Microsoft’s PlayFab cuts prices for its networked player game services

Microsoft’s PlayFab game services division said it is cutting prices for its networked player game services.

The changes are rooted in PlayFab’s effort to find efficiencies and increasing value for game developers. This makes the platform more accessible and easier to use for developers, making PlayFab a more competitive offer in today’s game developer market, said James Gwertzman, founder of PlayFab and general manager for gaming cloud at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Microsoft has dropped the price of Azure PlayFab Party, reducing barriers for developers to add game chat and data communications to their titles. For existing customers, PlayFab Party’s new pricing could save teams up to 90%.

Backed by Azure cloud relays, PlayFab Party provides low-latency chat and data communication for a game’s players, saving devs time and resources. The developers no longer have to manage their own infrastructure. Developers can use Party for multiplayer networking only, for voice and/or text chat only, or for both chat and multiplayer networking.

Microsoft acquired PlayFab three years ago. PlayFab created infrastructure, live operations, and back-end services to offload those tasks from developers, who could concentrate on making their own games.

“Since Party launched to general availability earlier this year in April, we’ve been able to drastically reduce costs through service efficiencies and improvements, and we’re excited to pass those savings to you,” Gwertzman said. “In addition, we’ve added more meters within our standard and premium plans, which already includes 24/7 operations monitoring.”

PlayFab Party is available at no cost when used by an Xbox authenticated player across any device Xbox identity supports (Xbox, PC, iOS, and Android). It also provides cross-platform communication. It is a voice and chat solution for Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, iOS, Android, and Stadia. PlayFab Party also provides a cross-platform mesh, to make communications within regions better. It offers a variety of other services.

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