*Want to contribute as an editor? Ask Xblade in Discord!
⭐ = Mods Choice Award (Unsponsored)AccelByte
Amazon GameSparks
Amazon GameTech
Azure PlayFab (PF)
by Microsoft
Beamable⭐BrainCloud (BC)
by bitHeads Inc.
Epic Online Services (EOS)
by Epic Games
Google FirebaseLootLockerUnisaveUnordinalEXTR4L1F3
*Memo: Let us know if you have any additional notes/context
Important Note--⚠️Early Access
[NDA'd Roadmap]
πŸ’‘ Identical to Core AWS
⚠️ No native Steam Auth
⚠️ Cloud scripts are raw Azure
⚠️Unreal barely supported/doc'd
----⚠️ Shared Environment (Free) solution removed in 2022

(Self-hosted & Hosted ver still ok!)
Launch Date (or mark 'Early Access')?????????2020???
Website (omit https://)
Authoritative? BaaS? DGS? Hybrid?
Authoritative BaaS
Realtime DGS
Authoritative BaaS
Realtime DGS
Authoritative BaaSAuthoritative IaaS
Realtime DGS
(IaaS Modules)
Authoritative BaaS
Realtime DGS
Authoritative BaaSAuthoritative BaaS
Realtime DGS
Realtime Client-Hosted Servers
Limited BaaS
Authoritative BaaSAuthoritative BaaS?Self-Hosted, Authoritative BaaS
Realtime DGS
Notable Client/Game List
* Disclaimer: Names are only posted if
publicly discoverable, generally with a src link.
These are best-guess (probable) associations.
Splitgate (1047 Games)RedpillVR
Superbitmachine (Armajet)
Hexarchia (Overdroid)
?New WorldHalo
Gears of War
Doom Eternal
Sea of Thieves


^ Note: These companies only use PlayFab Party (chat service) component, carefully worded on the website?
Rocket League
?Hokko Life
We Who Are About to Die
Rust Racers
Robot Lord Rising
Target AudienceAAA that want to own their own environment (launcher, etc) and customize to the fullest extent; advanced dev experience recommended.Experienced devs that want advanced features at a low cost."Fully managed AWS service that provides a multi-service backend for game developers. You can focus on building your game and leave managing and scaling your cloud infrastructure to AGS."Experienced devs that want reliability and flexibility, that may have integrations with other services (such as BrainCloud).Devs that want an azure db (with C# beta support), a nice dashboard/portal and scaling prices based on usage.C# Unity devs that want to upload their Unity project to the cloud to act as a server to match their client architecture; low priceDevs of all levels that want an Intuitive dashboard/portal with numerous prebuilt feats where it's free to start, but grows as you grow; the more efficiently coded, the more $$ you save.To those looking for a 100% free product with oAuth2 (login), stats, and P2P servers/lobbies for desktop games.Mobile app devs looking for a cheap, barebones solution with nothing prebuilt except for oAuth2 ("Login With...").?Unity Devs?Devs that want an open source backend on a flexible, affordable product.
High-Level Summary
To prevent information overload.
(No marketing fluff words) provides an affordable, comprehensive white-label backend for game studios to develop, publish, and operate games-as-a-service. allowing studios to fully own their user data and keep much more of their revenue.

Services incl. user account management, commerce, profile/stats/cloud save, lobby & matchmaking, social, game telemetry & analytics, player portal/launcher/patcher, and crash reporting. AccelByte also supports cross-platform play & progression and seamlessly allows crossover between titles.
Offers tons of AAA features for simple to complex online and MMO projects including real-time and asynchronous multi-player capability. Open technology platform built on NodeJS (TypeScript) and Kubernetes using proven industry standards.

Flexibile pricing structures ranging from do-it-yourself royalty based, premium support contracts to fully managed hosted solutions with simple per MAU pricing.

The team's former experience (not AXR, itself) has experience working with AAA titles such as Hawken and XCOM 2.
Succeeded from the original "GameSparks", but sigificantly slower than we anticipated (GS Classic will be gone by the time AGS has a full launch). Has high potential, but taken with skeptism due to the sloppy (and unexpected) GameSparks sunset that really hurt devs that used it.Amazon GameTech is the umbrella of Amazon web services dedicated to games currently has 175 microservices that can be stiched together to make back-end systems along with other functionality.

GameTech incorporates everything from back end tech, RT + Matchmaking, Twitch, DB + Storage, Analytics and AI + ML
PlayFab is a full-featured BaaS built to handle all of your LiveOps needs, whether you’re a small indie studio or building a AAA game or MMO.

Featuring authentication and cross-network identity, leaderboards, inventory and economy management, analytics, hosted multiplayer servers, matchmaking, groups, CMS, CDN, robust engagement features, cloud server functions, voice chat, RT P2P networking, push notifications, and more.
Beamable enables game makers to easily add social, commerce and content management features to their games with drag-and-drop prefabs inside Unity3D without the need of a game server.

A Unity package features ready-to-ship user interfaces distilled from best-practices with every feature, and a visual skinning designer so they seamlessly integrate with the developer's game.

A fully managed SaaS backend powers Beamable with features including Accounts, Social Login, Groups/Guilds/Teams, Chat, Friends, Leaderboards, Live Events, Tournaments, In-Game Mail, Push Notifications, News/Announcements, Analytics, Segmentation, Stats/User Properties, Commerce/Storefront, Payments (Steam, Windows Store, iOS, Google Play, Amazon, Facebook/Gameroom, Flexion), Inventory, and a Relay Server for deterministic real-time multiplayer and turn-based multiplayer.

Still in development (but already has live titles): Has bright and promising future.
Ready-made platform to dev feature-rich games.

Core feats: Cloud saves, leaderboards, tournaments, divisions, friends, achievements, milestones, quests.

Advanced real-time (RTT) feats include RTT events, chat, messaging.

MP feats include online + offline MP modes, hosting, relay and room servers, lobbies and online matchmaking.

Live pricing plans begin at $15/mo.

Private instance licenses also available.
Brand new, 100% free service (often called EOS). Holds huge potential, but is still so new that no one knows what to think, yet.

