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Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by James Gwertzman 2021-01-28

Celebrating Three Years of Partnership Between PlayFab and Microsoft

PlayFab and Microsoft joined forces three years ago, and this week we’re celebrating by honoring the  amazing community we've built together. Our community is developers and studios, engineers and tinkerers, players and friends.

When PlayFab joined Microsoft in January 2018, the goal was to work with Microsoft Azure to provide a world-class cloud platform for the game development community. After three years together, we’re blown away by how far we’ve come together: as a partnership and as a community.

Since PlayFab joined Microsoft, the number of individual titles using Azure PlayFab has skyrocketed by almost 9x. What’s more, monthly active users playing games that leverage Azure PlayFab services have grown by almost 9x as well! Further, PlayFab’s scalable services supported more than 129,000 requests per second (RPS) in December 2020. Combined, this shows us that the games that leverage Azure PlayFab are adding more players and supporting more engagements than ever. It’s outstanding growth like this that drives us forward, that motivates and inspires us, and helps us to refine our services and make Azure PlayFab so dynamic and better than ever. To all our partners and customers, thank you for trusting Azure PlayFab to build your game experiences on. 

“PlayFab's backend platform enabled DIRT 5 to have a stable and robust Multiplayer feature at launch that scales across multiple platforms. Alongside the commercial benefits, it also allowed the development team to focus more time on the gameplay features and innovations such as upgrades on next-gen consoles, and the introduction of our custom arena mode, Playgrounds.”
Robert Karp, Development Director, Codemasters

We’re proud to support and celebrate our partner’s greatest successes. Minecraft and Roblox have some of the largest and most engaged communities in gaming today, and Spongebob: Krusty Cook-Off was recently named the Google Play Users’ Choice Game of 2020. These are games that are seeing outstanding player engagement year-over-year, and all of them utilize Azure PlayFab as part of that. Minecraft utilizes Azure PlayFab to bolster its in-game marketplace and scale its evolving customer experiences. And Roblox utilizes Azure PlayFab to deliver analytics as a service to top developers on the Roblox platform. Empowering developers to deliver features in their games at scale is a huge responsibility, and one we don’t take lightly.

We built PlayFab initially because we recognized that many studios were all facing similar challenges as business models and customer expectations shifted towards live games, where dynamic content and community support are the norm. Building great multi-platform game services, robust data pipelines and analytics, and LiveOps content management is a hard and time-consuming problem, and that's time spent before focusing on the challenges that make each game unique and compelling. We wanted to level the playing field for any developer. Today, Azure PlayFab let's any game developer, big or small, begin at the starting line instead of playing catch-up.

Some of the most popular multiplayer games on the planet rely on the global reach, dependability, and usability of Azure PlayFab for their LiveOps. This includes blockbuster titles such as Doom Eternal, Rainbow Six Siege, Sea of Thieves, Dirt 5, and No Man’s Sky, just to name a few. The sophisticated multiplayer service games like these require is what has pushed and inspired Azure PlayFab to keep building muscle these past three years, like the ability to process more than 10 billion API calls securely (and confidently) in one day.

Supporting LiveOps services and multiplayer environments across platforms, including Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia, PC, and mobile, means Azure PlayFab today truly supports gaming wherever and however developers want to reach players. We’re offering developers more options and fresh opportunity to partner with us. Last year we introduced a pay-as-you-go pricing model and significantly reduced the cost for Party services. Beginning Jan. 29, we’ll be making our Party plugin for Unity available for developers creating games for Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 and 5, Android, and iOS, in addition to the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC platforms we already support. This means developers can seamlessly and effortlessly integrate Party with their Unity title across platforms, attracting and connecting more players and driving more engagement with their games.

What this shows us is that games using Azure PlayFab services are adding more players and more engagements. That’s the kind of growth that charges this industry and motivates us.

As we go into year four, we’re excited to start a new tradition: The PlayFab Anniversary Awards. We’re proud to honor amazing partner indie studios with well-earned recognition. Check back on Friday to see who the inaugural winners are at https://playfab.com/awards/#giveaway.

We’re so proud of the community we’ve built together and we’re energized by what’s ahead. We’re working with brilliant partners on some of the most exciting games and technologies coming in 2021. Stay tuned for more including exciting details about Game Stack Live later this spring, where you’ll hear about the latest developments and opportunities covering all corners of Microsoft’s Game Stack. 

We can’t wait to continue building the world’s best games with you.