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Alternative for GameSparks

Hello there,

Yesterday GameSparks announced a new pricing plan, where they locked matchmaking behind an “Enterprise” license, which does not have a public price tag. (The regular one, -without- matchmaking is €300/month…)

We have been integrating GameSparks for 1.5 years now, as part of a fast paced arena shooter/arcade game, which really needs matchmaking. This update comes as a slap in the face, without warning.

So, I’m looking for any good alternatives out there, that have Unreal Engine 4 support, for PC and console.
First things I come up with are PlayFab and Firebase. The first seems a bit forcing templates on you and the latter seems heavily focussed on mobile.

Thanks in advance!

According to their FAQ, this new pricing only affects new users:

Source: Self-Service Pricing FAQs |

Hi @TriNityGER ,

Correct, but how would that translate from us being in development (under the old Indie Programme) and wanting to go Live in X months…
What I now get under the main login page:

I hope that they will make this again more feasible for Indie devs. If past users can continue to use the service without interruption, well then this is cool for us. However, the main problem for adoption appears to me that they do not use the Unreal code, instead you have to painstakingly code the networking yourself (check target position, communicate that to the other users). There was a Battle Royal pack on the market who did this for players, but the dev switched entirely back away from Gamesparks, after they stopped providing a market plugin.

If they were to provide a plugin which hooks up to Unreal net code, that would be worth something to me, but it should be then no more than 100$, unless you reach those MAU’s. Maybe they want to prioritize their other game services like Lift? I did not looked into that so far, but doubt they would perform better than Gamesparks, also it means a new learning curve, time etc. Starting with a new solution in the middle of implementing server client side infrastructure is not needed.

PS. I write this as someone who invested into Project Spark (Microsoft), and Mixamo :slight_smile:

@unit23 I know that Unreal will release something for free at the end of 2019 to replace GameSparks all together, but I need it now ;-)!

The main options seem to be Playfab, ChilliConnect, Xtralife and Photon if you don’t want to host stuff yourself. Having had a look at each of these I’d say they vary in terms of what they offer “off the shelf.” Playfab has more structure, but at the expense of flexibility and it’s just as expensive as Gamesparks - plus well it’s Msoft… At the other end of the spectrum Xtralife and Photon will need more dev work. ChilliConnect is somewhere in the middle.

The best option for your game is going to depend on what you need and how hands on you want to be. Personally I’d rather spend all my time making a game and not worrying about building infrastructure so it’s a price worth paying.

Uhm can you provide some more info please?

Here you go: Epic 2019 Cross-Platform Online Services Roadmap - Unreal Engine

It gets worst…Undercover GameSparks customer support employee:

Anybody using brainCloud?

Yeahhhhh. PlayFab seems more and more interesting. Really in need of realtime matchmaking.

Didn’t Epic recently buy SpatialOS? Also this looks interesting as a roll-your-own solution: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/matchmaking-server-function

Hmm don’t know about that.
We also need a system to save customizations (think rocket league/fortnite).

Epic didn’t buy them, just invested some money.
Also Epic say they are going to make public and free all the services used by and developed for Fortnite.

But looks like Fortnite matchmaking isn’t based on player skill so I don’t know how much useful it’s going to be.

Well, it would be too late for us anyway, we want to set everything live around summer this year. Going to dabble in PlayFab… If that’s not good enough we’ll roll out our own BaaS on a server.