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PlayFab goes free, launches Services Marketplace

"This is the biggest productivity boost for game developers since Unity launched its asset store in 2010"

PlayFab has made its backend services platform entirely free, a move that CEO James Gwertzman described as, "the biggest productivity boost for game developers since Unity launched its asset store."

Developers can now access PlayFab's entire platform at no cost, with no cap on player count. That includes services like authentication, player profiles, in-game commerce, matchmaking and leaderboards among others. The Seattle based company will now monetise in part through selling premium support.

"Modern games depend on sophisticated backend technology to compete," said Gwertzmann, who founded the company in 2014, in a statement. "By integrating PlayFab's unified operations console and core backend services with more specialised best-of-breed services from across the gaming ecosystem, we give game developers the flexibility they need to piece together the perfect backend for their game - and at a fraction of the cost or time of doing it from scratch."

Those "specialised best-of-breed services" form the other part of PlayFab's monetisation strategy going forward: a Services Marketplace that will allow simple integration of premium services to, as the company puts it, "reduce SDK fatigue." Kochava, Innervate, Exit Game and Appuri are among the companies with products for sale through PlayFab's Services Marketplace.

PlayFab raised $7.4 million in funding in February this year, and then introduced a free tier to its business model the following June. It also opened an office in Berlin in July.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.