Adobe, the company behind Photoshop and Acrobat Reader, announces that it will discontinue its support for Shockwave on April 9, 2019.
Adobe Shockwave has been one of the pioneering platforms for browser-based games and applications. Developed by Macromedia in the 1990s, Shockwave became the go-to tool for designers in creating content for websites, web games, and interactive CD-ROMs.
After its acquisition by Adobe in 2005, Shockwave became a security liability for computer systems due to deprioritized updates. Soon, newer technologies began to emerge, providing more features and options for designers without the need to download plugins. Some of these include HTML5, Web GL, and Canvas.
The announcement did not come as a surprise as Adobe already shut down Adobe Director, the application platform used to create Shockwave content, in February 2017. The company then pulled the plug of Shockwave for Mac OS later that year. In April, Adobe will end all Shockwave support for consumer versions.
However, the announcement also said that Adobe will continue support for Shockwave for companies that have existing enterprise licenses for the product. The company stated it will provide support for these companies until the end of their contracts until 2020.
“As technologies evolve and the use of mobile devices has grown, interactive content has moved to platforms such as HTML5 Canvas and Web GL and usage of Shockwave has declined,” Adobe said in the dedicated FAQ page.
Shockwave will technically be the first Adobe platform to say goodbye, although the company already mentioned in 2017 that Flash will stop updates and distribution in 2020.
After April 9, only existing installations of Shockwave can be used to play content specifically made for Shockwave. Third-party download sites may still continue to offer Shockwave downloads, but support and updates for security would not be possible.
In the not-so-distant future, new generation Internet users may only be able to access and play Shockwave content through organizations such as the Internet Archive.