The service is quite similar to Steam's mplayer service, but
platform/engine-independent: P2P, key/val storage (no direct DB access), stats, achievements, lobby, matchmaking, oAuth2 and analytics. Mobile support coming soon.
Targeted towards small-scoped games on mobile/web. One of the cheapest BaaS in price.LootLocker is a game backend-as-a-service with plug and play tools to upgrade your game and give your players the best experience possible. Designed for teams of all shapes and sizes, on mobile, PC and console. From solo developers, indie teams, AAA studios, and publishers. Built with cross-platform in mind.

Manage your game
Save time and upgrade your game with leaderboards, progression, and more. Completely off-the-shelf features, built to work with any game and platform.

Manage your content
Take charge of your game's content on all platforms, in one place. Sort, edit and manage everything, from cosmetics to currencies, UGC to DLC. Without breaking a sweat.

Manage your players
Store your players' data together in one place. Access their profile and friends list cross-platform. Manage reports, messages, refunds and gifts to keep them hooked.
??Open-source backend.
High-Level Pros (+)
What features stand out?
* Very comprehensive coverage of publishing and game backend services. Has both UE4 and Unity SDK, history of custom C++ SDK implementations, and whitelabel web & PC launcher player experiences that can be incorporated into 1P websites.

* Single-Tenant Deployments for each client which enables wide range of customization options and ownership of platform user data.

* Supports Cross-Platform Play & Progression across multiple titles.

* Adopted by some AAA game publishers and built from the ground up by industry veterans who architected online systems for some of the largest game and distribution platforms.

* Can hire AB staff to create custom features/implementations.

* Extremely active development with friendly/responsive staff.

* Trust and reliability: Huge company full of active staff; actively-used by renown AAA companies.
⭐ "Mods Choice" award (Top 3) in 2020+

* The most active team on Discord (2021).

* Huge MMO feature set.

* Live Scripting System for editing any code without requiring redeployment: Easily extend REST API with new endpoints, storage data types, event handling.

* Access to full source code, forkable, customizeable. Great code quality, in-line docs.

* Easy-to-use dashboard UI.

* Remote debugging (with step-thru).

* Offers realtime and asynchronous capability.

* Easy integration to other third-party or proprietary backends/services.

* Simple and flexible pricing with perpetual licensing options.

* BaaS offers dedicated service resources, no hard limits, gauranteed data privacy, direct database access and dedicated hardware options.

* Game server hosting and CDN available.

* Self-Hosted can be deployed on any cloud provider, public or private datacenter using Kubernetes.

* Capable of supporting multiple titles. Fully customizeable and whitebox capable. Built on the open-source framework ComposerJS.

* Unity plug-in, UE4 plug-in with OnlineSubsystem implementation, Custom C++/C#/JavaScript SDKs
* OG GameSparks was overall great.

* Not many all-in-one competitors.
* #1 in uptime reliability.

* Greater control + unlimited flexibility.

* Scales with unlimited potential.

If you have the time and budget, GameTech is probably the best choice above all when it comes to making your game "future-proof".

* Immune to DDoS (one would assume?).

* All vulnerabilities will be fixed as soon as its identified, ultimately saving your future self money from outages.
* Easy to use and get started

* Cloud scripts link to [raw] Azure or AWS using any language.

* Backed by Microsoft - it's not going away

* Great [Unity; not UE4] docs and active staff in Discord/forums

* Ticket system or [unofficial] Discord contacts with quick replies

* Friendly dashboard UI

* "Playstream" feature with realtime API event viewing/triggers.

* Large, helpful community

* Forum is filled with tips and solutions

* The actual devs are active on Discord

* Realtime pub/sub sockets [Canceled?]
* C# server-side code

* Created and supported by a company that build and shipped a number of successful mobile titles.

* Many features highly tailored to best practices of building, operating, and scaling item based economies.

* Includes shippable UI via Unity Prefabs

* Many large games running on the platform today (Star Trek Timelines, Archer: Danger Phone).
⭐ "Mods Choice" award (top 3) in 2020+

* Cheap (or even free) to start.

* The most-similar spiritual successor to GameSparks.

* Semi-open Mongodbl + NoSQL access (but watered down for the cheaper tier).

* The most user-friendly and intuitive dashboard/API to-date.

* Extremely responsive in-browser chat tool with what appears to be native English speakers.

* Under active development with clear+updated roadmap.

* Amazing cloud script version control: Every time you save, a new version is copied with easy-access reverts.

* Supports no-hassle cloud script renaming/moving, script directory organization, import and export.

* Free (and hassle-free) support that always responds in <24h: Competitors charge a huge premium for this.
* 100% Free

* Has native anti-cheat service to compensate for client-side hack vulnerabilities.

* Unspoken likilihood of increasing your chances to get on Epic Store.

* Support for standalone Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS.
* Seems extremely affordable.

* Supports realtime sockets.

* Supports native NoSQL DB.
* Easy to use and get started

* Plug and play features, requiring no additional coding

* Extremely responsive developers & communit on Discord

* Free to launch with (up to 10k MAU)

* Built by game developers

* Inuitive interface / dashboard

* MMO feature set

* Self-hosted option
??⭐ Former "Mods Choice" award (top 3) from 2020-2021 for hosted solution.

* Free, up to 1 million MAU for hosted version.

* Immediate support on Slack.

* APIs to control just about everything.

* Open Source version available.

* Very Flexible tool/service.
High-Level Cons (-)
What is missing/weak?
* Expensive, targeting AAA

* Confusing what AB actually is?
* Dashboard is very minimal / does not feel modern.

* Small # of staff.
* Seems to be vastly different than the original vision of GS Classic.

* MongoDB / DocumentDB not supported.

* From the same folks that acquired GameSparks Classic, promised great things, then killed the product with live-production games still rolling - with no port tool. Will this, too, be an expendable product, costing devs/pubs thousands of dollars to port away again?
* Has no native support for Steam auth.

* Misleadingly identical to barebones AWS: GameTech is essentially just a collection of docs specific to gaming.

* No collective dashboard.

* Costs money while developing.

* Overbearingly difficult to calculate/predict fees.

* Learning curve is significantly higher, causing greater development times.
* Confusing and always-changing price schema (with no grandfathered prices upon changing).

* Charges per-minute rather than per-MAU (a con to most, a pro to some).

* Breaking bugs have been known to take years to fix with instructions to make an entirely new title to get unstuck (stats, leaderboard...).

* Hyped features (pub/sub) removed, leaving lackluster messaging support.

* No socket connections, yet can only poll a heartbeat once every few mins max.

* Hyped pubsub feature vanished.

