Has the age of free, hosted, multi-player Flash game servers arrived?

There are two services on the horizon for Flash game developers that could be complete game-changers for the viral Flash game industry. 

Both Come2Play and Nonoba will soon open up their multi-player game APIs to developers so they can create and host multiplayer games for free.  This is great news for anyone who has wanted to dabble in multi-player, but could niether find hosting, or afford their own socket server.

Come2Play has their 1.1 API available right now.  It includes both a Client and Server-Side API, but the server side API is actually a HTTP pass through to code that lives on your own server.  This seems a bit weird, but could work.  It just would not be able to handle anything beyond turn-based games.   Their example is “Tic-Tac-Toe”, which should be a signal to the type of game-play you can achieve with their systm.  Still, turn-based is better than nothing, and they do offer a rev share and have a 2.0 API on the horizon.

Nonoba’s API on the other hand, looks far more promising, at least technically.  They claim to support real-time games (i.e racing, asteroids) and, plus they offer chat, lobbies, achievements, etc.   In fact, their feature-set looks remarkably similar to Electroserver 4.  I’m anxious to get my hands on it so I can give it a test drive.  Right now, Nonobo is is beta (they have announced a June release).  On the down-side, while they do offer  contests, they have not announced a rev-share.  This may or may not mean you can use Mochiads or GameJacket with your games. 

We’ve applied for the Nonoba beta, and if we get in (or when it comes out of beta in June), we will start reporting our progress here and maybe even start adding tutorials.

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