Introduction

Microsoft Azure PlayFab is a complete backend platform for live games supporting a large range of features for modern game development. This article will provide an overview of the features of PlayFab and is provided here on TechNet wiki to raise awareness of a excellent platform.

As the saying goes, why re-invent the wheel?

Features

Game Services

PlayFab offers a suite of services for game development including player management, inventory, commerce, and more. PlayFab supports authorization including the ability to link accounts from a variety of identity providers including Facebook, Google, Steam, Android, and custom as well as other oAuth providers. Built into the platform is the ability to share data across devices, games and even other players. Player stats are collected and available for both leaderboards and matchmaking. PlayFab also provides commerce features including providing promotions that target an individual or group depending on specific criteria.

LiveOps

Real-time analytics, A/B testing, in-game promotions help to improve and take advantage of opportunities without requiring a game to be redeployed. Being able to host game configuration and content remotely is a great benefit to both the management of games as well as the user experience. This can include a range of content from title news to CDN hosted game files.

Analytics

Dashboards, custom reporting, and integration are supported to help measure the success of games over time. The reporting in PlayFab is really impressive. From high level summaries of activity like the following:

And including the ability to dive into individual API calls to get specific details:

Platforms and Engines

Microsoft documentation for PlayFab has an impressive collection of quick start guides, specific feature guides as well as links to SDKs.

   

Microsoft Game Stack

PlayFab is an important component of the Microsoft Game Stack. Check-out the link, it contains guides and example solutions for a wide range of game related requirements ranging from designing, building to testing as well as information on publishing and monetizing games.

Cost

PlayFab pricing centers around the total number of unique players per month (MAU). This is per game title and not per device so the same player playing the same game on different devices counts as one player where the same player on the same device playing two different game titles counts as two.

The plans are broken down into Indie, Professional, and Enterprise. It is good to note that the first 1,000 MAU is free.

The pricing does vary and there is a free Essentials plan offered so it is best to view the Pricing page for the latest information.