Can Adobe make more money from Flash?
Many of the top online games run on Flash, and Adobe is looking to cash in on this success.
About 1.3 billion devices and nine of the top 10 social games run on Flash, and Adobe wants a bigger piece of this action. The company aims to charge game developers 9% of their gross revenue after the first $50,000 for using a set of premium application programming interfaces, or APIs, designed to enhance the gaming experience.
The premium features will be free for content published prior to Aug. 1. Game developers who do not use any of the premium APIs will not incur any royalty fees. The Flash Player competes with Microsoft (MSFT) Silverlight to deliver rich media content on web pages. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
Adobe also announced a tie-up with Unity Technologies that develops tools for game developers and creative visualization professionals to deliver the best 3-D Web content. Unity Technologies plans to leverage the new Stage3D platform in the Flash player to enhance gaming experience.
According to the Casual Games Association, the casual gaming market in 2011 was nearly $5 billion and poised to grow to about $8.7 billion in 2014. With the new upgrades to Flash player and AIR, Adobe can get a slice of the social gaming revenue pie. The use of premium features in AIR 3.2, however, remains royalty free, and this seems like an attempt by the company to increase its presence in mobile devices running the Android and iOS systems.
Adobe's collaboration with Unity Technologies is to enable a console-like gaming experience within Flash Player, which is currently popular for simpler, social games. By introducing a platform to create rich online games, they can potentially lure serious gamers away from the console and onto the Web, tapping into potential revenue from in-game merchandise.
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John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
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