As more studios launch live games that rely on always-online servers and constantly updated content, the tab to keep the backend servers running can get expensive. But that is where a company that sells live operations wants to step in.
PlayFab, which provides backend services to enable developers to run live games, has introduced a new no-cost solution called PlayFab Free Tier. This gives developers unlimited access to important capabilities like login authentication to prevent piracy and fraud. This is especially ideal for indie studios who don’t have the budget to build and manage their own services. And nearly all of the top-grossing games on Android and iOS run as games-as-a-service (GaaS). This includes Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans, and it’s tough to compete on mobile and even PC for developers that don’t have similar levels of support. PlayFab’s tech also works with popular existing game-development kits like Unity, Unreal, and more.
Developer Hyper Hippo Games is one of the first that will deploy PlayFab’s Free Tier in a game. AdVenture Capitalist, the studio’s popular game for mobile and PC, is in the process of getting the PlayFab support now.
In addition to login verification, PlayFab’s Free Tier will also do receipt verification to make in-app purchases more secure. Other benefits include cross-platform authentication and title- and player-data storage. Cross-platform authentication enables players to start a game on one device and continue it on another. And the live data storage means developers can add content and change their games without having to go through the Apple or Google certification processes.
Of course, as a game finds more success and reasons for more live services, PlayFab can easily integrate its more elaborate features in its higher tiers for a fee.
In a statement, PlayFab chief executive officer and founder James Gwertzman said that indie studios are “looking for resources that allow them to cost-effectively do what they do best: create great games.”
Gwertzman pointed to recent moves by other gaming technology companies like Unity and Unreal to make their technology free to everyone. Those game-making software kits — along with others from Crytek and Valve — are pushing forward the “democratization” game development. PlayFab doesn’t want to get left out of that.
“We are furthering an important movement to open access to technology for the greater game development community,” said Gwertzman.