Adobe Max Report #2: Adobe Takes On Mochi With their Own Game Distribution, Ad Serving, and Monetization (updated)
Ok, Adobe Max day #1 was even better than Day #1. Here is a run-down.
First off, we were shown Adobe's answer to Mochi ads and Monetization, Adobe Distribition Services . Here are some of the features of the service:
- Sharing : Easily distribute your app and game through Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, etc. This looks like a fancy widget to embed games based on the target social media outlet. Kinda cool.
- Promotion: Basically, paid promotion to get you game/app our faster. This looks like their "distribution". Unlike Mochi or Flash Game Distribution, you have to pay for it.
- Ad-Hosting: If you use the sharing widget, you can host ads (probably through the widget). You can still run Mochi (or other) ads in your game.
- Tracking: Think Mochi-bot, or Mochiads tracking.
- Shibuya: This is a new service that lets you sell your Adobe Air apps through an App Store. There is a try/buy model too.
It looks like this could be complimentary to Mochi in some places, and competitive in others. They don't offer Micropayments or High Scores, so Mochi still has a lead in those areas, but Adobe seems to be entering this space now, and developers will have some other options pretty soon. Furthermore, there was no mention of Mochi ANYWHERE which led me to believe that Adobe sees them as competition, even though they have probably done more to advance the Flash game industry than any other company on earth. I'm not sure how good this is for Flash game developers. First, if Mochi does "lose" what happens to all the games that use the service now? Furthermore, what happens to the Mochi Terms Of Service. You know, the one that states that can create derivative works from your submissions. Let me refresh your memory:
By submitting User Submissions to Mochi Media, or displaying, publishing, or otherwise posting any content on or through the Service, you hereby do and shall grant Mochi Media an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise fully exploit the User Submissions in connection with the Service and Mochi Media's (and its successors and assigns) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.
Mochi has stated that they have a different interpretation of that language that is more friendly to developers, but a creditor (or successor) might not. If Mochi goes bankrupt, a creditor might come-in and take hold of their assets. Those assets might be YOUR games, since you have signed an agreement that says they can create derivative works from them. I'm not saying this is happening, but I am saying you need to be aware. Honestly, I'd like to hear Mochi's take on this. Mochi Media? (Update: Ada Chen from Mochi responded below:)
Also, I attended Grant Skinner's talk on "Things Every Flash developer Should Know". It was one of the most valuable 60 minutes I've ever spent in a room. I'm not sure I'm allowed to say much about it here (I have no idea how these things work), but Grant is going to have it up on gskinner.com soon, I'll tell you when I see it.
Flash On The iPhone Redux
I attended an ad-hoc session about Flash on the iPhone. It was a fairly technical discussion about how to write AS3 apps that work well on a low-memory, slow processor device with no swap-file. Most of it centered around optimization. Some of the things they noted were ones that we have already talked about here: creating object pools, and reusing variables. They also discussed limiting Event listeners, using final on your functions, not using dynamic properties, using static vars, etc. They also mentioned some stuff dear to our hearts, like using bitmaps and cacheAsBitmap. One of the most interesting things they announced was a new cacheAsSurface property (in CS5) that works like cacheAsBitmap, but allows transformations (except scaling which will be pixilated). I'm not sure this new functionality will be available in the Flex SDK.
Oh yeah, I also met-up with Flash game developer Zac Foley for some enlightening conversations about the Flash game industry and web development. some of the content and opinion from the blog entry was formulated from our conversation. It was great to meet a fellow veteran Flash game developer who has had similar experiences as we have had in the industry. I had a great time. I think we need to make some kind of formal meeting next year to swap stories and techniques with others as well. Unfortunately, I missed Ben Garney. Sorry Ben, I'll try to catch-up with you later.