaming ecosphere has changed dramatically.
Flash is still a great platform to develop games for. Really? YES! Why’s that?
There are still millions of players and plenty of growth in emerging markets. In addition to this, barrier to entry is low and it’s relatively easy to market your game (compared to, lets say, mobile).
It’s a good platform for early-stage studios to test prototypes and build traction with their brand.
There are several examples of success stories. Ironhide leveraged Clash of Olympians to fund the development of Kingdom Rush. Once KR was finished, they released on flash & it was a massive success! (thanks Armor). This started a cult following of avid players that would go on to purchase the game on mobile platforms and propel Ironhide into a top developer spot on the app store.
Can it be done in this climate? Absolutely. Is it harder? Absolutely. Will I become rich? I don’t know (but I hope so).
Test a prototype on flash, find a good publisher to work with even if you aren’t getting rich off the deal.
Build your studios brand, create a mailing list and obviously have a website. Make sure you link your studio in preroll & credits.
Leverage the casual experience of flash games and short attention spans, and move mobile.
For those studios who already have previous releases, and a following… break down your game into 2 games.
1 flash game, with shortened game play lasting 15mins - 25mins
2 mobile game, with as much depth as you can possibly add… minimum of 3hrs of game play
There’s still merit to cross promotion from flash games to mobile. It’s all about the integration.
Suggested cross platform rules:
1) In the preloader or preroll, run a short 3-5 second cross promo splash
2) At the end of your game, make sure you link to the app
3) Give users INCENTIVE to download your mobile game
Give extra lives, boosters, powerups, upgrades, coins… basically anything intangible in game that would be irrefutable to players.
An easy way to do this is to provide a code at the end of the game, and a redeem location on the app’s title screen. This way not all mobile players will get the benefit, and the flash players are stoked because they get something from beating the flash version.
Flash Games aren’t dead, they are transitioning into great marketing vehicles for larger cross platform releases!
Development studios are evolving & diversifying. Gone are the days when studios could rely on Flash game income. Fortunately the tech to build cross platform is rapidly advancing!
Flash game developers in particular have a unique advantage to leverage the massive exposure of flash games and to build hype & buzz around their games release on alternative platforms.