What you need to know
- Microsoft has unveiled new pay-as-you-go pricing for Azure PlayFab, cloud-based development tools for game services.
- The new no-commitment plan aims to provide more accessible entry point without fixed monthly fees, opening its tools to smaller developers.
Microsoft has unveiled a new pricing shakeup for Azure PlayFab, its cloud platform powering multiplayer tools, analytics, and other backend fundamentals for game developers. The change follows a series of pricing shakeups for the service in 2020, with a new no-strings-attached plan designed to further reinforce accessibility for smaller teams.
The new "pay-as-you-go" plan looks to reduce friction for new PlayFab users, scrubbing the minimum monthly fees required for its alternative paid plans. It follows the company unveiling a new pricing model back in April, switching from monthly active users-based billing to a new usage-based approach.
Usage-based pricing arrives this November following a six-month transition window, with its new pay-as-you-go plan providing added flexibility around growing titles. The move could prove popular among smaller teams or students, providing a more affordable avenue when just getting started. The team also cut PlayFab Party costs earlier this month, its platform for in-game communications like voice chat, reducing the barrier to entry by up to 90 percent.
The PlayFab suite remains free for titles with up to 100,000 users while still in development, with pay-as-you-go pricing applied to developers who surpass that player threshold. It also provides seamless upgrades to Standard and Premium plans, designed to provide savings compared to its à la carte services, in exchange for a monthly commitment.
PlayFab continues to quietly scale under Microsoft Azure, following its acquisition of the platform back in 2018. The move led to the creation of a new Gaming Cloud division headed by Kareem Choudhry, a Microsoft veteran with a rich history in DirectX and Xbox, aiming to further push Azure in the space. The team continues to scale its cloud-backed gaming technologies, supporting titles from Xbox Game Studios, Ubisoft, and more.