What will happen to Flash games? With the impending end of support for the beleaguered software program coming in 2020, we may soon lose access to a big piece of gaming history. Thankfully, The Strong Museum and Kongregate are stepping up to preserve these titles for future generations.
A press release has announced a partnership between Kongregate and The Strong Museum. The museum is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
"Flash games are an important piece of gaming history. They provided access to countless games for free to anyone with an Internet connection,” says Andrew Borman, digital games curator at The Strong Museum. "Flash games were relatively easy to create, and therefore they opened the game development process to thousands of people, some of whom went on to produce commercial games. Flash games also introduced themes and play mechanics that became popular in many video games, especially with the rise in the popularity of mobile games."
What Will Happen to Flash Games at The Strong Museum?
If you're hoping for some sort of big library of playable games, you're going to be a bit disappointed. The Strong's efforts are largely going to be focused on research, at least at first.
What will happen to Flash games at The Strong is this: All of the digital materials and their associated metadata are going to be preserved in an archive. This archive will be accessible to researchers with an appointment.
Of course, the museum is going to be doing everything they can to set these games up so that they're actually playable. Hopefully, these efforts can later be used to make these classic games more accessible to future generations.
This isn't the only Flash game preservation effort underway, mind. The Archive Team has created the Flashpoint Launcher which preserves more than 10,000 titles in one easily-accessible database and Newgrounds has been working on an open-source emulator.
In any case, you can still play many of these games for now (assuming that you still have Adobe Flash installed). Check out the massive library titles at kongregate.com, and you can visit The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York to see a bunch of great gaming history.
Do you think we'll still have access to Flash games in ten years time? What's your favorite Flash game of all time? Let us know in the comments below!