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Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

byKirsten Dearnley 2022-10-05

PlayFab Party expands cross-platform play with new platforms

We're pleased to announce the release of PlayFab Party C++ SDKs and Unity plugins on Linux and macOS. This brings support for two highly requested platforms to join our existing roster that already includes Windows PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Android, and iOS. PlayFab Party provides low-latency, secure game networking and built-in player communication that works across platforms to bring players together no matter where they play. Party also has additional security, accessibility, and player safety features so that game creators can support and protect their players and community.

We're so excited to enable the game creators who want to support Linux and macOS, because we're dedicated to helping reach players wherever they play games. For game creators, developing a multiplayer game for multiple platforms can be a huge challenge with each additional platform multiplying the amount of work required to ship a game. The PlayFab Party SDKs abstract all the platform-specific hardware interfaces, allowing developers to integrate a single API into their game to unlock Party networking and communication on all supported platforms. Additionally, developers building PlayFab Party enabled Unity games on iOS will enjoy improved iteration times by debugging their iOS games directly in the Unity editor on macOS. We can't wait to hear from creators as they build the next great real-time multiplayer experiences with these new platforms and capabilities!

Enable Cross-Platform Play with PlayFab Party

Game creators can mix-and-match the capabilities of PlayFab Party to build the real-time multiplayer experience that is right for their game. PlayFab Party is scale-tested and proven by supporting major titles, from our own Xbox Game Studios' Halo Infinite and Sea of Thieves to successful titles like No Man's Sky, which use PlayFab Party to connect players from across the world and across Windows, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.

PlayFab Party offers peer-to-peer or relayed game networking with built in voice and text chat channels, security, accessibility, and player safety features, all in a cross-platform compatible way. Dynamic and flexible, games can modify the configuration of permissions, audio devices, and the flow of player communications at any time. Additional capabilities for real-time transcription and translation can be easily enabled and dynamically controlled, leveraging the power of Azure Cognitive Services. PlayFab Party brings the best of Xbox and Azure in player communications to game creators, with expansive control to build whatever game creators think of next.

Connecting to a Party network requires only a network identifier, which can be easily shared through the PlayFab Lobby service or any other mechanism for sharing state between clients. Games can connect to multiple party networks simultaneously, enabling robust and flexible topologies that can handle fire teams, raids, grouping with friends, drop-in parties, spontaneous multiplayer, and more. PlayFab Party works great with PlayFab multiplayer services for matchmaking and lobbies but is flexible enough to work with whatever services are right for your game.

Start Today

Find out how PlayFab Party makes it easier than ever to build games that communicate across platforms and bring players together from across the globe. If you're new to PlayFab Party, be sure to check out our quick start guide to get started with Azure PlayFab Party.

Find links to the new Linux and macOS SDK releases at Azure PlayFab Party SDKs. The Linux SDK is officially supported on Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Steam Deck. We want to hear which Linux distro you use with PlayFab Party!

Members of the ID@Azure program will have access to free PlayFab Party Networking, Voice, & Chat, PlayFab Matchmaking, and PlayFab Lobby allowances. The usage limits we are offering are extremely generous and have been benchmarked against some of the most successful titles we have on PlayFab today. The net result is that we expect these PlayFab services to be covered by the usage limits for up to 95% of games. See PlayFab Pricing for more details.

Your feedback helps us improve our services. Please send comments and questions to the PlayFab Community Forums or in the Microsoft Game Dev Discord Server.