The launch of Loadout on PS4 this week has been a big success. Congrats to the team at Edge of Reality for such an awesome game. Loadout is the first title using our platform to launch on PS4, and I'm proud to say everything's gone smoothly. (So smoothly that our team spent much of the launch day actually just playing Loadout.)
We've been supporting Loadout on PC since it launched almost a year ago, but of course taking it to a console required a bunch of new work. I thought it'd be interesting to share with you a few of the highlights:
Getting the Sony stamp of approval: In order to use the PlayStation Network, developers need to go through a fairly lengthy certification test by Sony, which meant that instead of having to support just a sandbox and a production environment, we also had to support a third cert test environment. (As an example of the level of detail Sony's cert process puts you through we had to coordinate with Edge of Reality to change how network disconnects from the XMPP chat servers were handled.) We also had to get our office IP addresses whitelisted so they could talk to Sony's development servers.
You can never have too many servers: So, just in case, we provisioned a lot of them. 120 new game servers to be exact -- so enjoy all that smooth-loading mayhem.
A two-day launch: PSN rolls out new titles by region -- so in the case of Loadout, that meant that the Americas got it on 12/16 and Europe got it on 12/17. While that makes for a smoother process in some ways, from a back-end perspective it meant we had to basically create two different titles so each could be managed independently.
And it all went totally perfectly with no extra work whatsoever. OK, not really; we did have to find some creative solutions.
One thing we had to rewrite for PSN was the way purchased virtual items were handled. In rare cases, a purchase (on the PS4, an "entitlement") needs to be revoked (a mistaken purchase gets refunded, for example) along with whatever in-app item was granted by that entitlement. PlayFab doesn't actually get told about a revoke when it happens, however, so we had to add a system that compares a user's current entitlement list with previous versions and then adjusts the player's server-side inventory when there's a discrepancy.
In general, however, while lengthy, this whole process has been pretty smooth sailing. Of course, it helps to have a great partner in Edge of Reality, who did all the hard work of porting over their game.
And the good news is that this will all be much simpler -- and faster -- for the next PlayFab-supported game on PS4!