* Unreal has almost no inline/external docs, no examples, and is difficult to find Q+A.

* The new Azure cloud scripts have potential, but until they have deep integration, it's essentially raw Azure/AWS - deeply confusing and difficult to setup; billed separately. They even charge a "proxy" fee from PF to Azure (doubling the estimates of cloud scripts).
* Still a new company with many features left to fully document and productize.

* Unity/C# only (no js or Unreal support).

* 10 seconds timout for server calls

* Anonymous authentication cannot be disabled
* Probably the worst editor you'll ever use: No intellisense, no autofill, no typings; it's essentially Notepad: this creates a massive learning curve, all while leaving risk of accidentally typo'ing code.

* Expensive to scale: API structure requires more API calls than other services, easily resulting in much more than 150 calls/day ($$) using minimum features.

* Server-to-server calls consume 0.5 API call (most competitors consume 0). Due to this, one must pack out-of-scope API calls into 1 call to save API calls.

* Rhino backend: Meaning ancient javascript level (
not even `backtick` support) and frustrating debugging.
^ Mar2022 Update: New Rhino ver includes backticks, promises, and string interpolation!

No Minimal stacktrace support: Errors become overwhelmingly-difficult to pinpoint without your own err-handling system.
^ Mar2022 Update: There are now stacktraces, but so minimal and bloated that it's still better to make your own.

* Expect numerous vague errors (that ignore try/catch) that will send you on a wild goose chase for actually simple fixes. This includes even callbacks from 3rd-parties, such as Steam, that exclude essential debug info.

* Severely limited monetization features: Not possible to sell "bundles"; Offers/promos feat only for RLM purchases (not virtual currency); no "quantity limitations" like competitors have.

* Questionable roadmap priorities, prioritizing fluff over "must-have" features.
* Client-side: Vulnerable to hacks.

* Too new (risky for production).

* No official dev support/ticket/chat (community forum only).

* SDK + documentation favors Unreal/C++.

* No official Unity SDK (so not QA'd).

* Many services are in beta or unreleased.

* Getting started is confusing.

* No global data persistence, yet.

* 49% owned by Tencent (mainland China): Is data safe?

* Roadmap has been severely delayed: Is EOS marked as low-priority?
* Very barebones (eg, need to setup even your own db rules).

* Lack of robustness.

* Rumors that medium+ amounts of data may cause issues.
* Young company, still growing development team

* No Cloud Code (yet)

* No consumption / API pricing (yet)
??* Not for beginners.

* Indie tier removed: Temporarily removing "Mods Choice" award during re-review.
Is under active development
(NOT sunsetting/abandoned)
Indie program || Free/cheap tier
(if any)
Hosted: $9/mo Starter tier
Self-Hosted: Free until $100K gross revenue

(Free during preview)
Free tier across all AWS services for new accounts βœ“βœ“
Free under 500 MAU
$15 month lowest tier
and free during
100% FREE!
"Spark" tier is free for ~100CCU (and other factors)
(free under 10,000 MAU)
Free until 1M MAU
*PF: Has a new $99/mo indie program. Same limits as Pro tier, limited to 100K MAU (at which point, auto-converts your account to Pro).
*XL: very indie-friendly with Slack support, direct access to development team
*Xtra: 1 mil MAU is insanely generous
Priced by
+Actual numbers, if available
+Actual meters, if available
Flat $1,500 per month during development

One-time setup fee depending on the services of interest

Passthrough infrastructure cost (AWS, GCP)

Starts from $0.005 per CCU per hour
Minimum fee/mo
+ Per 1 MAU

4% Profit Share

(Free during preview)
Usage per service varies[2022]
2020 Fees +Azure fees +"Proxy" fees to call Azure

AWS-like micropricing (confusing) meters x17:
Static Fee ($99/mo)
MAU (Monthly Active Users)
Playstream events
Profile Reads
Profile Writes
Profile Storage
Content & Config Reads
Content & Config Writes
Content & Config Storage
Execution Time
Insights Credits
Party Connectivity/Mins
Party Voice/Mins
Party Voice+Cognitive/Mins
VM Instance Hours
MPlayer Server Bandwidth
Party Bandwidth

See "PF Calc" tab


$300/mo (Minimum)
per 39k MAU
+ limitation cap tiers + confusing meters
(Cheaper if indie program)


+confusing meters
$10 per 1 mln API calls

Subscription tiers with Developer Seats and Microservices limits

(333% price increase in 2022)
Base monthly fee
+ Per million API calls.
⭐ n/a
Base ("Spark") is free while under development or low activity, but after that:

AWS-like micropricing (confusing) meters x25:
Pay-as-you-go pricing varies based on product

Too many meters to list; go here:
Monthly Active Users (MAU)??Base 1 million MAU Free,
then $500 per million MAU
Contact Service Support for pricing information
(2020) Price changed - still has impossible price calculations. See "PlayFab Calculator" tab at bottom tab.
(2019) Price changed - now has 1) Free tier for 100k accounts (not MAU) and indie program cheaper at base $99/mo. Still has additional, confusing calculations for +monthly fees.
(2017-Q4) Price changed without notice - Lowest tier no longer free, but $300/mo
(2017) Free for 100k MAU, but has restrictions based on confusing calculations for additional monthly fees.

*Photon: Mostly MAU
Pricing schema clear/easy?
Number of price calculations?
Some BaaS can be impossible to predict how much you'll actually pay due to numerous amounts of "meters" running
βœ“ 1~2βœ“ 1~2?

