Is ActionScript used anymore? …

Where did ActionScript go? ( 2023 )

ActionScript 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 were programming languages primarily associated with Adobe Flash. ActionScript was the language that added interaction to games, animation, and web-based media created in Flash. As Flash was popular for creating interactive web content and animations in the late 1990s and early 2000s, ActionScript was the main programming language used to code Flash content.

But, the question is – Is Action Script still used?

Flash Player is now an obsolete plugin. With the diminished use of Flash and Flash content in mainstream multi-media applications, ActionScript has become largely a defunct programming language due to it being integral to Flash. ActionScript: 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 and its relevance in mainstream indie game development has plummeted and in turn, is hardly used anymore by game developers.

As a personal account as to whether ActonScript is used anymore. I have not written a line of ActionScript 3 ( AS3 ) since 2018. ActionScript was one of my main programming languages for making browser-based games and applications in a commercial setting.

Is ActionScript used anymore? Mostly, no. This question does come with a small caveat. The information provided here is based on the state of technology as of 2023. Since technology evolves rapidly, it’s possible that there have been and will be developments or niche use cases for ActionScript to be used.

But, since 2021, ActionScript’s relevance in mainstream web game development has greatly diminished to near irreverence in today’s professional market.

If ActionScript is hardly used anymore, or greatly diminished. Other practices and languages have moved absence.

Is ActionScript used anymore? The Details

ActionScript is not as widely used as it once was due to the diminished use of Flash. There are still professionals who will still use ActionScript for their games and applications in rare and niche instances.

Generally speaking, ActionScript 1,2 and 3, ( AS3 ) have been altogether phased out by mainstream developers and game designers. Other languages and technologies have stepped in its absence. JavaScript, C-Sharp, and even no-code engines – visual scripting has taken precedence over ActionScript.

ActionScript3.0 snippet
AS3 Snippet of code!

Many ActionScript developers who used the language to program their games have gravitated towards other languages and technologies. Such examples are HTML5 and Unity.

If you are wondering if ActionScript is used by professionals ( as of 2023 ), you may also find this topic interesting. Is Adobe Animate used professionally? Or No Code game engines.

Why is ActionScript used less now?

When considering if ActionScript is used anymore, it may be beneficial to ask why it has fallen out of favour. Alternatively, you may find this post interesting:

11 reasons you should not use Flash player.

This topic also ties in with why ActionScript has fallen out of favour.

Here are a list of reasons why ActionScript has fallen out of favour as both a professional and tech weary dev:

The Rise of HTML5 In Gaming

HTML5, along with CSS and JavaScript, has become a standard for web and browser-based game development. HTML5 offers native support for multimedia elements and interactivity without the need for plugins like Flash.

You may also be interested in reading more on whether gamers still play browser games ( 2023 ).

Security Concerns

ActionScript, along with Flash was known for security vulnerabilities, leading major web browsers to disable or block Flash content by default. ActionScript was the language that went hand in glove to make Flash Games work. However, ActionScript could be used to write malicious software to be executed through the Flash Plugin. Action Script started to die along with Flash. It was the fall of a web titan!

Mobile Compatibility

Flash content was not well-supported on mobile devices, which were becoming increasingly important for web browsing and browser games. Remember, Action Script was largely tied in with Flash. When Flash, so did ActionScript as a popular language for making games.

Flash’s Mobile browsing compatibility even before it was removed from browsers was dreadful.

Mobile Gaming

In addition to how people used the internet, gamers were starting to gravitate towards non-browser-based gaming – such as mobile gaming. ActionScript and Flash were less geared toward making mobile games and apps. It failed to maneuver in time with emerging technology. So ActionScript stalled in a bygone internet era, along with Flash.

Adobe’s End Of Flash Announcement

Adobe officially announced the end of support for Flash Player at the end of 2020, effectively marking the end of Flash and ActionScript’s era in one swoop.

Is ActionScript used anymore? – ‘The why?’

To summarise that list, ActionScript has fallen due to numerous reasons. Newer technologies merging onto the market, the demise of Flash Player, smartphones, and big tech steering the industry. Sadly, ActionScript has seemingly had its day. Although highly unlikely, it could have a re-emergence for something else in the future.

What Killed ActionScript

  • The rise of HTML5
  • The death of Flash
  • New languages
  • New technology, such as smartphones
  • Dedicated game engines coming onto the market – such as Unity.
  • Flash player being culled by major browsers

Is ActionScript used anymore? ActionScript 1 ( AS1 )

ActionScript 1 is the oldest version of the official ActionScript language. ActionScript 1 is no longer used. AS1 has been a defunct language for a long time. And for as long as I have worked with Action Script, 2 and 3. I have not seen Action Script used. This is the likely scenario for most former Flash developers.

Is Action Script 2.0 used still? ( AS2 )

By and large, ActionScript 2 is also another old defunct version of ActionScript ( they’re all defunct in my opinion ). AS2 may be used in obscure, rare to near non-existent circumstances in 2023. Especially in the professional market. AS2 is obsolete and many form Flash professionals would be inclined to agree.

You would only need to write in ActionScript 2 if you were to work on an old Flash project. ( Read this, should I use Flash )

Action Script 2, was my favourite for those who were interested!

Is Action Script 3.0 ( AS3 ) still used?

As an industry standard and to the best of my knowledge, ActionScript 3.0 ( AS3 ) is no longer used by most professional developers.

However, it is possible that there are niche cases for ActionScript 3 still being used. For example, legacy games and web applications projects may require knowledge of ActionScript 3 or an ActionScript developer to edit old applications and games.

As a standard, ActionScript3’s relevance in mainstream game development has greatly diminished. ActionScript 3 is the most modern iteration of ActionScript, but – like its predecessors, it has all but vanished into obscurity.

Almost obscure enough to warrant belonging to the retro gaming section. ( Date 2023 )

Action Script … what about in a commercial setting?

The use of ActionScript in a commercial setting has greatly diminished. ActionScript was a common language for Flash game developers when Flash was popular, but like the program itself, it is rare to see it used in a commercial setting. This, however should be noted that it differs from Adobe Animate, which uses JavaScript and is still used.

There may be rare instances of where ActionScript is needed in a commercial setting. For example editing legacy games and applications. Or obscure projects that you would never imagine would need ActionScript!

But, by and large. Action Script is no longer used in a commercial setting at the time of writing this post. I have not seen a job or advert requestion Action Script knowledge for years. That is not to say that they don’t exist, I just have not seen them.

Here is your next post – should I use Flash Player…

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