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Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by Sully 2018-08-10

PlayFab Roadmap: 2018 Q3 (July – September) Edition

One of the most common questions our team receives is about our upcoming features. Starting today, we’ll provide quarterly blog updates that provide insight into the work we plan to deliver. 

This roadmap focuses on key investments rather than a comprehensive list of all new features, which we’ll share with the community as we release them. We’re proud to align our work each quarter to a theme that helps us prioritize urgent customer needs and ensures the features we do ship work well when used together. 

While we’ll provide an overview in this post, if there are additional features you’d like to see added to our roadmap in the future, please vote on or add to the Feature Requests section of our forums. 


This quarter’s theme is: Games at Scale 

Whether your game was developed in a garage or green lit in a board room no longer matters. Once you’ve accomplished your first goal and acquired large volumes of users, PlayFab is here to help you efficiently and effectively manage your game. This quarter’s features are all about the tools and services you need to operate your game at hyperscale, using industry-leading technology proven on the world’s most successful games. 

All the features below are targeted for shipping prior to October 2018!


  Multiplayer Servers 2018

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

We have taken Microsoft’s battle-tested “Thunderhead” technology, used to host and scale AAA games like Halo 5, Gears of War, and Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege in the Azure cloud, and are now making this service available to all developers via PlayFab. 

For more details on PlayFab Multiplayer Servers 2018, check the blog post here


  Matchmaking 2018 (Beta)

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

Your players will quickly find and join high quality multiplayer matches using PlayFab Matchmaking 2018. We’re upgrading PlayFab’s matchmaking to use the proven capabilities of Xbox Live’s SmartMatch. This marks the first time the firmly established technology of Xbox Live matchmaking has been available outside of Xbox Live, and will be available to you everywhere via PlayFab. No platform strings attached. 

PlayFab Matchmaking 2018 is seamlessly integrated with the rest of PlayFab, including UI, PlayStream, and analytics. 


  Economy 2018 (Beta)

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

We’re upgrading to PlayFab Economy 2018, leveraging the same system used to power Minecraft’s tens of millions of users for improved performance and features. 

The updated system will give our engineering team the ability to add features more rapidly in the future. Immediately, you will see benefits in terms of your ability to scale. For example, we will support many more items in Inventory (well over one thousand for a single title), add idempotent transactions, and will remove contention issues for titles with large numbers of users. The updated system also works with PlayFab Entities, whereas the former did not.


  Data Warehouse 2018 

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

We’re upgrading PlayFab’s backend data warehouse to the same technology used in games with massive audiences like Minecraft and Solitaire. This provides for analytics at hyperscale (literally petabytes of data), that will unlock the ability to do deeper analysis of your game’s telemetry. The initial release focuses on enabling high throughput batched events (in addition to the existing low-latency real-time PlayStream events). This will enable you to send richer client telemetry from your game client. 

Immediately, you will see benefits in terms of your ability to scale the number of events you can send from your client, as well enabling new analytics capabilities. 


  New KPI and LiveOps Dashboards

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

We're lighting up new dashboards, built from the ground up to help you track key player metrics and operational health of your game. These dashboards deliver best-in-class metrics out of the box. Easily explore session frequency & duration, retention, conversion, revenue, transactions, and more. Drill down by platform, region, time, player segments, and more. Use industry benchmarks to compare your performance against realistic goals. 

The new functionality will be found on your title’s dashboard. 


  Two-way Connectivity (Beta)

Powered by Microsoft Azure 

Two-way connectivity gives you the power to open a persistent socket connection between the PlayFab backend and the client.  Now the backend can proactively inform the client of important changes, unleashing many creative new uses of PlayFab.  

This quarter we’re including the ability to send a custom event to individual players via a server API, with more features following in subsequent months.  


  Configuration Management 

Games at scale need formal management tools for their overall PlayFab configuration. This quarter we’re introducing the frequently requested ability to import and export your title’s service configuration, along with tools to roll back to a previous version, schedule changes, or copy the configuration from one title to another. 

New configuration management functionality is available both through the Game Manager UI and Admin APIs. 


  Unreal Marketplace 

PlayFab has always worked with numerous engines, including Unreal. Due to feedback from developers, we are doubling down on the PlayFab UE SDK to include support for the latest versions of UE. As a result we’re also now available in the Unreal Marketplace as an engine plugin. 

The PlayFab UE plugin is available for both the C++ and Blueprints versions of UE from the UE Marketplace.


  OpenID Connect 

We’ve heard feedback that game developers want more choices when it comes to their identity provider on PlayFab.  We’re expanding PlayFab secure identity options by allowing developers to authenticate players using any provider that supports the OpenID Connect model. 

Developers will be able to onboard new identity providers directly through Game Manager and immediately see them reflected in reports and analytics. 


  Facebook Instant Games 

PlayFab is bringing LiveOps to Facebook Instant Games.  Take advantage of the PlayFab Game Services and Real Time Analytics to increase your ability to effectively monetize your players on the Facebook Instant Games platform. 

A new identity provider will allow you to securely authenticate your Facebook Instant Game players into your PlayFab Title. Keep an eye out for LoginWithFacebookInstantGamesID API coming soon. 


  New Home for PlayFab Documentation 

We’re moving the PlayFab docs to be hosted on docs.microsoft.com and giving you a voice. The new location uses GitHub so that you may submit pull requests to the documentation using simple markup language. Migrating gives us a number of other advantages including the ability to more easily search the docs from your favorite search engine, and improved navigation. The site also unlocks the ability for us to begin localizing our docs. For more on that, see the section below. 

Existing links from the PlayFab site, forum posts, your emails, or your internal documentation will automatically forward to the new pages once the new site is live.


  Localization

This quarter we’re localizing key portions of the PlayFab developer experience. Until now, the Game Manager portal, important tutorial materials, and the LiveOps guide have been available only in English. This quarter we are localizing each of them into Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and German. 

We’re also adding support for player locale, so that you can send players appropriately localized communications. This quarter that will take the form of localized email templates. 

To make sure our localized strings are as accurate as possible, we welcome suggestions and feedback from our customers. 


Quick reminder: while these updates reflect our aspirations for upcoming features, please remember that these features and timelines and subject to change without additional notice. If there are additional features you’d like to see added to our roadmap in the future, please vote on or add to the Feature Requests section of our forums.