This week, Apple impresario Steve Jobs put a shot across Adobe's bow, explaining in detail why the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad (The "iPlatforms," hereafter) do not and will not in the future support Adobe Flash. You can check out his 6-point Flash philippic here. The key points for people who aren't Apple shareholders are that Flash is murderous to mobile device battery life, and that it's buggy, crash-prone and not especially secure. This of course has major implication for the Web as a whole, but this is the Gaming insider -- what does it mean for games?
In the short term, probably not too much. As Jobs' open letter points out, there are plenty of games on the App Store, and anyone who's been to AddictingGames.com knows that there are enough free Flash games out there to occupy even those with a surfeit of spare time. Web game devs code in Flash, and Apple devs can code in HTML5, and each platform has its own title lists -- no big deal.
But as the Apple/Adobe war continues, Web game developers may want to start choosing sides. Since a game developed using HTML5 can run on both the Web and on the iPlatforms, as Apple's products proliferate in the marketplace as gaming devices -- and they're already major players in that space -- Flash will simply not be less economical than developing on the open platform, unless Flash proves itself to have features that are truly unique, which at the moment aren't there. On top of that, Adobe will have to fix the stability, battery life, and functionality problems that Jobs highlighted.
The reason these things are mission-critical for Adobe is that mobile is the future of casual and social gaming; there's no reason we need to be tied to our desktops to play "Farmville" or "Plants vs. Zombies." With the iPlatforms as some of the most dominant mobile gaming platforms, Adobe needs to make sure to either twist Apple's arm until they cave and support Flash, or make gaming on the Droid so good that we all forget about iPhones.