Once requiring physical disks or laborious downloads before a long installation process, computer games received a massive boost in ease-of-play and ubiquity with the invention and subsequent popularization of Adobe Flash. Along with the client-side installation of Flash Player, Adobe Flash allows for interactive animations to be displayed via web browser, with, of course, games being a type of interactive animation. From early Flash games such as recreations of Pac-Man and Frogger to the more contemporary Flash games such as the quirky and philosophical Frog Fractions, Flash games have had a rich presence in the ever-growing web and are an inextricable part of gaming history.
Because of the low barrier to entry, games built with Adobe Flash have been a favorite medium of amateur game developers as well large companies that simply wish to maximize the speed and cost-effectiveness with which they can produce games. This wide spectrum in size that Flash game developers hail from has lead to a richly multifaceted collection of games. On the one hand, there are subgenres notorious for their shock value and casual attitude towards violence—the medium lends itself very well to oversaturated and cartoonish violence. On the other hand, the internet is flooded with masses of generic and unremarkable games built without aesthetic pretensions for the sole purpose of racking up advertising money.
Unfortunately for the future of this remarkable subgenre of games that have so greatly influenced and added to the current landscape of gaming, Adobe Flash is now officially deprecated and has had its end-of-life date declared by Adobe to be at the end of 2020. However, small and easily-built online games will continue to be created for so long as there is a web, with game developers moving away from Flash to technologies such as the now ubiquitous HTML5.