(Free during preview)

Meters x17:
See above or "PF Calc" tab
βœ“ 1~2βœ“ 1~2β­βœ“ 0
βœ— 25βœ“ 1??βœ“ 1*PF: See "PlayFab Calculator" tab @ bottom.
Lowest priceOne-time setup fee depending on the services of interest

Passthrough infrastructure cost (AWS, GCP)

Starts from $0.004 per MAU
Hosted: $9/mo (Minimum)

Self-Hosted: 4% Profit Share

(Free during preview)
Free tier: $0 +17 other metered calculations (AWS-like microfees)
Standard Tier: $99/mo + 16 other calculations, including time clients are connected (similar to a LAN center)

Indie Tier: $99/mo,
up to 100K MAU.
Pro tier: $0.008 per MAU,
$299 monthly minimum,
lower prices at high
(500K+) MAU
Free under 500 MAU

Then $10 per 1 mln API calls
$15 base/mo for intro plan
(incl 1M API calls)*

Real-Time Tech Lowest price plan starts at 25$/month

*Note that you're likely going to pay more than this if you include realtime services and extras like database calls/stats/leaderboards/etc
⭐Perpetually Free,
even for production
Free while under limitations
(likely not for production, though)
Free under 10,000 MAU??Free while under limitations

Contact Service Support for pricing information

(TODO: Can this be viable for production? --Xblade)
> (2020) New pricing model: You are now charged for "time" similar to a LAN center with 18 price calculations.
> (2019) New pricing model: There's a new self-serve indie tier for $95 before 15+ restriction unlocks.
(2017~2018) New pricing model: Added minimum $300/mo fee.
> (Early 2017) 100k/MAU FREE!
> $95 a one-time fee for ~100 slots, OR $95/mo per ~500 slots. These are for concurrent users (CCU), since it's realtime. You can only stack 1 of these with other plans.
> For realtime, this is a pretty awesome static price without any weird calculations!
Free prototyping/pre-releaseβœ“βœ“* Hosted
βœ“ Self-Hosted

(Free during preview)
Free for 100 DAU,
1000 total users,
up to 2M API Calls
Free (including App Distribution, a free product to distribute test versions of your mobile apps).
> (2017~2018) Up to 1k MAU
> (2019) Is this still the same?
*Photon: Up to 20 concurrent users
*AXR: 60d free trial offered to new customers. If you self-host, expect early monthly fees.
CDN (+Binary Storage) Pricing
Realistic-use examples in memo
100+GB free (per plan level), then $0.06 per GB
?Amazon Cloudfront charges are based on actual usage of the service in five areas:

(1) Origin/Inet Data Transfer Out
(2) HTTP(S) Reqs
(3) Invalidation Reqs
(4) Field-Lvl Encryption Reqs
(5) Dedicated IP Custom SSL Certs (Cloudfront Distribution)
"$0.05/GB Americas (except Brazil) and Europe

$0.08/GB All other except Brazil

$0.20/GB Brazil"

TODO: Who knows CDN rates? Is this good?
1+ GB free (per plan level)
and 10 GB free transfers,
then $0.05 per GB
and $0.15 per GB transfer
Free, but capped
@ 400MB/Player
Free CDN for Firebase Hosting.
Free, but capped (~15MB / file)
(No CDN)
Free server2server (in-house) API calls
(Metered per-server-call, not per-script?)
Client >> Server >> Server == 1 API call

For example:
Client calls backend "Foo1" >>
Script 'Foo1" calls "Foo2" >>
Since server2server, "Foo2" call is free
Server-to-server calls do not count as an API call, but other billable meters are still running as this is called (CPU time, bandwidth, etc).
βœ“First 3 API Calls (client >> server >> server) count as only 1 call.

Then >> additional API calls count as 1/2 per
(No authoritative)
Multi-title support
One account, multiple games
Links to fair-use policy limitations
and/or EULA/Terms of Service

Almost no Fair-Use:
"Use as Intended"

Any Tier:
Hard-capped (API calls will auto-fail).
Lifting restrictions costs +money/mo.

⭐TL;DR: "Use as Intended"
(You'll get an email rather than hard-capped if being blatantly abusive)⭐
No Fair-Use
* XTRA: "We're just regularly monitoring what's going on on our servers and if we spot something looking really excessive we'll reach the developer to discuss about this and help to quickly find a solution."
Fair-use policy fairness, 1~10
By comparison to competitors
No Fair-Use (Limitless)
No Fair-Use (Limitless)
Almost no fair-use
Almost no fair-use
No Fair-Use (Limitless)
> (2019) There is now a new beta program for realtime (that I'd assume includes messaging) so you don't need to poll.
> (2018) Restricts polling to max 2-3/minute (considered high). Since they have no socks, you must poll for any forms of updates: Source @
> (2018) Hard cutoffs on limitations (returns embarassing err) unless Enterprise tier.
*Photon: If they have one, it's internal, and I've never come across any warnings. Let's say 8 for never experiencing issues with this, and -2 for lack of transparency of what would be considered over-the-top?
API Throttle Timeout Info
Rejected if called too many times? Hard throttle (err returned)?
Soft throttle (they email you)?
No Limit⭐No throttle timeout
(Soft-capped via hardware resources)
??This thread says soft throttle
is >2m polling.

TODO: Is there also
a hard throttle?
10 seconds timout⭐No throttle timeoutSeems Limitless??Hard throttle per client per game for irregular usage (~500 requests per minute)??n/a*PF:
> (2016) Once/2s/user (sounds pretty strict?):
> (2019) Is this still the same in 2019? (bv) That link is just to a post about the limit on the GetUserData rate (two calls per two seconds). The rate limit for calls varies by the call type. Candidly, costs are driven by the amount of data being requested/updated, and the frequency with which that is done. So yes, our policy is that titles not hammer on calls, as then we'd have to change our pricing to pass that on. If you need more than a few updates per minute, your best bet is to post a detailed question to our forums, and we can advise.
Max API call limitations
Per tier, if any. Any and all forms of limitations, hard caps, soft caps, throttling.
No LimitNo limit??* Confusing and always-changing price schema (with no grandfathered prices upon changing).

* Charges per-minute rather than per-MAU (a con to most, a pro to some).

* Breaking bugs have been known to take years to fix with instructions to make an entirely new title to get unstuck.

* Hyped features (pub/sub) removed, leaving lackluster messaging support.

* No realtime messaging, no socket connections; yet, can only poll max a few times per minute before being throttled.

* Hyped pubsub feature vanished.
No limitNo limitLimitations specified at the bottom of every page for each service in their docs.


From the example link above, the avg appears to be 30~100 requests/min.
?No limit??No limit*PF:
> Eg, "ERROR:APIClientRequestRateLimitExceeded -- The client has exceeded the maximum API request rate and is being throttled"
> "Each user can only hit GetUserData twice in a two-second period." @
> Polling limitations before throttling:
> Max 2 calls per 2 seconds makes async (modulated) or self-serve funcs difficult. Eg, every change needs to have a 1s lockout in between, inviting friends to a match can only be done 1s at a time, etc - and even then, async calls that may do something else may cause hard throttling even-sooner. Requires a tremendous amound of extra handling in case of throttling errs.
Bandwidth/Data Processing limitations
Per tier, if any
No LimitNo limit??No limit
(Except for CDN)
No limitNo limitSeems Limitless??No limit??No limit
Connections/CCU/MAU Limitations
Per tier, if any
No Limit⭐Unlimited CCU/MAU:
Only soft-capped by hardware resources

$99/mo tier tested:
~10K CCU
$199/mo tier tested:
~100K CCU
??Free tier:
Max 100k accounts

$99/mo (Standard) tier:
No max: Includes $400 meter credit, then charged via meter rates (similar to AWS).

