At the start of 2018, Microsoft acquired cloud gaming management company PlayFab. Today, the company has announced its plans for PlayFab with the launch of a multiplayer server platform. Available in public preview, the service will give game developers more control over backend management for multiplayer online titles.
Among the services PlayFab brought to Microsoft are virtual currency tracking, leaderboards, authentication, commerce, and more. The company has now integrated features from the software into live game operations through Azure cloud.
The new platform was announced by Kevin Gammill, general manager of gaming cloud at Microsoft in a blog post today:
“As game developers, we strive to build incredible gaming experiences with dynamic play that drives engagement,” Gammill said. “Launching an online multiplayer game is challenging as it requires solving the complex issue of how to scale multiplayer servers without pulling resources away from creating the actual game.”
Developers can now access PlayFab features in preview. Among the abilities on board are features to bring more efficiency to games running in the cloud. By handling the backend management, dev’s will be able to focus on making their games better.
“Our re-engineered multiplayer server solution enables dynamic, scale-based on player demand while simplifying cloud resource management,” Gammill said. “We operate the service and servers, so you don’t have to manage dedicated, on-premises server hardware.”
For players of the multiplayer title, the results should be obvious improvements in loading times, connectivity, and gameplay response. Microsoft says it leveraged Azure resources to reduce the cost of hosting game servers in PlayFab Multiplayer Servers.
For developers, benefits of using the PlayFab platform will include being able to scale customized servers. Microsoft says this scalability and infrastructure is already proven on its own Xbox exclusive titles such as Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 4.
The platform is available now to PlayFab indie, pro, and enterprise users. Customers have access to a limited free number of multiplayer servers.