Whether it evokes good childhood memories of internet games from the zeros or nightmares about the ongoing updates, virtually every computer user knows it: Flash Player.
After 25 years and a pre-warning three years ago, software developer Adobe finally slides the computer program into the trash today. Flash was used less and less and frequently struggled with security issues.
For years, Flash has been one of the most important so-called plugins for online movies, games and other moving elements on the Internet. The first version, which was then still called Macromedia Flash Player, came out on New Years Day 1996.
Originally, the program was intended for animations and online design, but not long after that game developers decided to use the software as well.
“ Flash is where it all started,” says game journalist Len Maessen. “It was a catalyst: suddenly it was easier to make games.” According to Maessen, Flash games have laid the foundation for the further development of Indiegames. “They were the inspiration for many of todays games.”
So many older Internet games still run on Flash. And that means that from today thousands of these games will be difficult or impossible to play.
A group of hackers is trying to counter this and started a non-profit project in early 2018 to archive Flash games and keep them playable. So far, theyve done that for over 70,000 games. The Internet Archive website has also archived over two thousand Flash elements.
A well-known Flash game is Line Rider from 2006:
The most iconic Flash game is perhaps Alien Hominid from 2002, which was later also released on several game consoles. Originally, the Flash game was developed for games website Newgrounds, which has developed its own alternative so that their internet games can still be played.
The iconic game Alien Hominid:
Another Flash internet game that was especially big in the Netherlands during the zeros, is Habbo Hotel. For years there were thousands of young people on the Dutch version of the platform at any time.
Habbo still exists, but the game from game developer Sulake has already launched a silent retreat years ago. And the forced switch to a replacement of Flash (called Unity) could well mean the final end of Habbo. The hashtag #SaveHabbo was already trending this week in several European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany.
A look back on Habbo on Twitter: