Armor Games, one of the largest repositories of Adobe Flash-based games on the internet, is choosing to shift to emulation next year as a way to mitigate Adobe’s planned phasing out of Flash after December 2020.
“Given our large catalog of Flash games, we would like to continue to offer these games to our players as well as help preserve Flash games in general,” the official Armor Games announcement reads. “Flash is an important medium for game developers and many developers have fond memories and experiences creating and publishing games using its technology.”
While browser-based gaming has largely shifted to using more versatile HTML5 tech, the cessation of official support for Flash could also lead to losing decades of gaming history. Armor Games looked at several preservation solutions—including converting existing Flash games to HTML5, or requiring a desktop application to play Flash games—but ultimately decided to utilize open-source Flash emulator Ruffle instead.
This still won’t be a perfect solution, however. Armor Games doesn’t expect every Flash game to be compatible with Ruffle from day one. Those games will be deactivated on January 12, but the pages themselves will remain live as the team continues to develop solutions that can keep as many games functional as possible .
Flash games were a huge part of my life growing up, and I can remember countless hours browsing through portals like Armor Games on my school’s library computers when I should have probably been studying instead. I’m happy to see steps being taken to preserve this important era in gaming history. Plus, it’ll be good for indulging in some nostalgia from time to time.