$1,999/mo (Premium) tier:
No max:Includes $8k meter credit, then charged via meter rates (similar to AWS).
No limit⭐Development Tier is Free but limited to 100 DAU / 1000 max accounts
(No limits on other tiers)
Seems Limitless??No limit??⭐ No limit* Be sure to pay close attention to CCU/MAU limitations: This is the heart and soul of your service.
Polling limitations/cooldowns
n/a == Websockets == persistent
No Limitn/a: Realtime Sockets??Max 2 calls per 2s
(Hard-capped, if !enteprise tier)

"Few calls per minute on average" soft cap
No limitRTT uses Realtime Sockets
(No limits?)
n/a: Realtime Sockets?No limit??60s typical, no min
*Needs elaboration
> Eg, "ERROR:APIClientRequestRateLimitExceeded -- The client has exceeded the maximum API request rate and is being throttled"
> "Each user can only hit GetUserData twice in a two-second period." @
> (2017)

Supports bursts
Allow temp limit exceeds
without hard-errors? Eg, a famous streamer plays your game
No Limitβœ“
No limitβœ“
?No limit??βœ“
*PF: No, they will return an embarassing limitation exceeded error.
*Photon: They support burst if you have their monthly plan
Binary Storage Limitations
Honestly, you may want to look into saving binary storage WITHIN a db unless using your own patcher: It's generally cheaper/more-scalable.
No LimitUnlimited CDN Storage
Soft Cap DB Storage*
??⭐ Free Plan: 2GB Global?

Standard Plan: 10GB
(+$1.40 per +1GB)
No limit2+ GB free in paid plans, No hard cap, +0.05 per GB, 50GB per file soft cap (adjustable)⭐ 400mb/Player?No limit???AXR: Unlimited when using CDN file storage, database storage is soft capped. Staff will contact you when over the limit.
Braincloud: 100MB is considered low (need to confirm if hard-capped).
PF: Seems to offer one of the best bangs for the buck among the competition for this.
Native Game Integration Engine Integrations
Eg, Unity SDK rather than a generic C# SDK or web-based API?
Unity SDK
Custom C++ SDK
Unity SDK
Unreal SDK
Generic C++ SDK
Generic C# SDK
JavaScript SDK
Unity SDK

Unity SDK

Unity SDK
Unity SDK
Godot SDK (WIP)
GameMaker SDK (WIP)
Javascript SDK (WIP)
> Has no official Unity SDK: This means there will be no official support or QA for Unity until [if] they do.
> While not ideal (and not updated or QA'd), check out "eos-unity" on GitLab for a vanilla Unity init setup @ --Xblade
Backend Host?Managed: Private Cloud running on bare metal servers

Self-Hosted: Supports AWS, Azure, GCP, DO, private cloud. Can run anywhere Kubernetes runs
AWS?AWSAWS (us-west-2) / AzureAWS (us-west-2)AWSNode JS on bare metal servers
Backend EngineMicroservices on AWS or GCPNodeJS micro-services on KubernetesAWS?Vanilla JS + Azure/AWSScala microservice architecture running on AWSRhino JS
Some ES6 Javascript Support
[Extremely watered down]
??PHP + Go??Your choice (self-hosted)*PF: Has vanilla JS back-end with Azure
*Photon: Uses IBM with their back-end
Direct NoSQL access
Proprietary (closed/limited) access?
Direct/open access?
(proprietary, rich api,
full json support)
(All global and player data can be read/modified from the dashboard)

*PF: Has their own, closed system with extreme (pay-2-unlock) limitations. Significantly more closed than GS, even after moving to data sets.
*XL: offers different options, with mongodb or elasticsearch, for different use cases (KV vs. indexed data don't require the same DB). Common game-related data structures are present, generic db is only required to go further
Supports REST API 3rd-party access
API access points w/separate scopes?
Eg, stats/profiles for fan sites to use
(supported, but no separate scopes)
βœ“βœ“βœ—?βœ“??REST-y (not purist)
^ What does this mean?
Needs updating
*PF: Anyone can make an unauthenticated API call with limitations
*Photon: No, they're more concentrated on realtime.
Webhook Supportβœ“βœ“??βœ“βœ“
Custom microservice apis
βœ“??βœ—??βœ“*PF: I believe so, but I don't know much about it.
*Photon: Yes, but a not very intuitive.
*XL: Yes, via cloud scripts
Open source
βœ“ Module?
βœ“ License?
Source Available, not FOSS
Open Source SDKs
Open Source SDKs
Open Source SDKs
MIT Licence
> Photon Server license terms:
Photon PUN license terms:
> ^Seems to be some custom combinations of "GNU Lesser Public License [v2.1 & v2.3]" and "Apache 2.0"
> Not all modules are open source, but it seems like the ones that matter

