What just happened? In an end-of-life notice on its website, Adobe said that retiring the Shockwave player for Windows is the final step in a multi-year process that started with the discontinuation of Adobe Director in February 2017 and was followed by the dismissal of the Shockwave player for macOS a month later.
Adobe has announced plans to discontinue its Shockwave multimedia player for Windows next month.
Shockwave, originally developed by MacroMind, was acquired by Macromedia in 1993. Realizing the potential for a multimedia platform on the emerging Internet, the company developed the Shockwave player for Netscape Navigator, the top web browser of the era.
Director, the authoring application for Shockwave, quickly became the go-to tool in the multimedia industry. Shockwave powered may early web-based games / animations and was used to create interactive experiences on CD-ROM. Over time, however, the platform fell out of favor as alternatives like HTML5 Canvas and WebGL took over. CD-ROMs and other physical media has given way to digital content.
Individual support for Shockwave will end on April 9, 2019. Those with EULA distribution licensing will receive support through the end of their one-year contract while enterprise customers will retain support through the end of their contracts in 2022.
As Gizmodo correctly points out, much of the content created for Shockwave will likely fall into obscurity. In the not-too-distant future, we'll have to reply on organizations such as the Internet Archive to experience what an earlier generation grew up on.
Lead image via Gizmodo