Azure PlayFab at GDC 2024

A closer look our GDC highlights, including new features like PlayFab Copilot and updates to PlayFab's suite of services.

April 08, 2024
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It was so exciting to see many of you at GDC last month! For those who couldn’t make it, we wanted to share some of our GDC highlights, recap some new features, and link to our roadmap for PlayFab.

First, our friends at Gun Interactive shared a look at how PlayFab enabled them to bring their hit game, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, to life. In the talk, Rob Fox, Designer and Technical Lead at Gun Interactive, highlighted how PlayFab's suite of services facilitated rapid prototyping and streamlined the development process. This allowed them to focus on delivering an exceptional gaming experience that was scalable and reliable without requiring extensive coding. You can read more about their experience with PlayFab in this story: Unlocking the Success of Gun Interactive’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with PlayFab’s Game Services

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Rob Fox, Designer and Technical Lead at Gun Interactive and CJ Williams, Director of Product Management at Xbox.

Microsoft Game Creator Services Director of Product Management CJ Williams gave attendees a glimpse into the future of PlayFab. As our team looks to build more support for game creators and see their success scale, we are exploring the integration of AI to simplify and optimize development in real-time. This new offering, PlayFab Copilot, empowers developers by enabling them to delve deeper into their PlayFab data. Instead of grappling with the structure of their data, developers can focus on specific information they need. PlayFab Copilot also enables developers to affect game state – whether it’s scheduling standby servers or granting virtual currency to a specific player segment – all through natural language prompts. PlayFab Copilot will be in Private Preview soon, so be sure to sign up here to learn more and be notified on preview releases.

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Preview image of the PlayFab Copilot panel inside Game Manager.

Another highlight was the game development workshop at the Community Clubhouse Developer Summit. Josh Loveridge from Stratton Studios built a game from start to finish with community safety front and center, using a variety of tools to create the tech stack, including PlayFab. The panel discussions featured experts on game development. PlayFab panelists described how creators can rely on PlayFab to provide essential game services like Virtual Economy, Data & Analytics, Chat, and Multiplayer Services. Together, these enable creators to focus on crafting compelling narratives, captivating characters, stunning graphics, and immersive animations.

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Josh Loveridge, Managing Director, Stratton Studios, Sravya Antharam Senior Product Manager, Xbox, Den Blechner, Co-founder & CPO, Quago.

Last year at GDC, we introduced exciting new features including PlayFab Economy v2 General Availability, Player Churn Prediction Private Preview, and PlayFab SDK built into Microsoft’s Game Development Kit (GDK). Since then, we have been hard at work on further enhancements. Here are just a few of them across our PlayFab’s main areas (here’s a complete list):

Economy Services: Segment support is one of Economy’s most requested features, and we have been making inroads to support both Targeted Offers and Segment Actions to better tie economy scenarios to players and entities. We are improving performance for V2 customers by boosted our standard Service Limits and releasing two Preview features: Catalog Views for easily caching search results and Turbo Loading for faster Inventory fetching. Finally, we released Mobile Subscriptions support for iOS and Android. You can read more about all of these in our Unlocking the Power of PlayFab Economy blog post.

Multiplayer Server and Multiplayer Experiences Services: Exciting new capabilities for customizable leaderboards based on any stats you collect (read more in our Future of Stats and Leaderboards post), and enhancements to Matchmaking, Lobby, PubSub and Multiplayer Server to enable greater extensibility and flexibility.

Data Analytics and LiveOps Services: A wealth of new capabilities to improve data collection and distribution such as event partitioning and delta table support. Also, an exciting improvement to near real-time analytics and insights our integration with Microsoft Fabric. And new LiveOps and segmentation tools to enable more personalized player experiences in your game.

Game Integration: Significant optimizations, performance improvements and updates for our SDKs including PlayFab Multiplayer Online Subsystem for Unreal Engine 5.3.

We are thrilled to bring these new features to game developers and are keen to see how you use them in your games. At PlayFab, we are more committed than ever to the future development of our platform. There are many capabilities that are developing across all areas of PlayFab, so please take a look at our latest roadmap to learn more.