AXR: Platform, SDKs, and Tools are all freely Source Available with proprietary license. EULA:
Intellisense / Typings / Autofill
For cloud script online IDE
N/A (Remote Edit)*????βœ—
No online IDE
Essentially Notepad
(No authoritative scripts)
?βœ—???*BC: Allegedly arriving TBD 2022
*AXR: Remote edit capability using Visual Studio Code and custom AcceleratXR plug-ins.
Dashboard/SDK updates, 1~101010??3?810?10???*PF:
> (2019) Needs follow-up research and # change (from non-staff). We heard of dramatic improvements.
(2017~2018) Avoided critical features/bugs for a great deal of time, such as deleting stats (was asked to delete+remake your game). [was 3 rating]
> (2020) Their main focus is now on "PUN2": If you still use "PUN Classic", you may get low priority.
> (2018) Updates seem to lose features rather than gain.
[Could use examples]
*EOS: They seem to be updating very often, since release. However, note this is for C# SDK: It's pretty troublesome to convert to Unity each time.
Overall server/SDK expected feats/stability, 1~101010??7?95?10???*PF:
> (2019) They seem to have improved dramatically (you can now delete stats/leaderboards/etc). New WIP features may raise this # upon release.
> (2017~2018) See above ^ Core feats are depressingly unstable (at least between 2017~2018) with unfixed, major bugs after years. Update later after you can delete stats, leaderboard entries, etc. [was 3 rating]
> (2020) Seems like they made the switch to IBM or someone got bored of the DDoS' -- feels pretty stable!
> (2019) Under DDoS attack all the time (or some form of similar instability). You feel very alone when you actively have gamebreaking instability. However, they seem to be actively trying to find a new host. Check in again in 2020.
> (2017~2018) Pretty stable!
*EOS: Great start, but no global data persistence (a breaking feature for most), no Unity SDK, no mobile support... This makes things pretty rough for production games. I assume this will be better later.
Well-suited for MMO dev?
Deeply authoritative with realtime scripting
?βœ“???βœ—βœ—βœ—βœ—βœ“???* Notable mention: uniquely specializes in MMOs (not listed on this sheet)
βœ“βœ“ Leaderboards
βœ“ Dashboard
??βœ“ Stats*
βœ“ Dashboard*
⚠️You cannot delete
leaderboards/stats! You're
asked to make a new game.
βœ“βœ“ Leaderboards
βœ“ Dashboard
Open-source leaderboard
βœ“ Leaderboards
βœ“ Dashboard
> (2020) There's a new stats/leaderboards system in preview, TBD live.
> Has native stats and leaderboard with GUI, but you can't delete stats/leaderboards - you're asked to make a new one. Src @
Virtual Items/Goods
βœ“βœ“ Virtual Items/Goods
βœ— Dashboard
??βœ“*βœ“βœ“ Virtual Items/Goods
βœ“ Dashboard
??βœ“ Virtual Items/Goods
βœ“ Dashboard
??βœ“*PF: Awesome item system with a friendly web GUI
> Is there GUI for bulk adding/editing?
Native Backups/Snapshots
If !native, at least has a wrapper
?βœ“??βœ— No native feature

βœ“ Unreal Marketplace
has a plugin
eg, dev >> staging >> production
βœ“βœ“*??βœ—βœ“?βœ“?βœ“???*AXR: Number of environments dependent on chosen pricing plan. Indie = 1 environment, Pro = 2, Studio = 3, Enterprise = unlimited. Individual environments can be toggled between developer mode and production mode. Developer mode enables remote debugger access, more verbose logging, etc.
Has web interface
??βœ“ Basic interface
(Data, profile leaderboards, realtime matches, cloud code)
*PF: Extremely friendly dashboard/portal.
*Photon: Does the basics. No perpetual storage, so not much to look at.
Dashboard/portal ease-of-use, 1~10?7??⭐10?9New? 3*

Past init? 7
?⭐10??6*PF: While not as many features as GS, they are more intuitive and easier to get around.
*Photon: Since it isn't a BaaS (no data), there's not much here: But it's overall easy to navigate.
> Potentially nice, but I keep finding myself looping around (esp on 1st-use when trying to find my secret keys). There's also a "secret" terms of service to unlock more secrets.
> I'd honestly give it 2 separate ease-of-use ratings
Has built-in (step-thru) portal debugger?βœ“??βœ“
(if using new Azure Functions CloudScripts, can access a step debugger via VS Code integration)
(Open Source verson)
*PF: Only tells you the end response, similar to a POSTman.
*XL: open source version lets you use whatever IDE/debugger to debug your scripts
Online docs quality, 1~10
via their website/wiki
Why 3? Need details --Xb
*PF: Docs are superior -- they put more time into them, they are more-accurate, and has more pictures/samples
*Photon: Docs are like a dictionary. They are good to get started, but not so good beyond that.
*Xtral4fe: Why the 3? --Xb
*EOS: For an Unreal user, perhaps this will be higher. for a Unity user, it's a solid 3. Docs are confusing, C++ focused, some missing, and others are just plain incorrect.
Inline docs quality, 1~10
via their SDK within the actual code
?9??1?8??βœ—??8*PF: No inline docs (is this still true for 2020?)
*Photon: The best inline docs I've ever seen. Paragraphs and paragraphs of both docs and examples. It's breathtakingly awesome. Even the smaller calls.
Docs/Tutorials up-to-date, 1~10?9??8?83?9??4*Xtra: Someone in the Discord said their docs are not good. I'm going to bump the rating from "?" to "4" until more reviews
*EOS: For an Unreal user, perhaps this will be higher. for a Unity user, it's a solid 3. Docs are confusing, C++ focused, some missing, and others are just plain incorrect.
Demo/Tutorials quality, 1~10
For memo: Did the demo have a native SDK for your engine?
?5??6?7Unreal Demo: ?

Unity Demo: None

C# WFP (Non-Unity) Demo:
?79?9 - full Unity project available*PF: Their tutorials are both great and up-to-date.
*Photon: There are specific tutorials, but not too helpful for first-time users: Hard to learn matchaking, especially if using the SQL-filtered matchmaking.
*AXR: Documentation is still immature but staff is working hard to make it better. Visit
*EOS: For an Unreal user, perhaps this will be higher. for a Unity user, it's a solid 5. The C# demo is a production-level WPF form (NOT a native Unity demo). However, I was able to find what I was looking for with not too much effort. The C# demo is pretty good, but ... it could be higher-level for the sake of just initial learning. Definitely better than Steam's demo, though.
Customer service, 1~10?10??5?10
Direct chat support even
on free tier with fast
10 -
Fast answers in Discord

Forums Only
?⭐10??8 - very reactive on Slack*PF: Forum for free tier, tickets for paid tiers. Average expected support.
*Photon: Forum support only, with a few exceptions. Average support. [2020: Improved support (response time/content) + live in Discord]
*EOS: Community-only support. No ticket/live support. Community forum is pretty dead and hard to get a response.
Porting tools from
other services?
?βœ—??βœ—βœ—βœ—βœ—?βœ—βœ—??*Currently, NO competitor offers port systems.
However, if someone used API calls to make a port system... you'd likely make some serious cash! (hint, hint)
Realtime gameplay support
Beyond just messaging systems
βœ—βœ“?Multiple solutions including Amazon GameLift, Amazon Ec2, Fleet IQ. Flex Match and containers ECS and Amazon Fargate, βœ—βœ—βœ“*

