Unity's Francis says Microsoft's decision to drop plug-in support for IE 10 plays into its native app focus

Unity's Francis says Microsoft's decision to drop plug-in support for IE 10 plays into its native app focus
There's a clear change of strategy happening when it comes to web technology.

As Microsoft's corporate veep Dean Hachamovitch described it last week, " Plug-ins were important early on in the web's history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5."

One outcome of this is the company's decision to ship the tablet version (Metro) of its new Windows 8 OS with a version of the IE 10 browser that doesn't support any plug-ins.

Although this notably impacts Adobe's Flash standard - the company has already made plans to overcome the issue - it's an interesting situation for other companies who rely on browser plug-ins for their web technologies.

Future shock

One such is game development tools outfit Unity, which uses its own proprietary plug-ins for browser-based games.

Chief creative officer Nicholas Francis isn't too concerned at the moment, though.

"Right now, we understand that Microsoft only plans on banning plug-ins from the new Metro UI, designed more for tablets and phones and not for the full desktop OS," he explains.

"So far, people seem to prefer native apps for mobile apps, which is something we've done to perfection on iOS and Android. As you know, we're pretty agnostic when it comes to which environment Unity games are made and played.

"And, actually, what IE 10 is doing is nothing new - Safari for PC and iOS has a similar set up and we have been doing well on both of these platforms."

Future proof

However, that doesn't mean Unity won't be supporting developers who want to continue to use Flash for their games.

"The team is currently working like mad on our Flash publishing option for those people who prefer to deploy through that and we also have standalones and apps available on the iPhone etc.

"If WebGL gets important enough (and performant), we will consider adding support for that as well," Francis says.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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