Microsoft’s Azure PlayFab and Xbox divisions have joined together to offer game developers matchmaking and multiplayer parties at no cost when used by an Xbox network authenticated player.
The offer extends to all platforms where the Xbox network is supported today, including the Xbox, PC, iOS, or Android.
PlayFab Matchmaking is a customizable matchmaking service developers can use to help players find and join compelling multiplayer matches. PlayFab Party delivers real-time device-to-device networking, text chat, and voice chat while integrating Azure Speech Services to enable text-to-speech and speech-to-text accessibility functionality.
Xbox services allow developers to integrate friends lists, achievements, and cloud saves into games on virtually any device, along with an identity for players that is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the U.S. and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.
Together, these Microsoft Game Stack services allow developers to build multiplayer games with matchmaking and communication capabilities that are fully compliant with Xbox Network Integration policies. They also support players who want to log in with alternative identities such as Steam.
Starting today, any Matchmaking or Party activity generated by Xbox authenticated players is free; developers pay only for service use by their non-Xbox authenticated players.