Requires a Plus Plan
Minimum Price
(Separate Fee)
> (2020) Has realtime support in preview:
> (2019) Does not directly support realtime: Used in conjunction with partner, Photon (Separate $$). Note that Photon's realtime *messaging* service is not included. Photon Messaging + Photon PUN are both separate fees (iirc).
*Photon: This IS what they do: Realtime. No data or persistence -- only now. And they do it well. If you have a realtime game, Photon is great. HOWEVER, they are NOT an all-in-one BaaS package as you NEED somewhere to store your persistent data. Photon doesn't do this for you.
*BC: New RTT system allows realtime chat, messaging, matchmaking, lobbies - and can redirect you to self-hosted game servers. Provides Relay Servers and support for hosting Game Servers (brainCloud calls them room servers)
*AXR: Uses 3rd-party (NOT packaged with AXR), but they're working on using pure Websockets later so they wouldn't need to do this.
Realtime messaging system
(eg, Sockets - not polling)
βœ“βœ“βœ“Partial via Amazon API Gateway βœ—βœ“βœ“?
Collaboration Support
Invite others via email
"You've always been able to invite others to join your studio by email, and we have a full Role model for controlling what you give them access to." --PF
Collaboration Scopes / User Mgmt
Eg, read-only, access to x or y features only, access to edit...
"Yes, see above. We've had a Role system for all permissions for years." --PF
CCU Analytics
Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
βœ“βœ“ Hourly
βœ“ Daily
βœ“ Weekly
βœ“ Monthly
?? Hourly
? Daily
? Weekly
? Monthly
"Since the core service doesn't use socket connections, we don't have a CCU measure. You can use events as a proxy to compute this." --PF
βœ“βœ— Hourly
βœ“ Daily
βœ“ Weekly
βœ“ Monthly
? Hourly
? Daily
? Weekly
? Monthly
? Hourly
? Daily
? Weekly
? Monthly
βœ—??? Hourly
? Daily
? Weekly
? Monthly
MAU Analyticsβœ“βœ“??βœ“
"Yes, multiple reports are pre-generated for the title on a daily and monthly basis, including MAU analytics." --PF
Provides Detailed API Usage, but no native stats for MAU
Player Session Durations
Stats between users logging in<>out
Data Available
Requires 3P DW
βœ“??Dependent on client SDK support. Works in Unity, but not all engines/languages.βœ“???βœ—???
Analytics TTL
How long are stats retained for?
βœ“β­Indefinite??"By default, 30 days, but you can adjust that to whatever you need." --PF⭐Indefinite???⭐Indefinite???
Retention Analytics (Funnels)βœ“
Data Available
Requires 3P DW
βœ“*??By default can generate a retention report tracking D1-7, D14, and D30 across a cohort, with the ability to generate additional custom reportsβœ“???βœ—???AXR: Requires integration to third-party service such as Google Analytics, MixPanel, etc.
Players by Countryβœ“
Data Available
Requires 3P DW
"Yes, player profile contains country for user's first login, and you can get current country from every login event." --PF
Players by Deviceβœ“
Data Available
Requires 3P DW
"Device report on by default, if using their SDKs" --PF
βœ“ via IP???βœ—???
Launch Date?2019TBD 2022?2020???2020?2020???
Has self-hosted version
(Add memo if hosted && !free)
Enterprise Licensing Option
Enterprise Licensing Option
(Open Source)
*PF: No, with no plans.
*Photon: Yes, but costs the same amount of money as hosted, for some reason, if not more.
*AXR: Charges 4% rev share after first $100K
Supports mainland China deployment
and currently has live games in China
(Servers are physically located in mainland China; NOT Singapore/HK, etc)
Is Possible
"Full support for (and multiple titles using) our server hosting in China. The core service is more limited in features there at the moment, as they're working with a local partner on adding things like WePlay for auth and payments." --PF
(Probably not yet)
(Open Source)
*PF: Yes! Supports China deployment.
*Photon: Yes! Supports China deployment.
*EOS: Partially owned by Tencent, so I'd assume yes in the future?
Hosted region locations
+Support for multiple regions?
βœ“βœ“?βœ“Core service - hosted in USA, GDPR compliance via SCCs.

Game server hosting - multiple regions
(TODO: List regions in memo).

Party (relay/chat) hosting - multiple regions.
(TODO: List regions in memo).
βœ— Normally, no

βœ“ Can make exceptions
βœ“ Choose Room Regions
βœ— Choose Data Regions
?βœ—??One region for Hosted version*Photon:
*EOS: I think so, but can anyone confirm?
Live Game Examples
Which games use this service?
(The more notable games, the more trustworthy/reliable the service may be)
Hexarchia?Sea of Thieves, Rainbox Six Siege, No Man's Sky, Minecraft, DOOM Eternal, Forza Horizon 4, MS Flight Simulator, Gears 5, Roblox, Halo MCC, Outriders*Hokko Life
We Who Are About to Die
Rust Racers
Robot Lord Rising
??*PF: Outriders has had technical issues since launch: Resolved? How?
Has red flags for contracts/trust
(Don't remove old flags)
No FlagsNo Flags?(2020) As a follow-up, they at least open-source GS Unity SDK -- however, I am currently the only contributor and could use assistance (there are many TODO's) --Xblade

(2019) Acquired GameSparks, but then sunset it without offering a port to GameTech or even fixing the remaining bugs: Will they do the same to GameTech?

Extremely confusing pricing model.

(2019) No Flags

(2017) Red Flags:
See comments
(2021) 10mln+ raised from investors (but unknown if company is profitable)

(2020) Went bunkrupt as game dev company, reformed for online services
No FlagsPartially-owned by Tencent (a mainland-China gov't-backed company that allegedly has controversial privacy practices).

Epic makes a claim to have full control. However, their FAQ lists Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei", a general indicator for more influence than what is stated.

