When I think of Flash gaming, I usually picture colorful sprites on 2D backgrounds in games like FarmVille and Bejeweled. But that may change with Epic Games bringing its Unreal 3 engine to Adobe Flash.
During Adobe’s MAX conference, the two companies demonstrated Unreal Tournament 3–originally a PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 title–running inside a web browser. Scads of modern games are based on Unreal Engine 3, including hits like Mass Effect and Epic’s own Gears of War series, and Flash 11 will be able to tap the hardware acceleration necessary to run these games within a browser.
“Flash Player is a key technology for gaming on social networks and the Web, and with UE3 will usher in the leap from simplistic 2D game experiences to world-class 3D gaming on the Web,” Epic said in a press release. In other words, Epic and Adobe are hoping to bring hardcore gaming to Facebook (or Google+, perhaps).
Adobe can keep squeezing life out of Flash as long as it stays a few steps ahead, at least on laptops and desktops. On mobile, Epic’s already thrown its support behind Apple, having brought Unreal Engine 3 to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in 2010. The first Unreal-based iOS game, Infinity Blade, is gorgeous. As Joystiq notes, maybe Flash will get a port from iOS. That’d be a trip; usually it works the other way around.