Probably not a big deal (Tencent invested in almost all major AAA studios you know; and even Reddit, itself), but good to be aware.
?No Flags??No Flags*PF:
> (2018) They seem to have improved dramatically. There is no longer a contract for indie tier and it's further self-serve. However, be sure to calculate limitation unlock fees.
> (2017) Added a $300/minimum within their contract (*before* the website was updated to reflect this). Even after the person I spoke with admitted to doing this, they refused to honor the original price disclosures after multiple attempts. I was finally offered the original price after I refused to sign at a later stage (where I'd still have to upgrade to the normal tier after 100k MAU -- still not as advertised), but it was too late: After the first few refusals to honor the posted price, I had already begun moving to GS. My experience may not match yours.
*Photon: No contract, if < enterprise tier
*GameTech: With the history of GameSparks, make sure you have an exit clause and a guarantee for minimum x years of active development.
Contract term length
SLA? You want long-term contract with opt-out options with heads up;

No SLA? You want no contract or monthly
AnnualPerpetual / Monthly /
Annually / Cancel anytime
?Perpetual / Monthly /
Annually / Cancel anytime

However, be aware of vendor-locking
Free tier:
No contract.

Indie (Standard) /
Pro (Premium) tiers:
Self-sign-up, no contract
(Must delete your title to cancel - no pause!)

Enterprise tier:
12 month contracts, but flexible cancellation where needed.
(term-based contracts are generally known to raise prices for the next term due to vendor lockin -- To be confirmed if PF generally raises price every contract term)
Monthly /
Annually / Cancel anytime
Monthly⭐ No Contract?⭐ No Contract??Free tier:
No contract.
> (2019) Indie tier is now self-serve! (bv) Please be sure to contact us if you want to shut down your account after deleting titles. We're happy to help with this, but it's not automatic. Also, Indie tier also includes ticket-based support (in addition to the forums).
> (2017) Requires ~1 year contract with what appears to be "automated micro-renewals" within. Known to cancel if you want, but not written.
*Photon: Monthly. Cancel whenever. Unless enterprise, then could be longer.
SLA? Tier? % Uptime guarantee?
To compare, AWS offers 99.99% guaranteed uptime then pays out when outside beyond that. BE SURE TO CALCULATE. If <99%, that means they can be out 1/2 Saturday and you won't get credited.
Dev Env 99%
Live Env 99.9%
All Tiers
@ 99.99%
(Same % as AWS)
All Tiers @

This is likely the best SLA you'll find.
βœ— <$99/mo tiers

β­βœ“ For non-basic tiers only
@ 99.99%
(Same % as AWS)
All Tiers @
βœ— <$99/mo tiers

βœ“ For Business+ Plans
(0.09% less than Amazon)
(No SLA)
All Tiers @
(No SLA)
> Disclosed a 95% uptime SLA (Price of outage payout/credits?)
> Considered
not good compared to other SLAs (eg, AWS @ 99.99%). This means if the servers go down for 19hrs, they owe you nothing.

*Braincloud: SLA @
SLA Payout Calculations
There's no point of an SLA if you don't know how much compensation you'll get if your service goes down for the entire weekend!
?For any month in which an outage lasts longer than 15 minutes, a pro-rated percentage of the outage time for that month's bill is deducted from the bill.??Usually though, it's a % of your total service cost for the month in question.

Pretty much everyone has the same payout calculation for SLA: It's a refund based on total downtime. If that downtime gets you below 99.9%, 99.5%, etc. But the actual rate is frequently a point of negotiation, so there's no single answer to this.
For any month in which availability is less than 99.9% but higher than 99%, 7 days of fees will be waived in the affected month..
For any month in which availability is less than 99%, 30 days of fees will be waived in the affected month.
(No SLA)
(No SLA)
Exit Strategies/Clauses:
What's offered if the business goes under, gets sold off, etc? Will the company go open src? Compensate? Offer ports to new service?
Enterprise Licensing Option⭐2~3 years guaranteed service
Royalty-Free Self-Hosted License
If buyout, big perpetual license discounts
??"Bought by Microsoft in January 2018. Microsoft not only kept it going, but increased the team size considerably. This is the backend service used by our own first-party titles. There is little need for exit strategy due to Microsoft's embrace of the service." --PFβœ—?βœ—?Enterprise Licensing Option???*AXR: Staff addressing their perks here @
*Photon: Not defined in the terms but can be arranged on demand.
GDPR ready?
+Is it friendly for devs to access?
Out-of-box hack vulnerabilities?
Recently-known vulnerabilities or successful hacking that is not yet (or cannot be) patched?
πŸ”’πŸ”’βš οΈGS1 had TLS self-signing exploits; need to confirm GS2 does not also have it.πŸ”’πŸ”’πŸ”’πŸ”’πŸ”’πŸ”’πŸ”’??πŸ”’* Photon:
Hacked/Vulnerable via RPC manipulation: Out-of-box vulnerability that seems to have no current plans/ways to secure.
(2019) Hacked/Vulnerable via cryptographic key security vulnerability; later patched with WSS and full datagram encryption.
Dashboard supports standard 2FA?
Standard == support for Google Authenticator/Authy (opposed to non-standard mobile/email 2fa)
Security: Pen-tested by notable 3rd-party for vulnerabilities within the past year?βœ—βœ—*??βœ“βœ—βœ—??βœ—??βœ—*No company has pen-tested their product within the past year. Be the 1st and stand out!
*AXR: Pen test is currently pending
Security: Do clients verify TLS certificates safely by standards?
(To prevent man-at-the-endpoint attacks. Eg, would a self-signed client certificate from "Fiddler" disconnect the user?)
⚠️GS1 had TLS self-signing exploits; need to confirm GS2 does not also have it.?βœ“βœ“???βœ“???*Photon: Reach out to Exit Games for info regarding the undocumented patch using WebSocket.
Security: Are encryption key exchanges safely handled by 2020 standards?
(Company has literally hired a pen tester & can verify such tests; eg, Diffie–Hellman key exchange practices are vulnerable)
> (2020) "WSS and full datagram encryption are available for full network security."
(Confirmed working wonderfully --Xblade)
> (12/1/2019) Sep 2019 issue fully Resolved - You may need to ask Photon for this, explicitly, before it becomes standard.
> ⚠ (Sep, 2019) Photon PUN currently has a cryptographic key security vulnerability, allowing RPC's to be called by a 3rd-party and has already been actively/offensively been used, provided by an open-source repo. Photon has acknowledged this issue and is investigating, seemingly eager to fix. Will remove this notice after confirmation of a fix.

*AXR: TLS encryption keys are generated using Let's Encrypt, all other keys are generated and encrypted uniquely per customer and secured both in transit and at rest using industry standard tools and practices. Pen test currently pending.
*Beamable: Asterisk*? TODO?