9 Free Game Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers of 2021

9 Free Game Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers of 2021

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In this post, you will be shown nine free BaaS providers of 2021, which helps you start off with your online multiplayer game without investing a lot of money upfront.

Each provider has pretty distinct features, so cost should be only one of the aspects to consider when deciding.

I also gave star ratings to the free providers from the perspective of a low-budget project.

  • Such a project wants possibly 100% of the services for free. Not just during the developing time, but also when you launch the game, and you don’t have a lot of players and income. I refer to this as “free tier generosity”, the more the starts, the more generous the provider is.
  • With your game getting more popular, you do not want your provider to switch up, and you have to start paying a lot for the services you are using. Thus a smooth transition between free and the paid plan is rewarded with more stars at the “cost of growth” criteria.

Let us see the free providers and what they offer.

GameSparks

GameSparks provides a free development plan, which includes all of its features.

To publish your game, you are to change to the “Standard” package, (which is currently $299 per month). In the free plan, GameSparks also limits the concurrently connected users (CCUs) to 20.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

brainCloud

brainCloud also has a development plan which offers free services, except hosting (for additional hosting services, you will be charged $5).

The free tier is limited to maximum of 100 daily active users (DAU), 1000 accounts, 1 million API calls, and 10 concurrent connections (CC). You can remove these limitations by purchasing the $15 per month Lite plan.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

PlayerIO

PlayerIO’s free package allows you to get started with its services without asking you to pay.

They limit the usage to 20 Gigabytes of game traffic, maximum of 500 concurrent users, and maximum of 10000 entries in 2 leaderboards. You pay $25 monthly for the next level “Plus” package, which extends these limits and also extends the number of usable services.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

XtraLife

XtraLife’s “Hosted” package provides free usage with all features, only the “Enterprise” package comes with additional extras like worldwide distribution of servers. You can also use the “Open Source” package, which is also free, but not hosted.

The “Hosted” package is generously free, with up to 1 million monthly active users (MAU), but you will pay $500 per month per additional MAU.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

Beamable

Beamable provides free development tier including all the features without limitation. They only charge you when you ship the game, and you start earning.

When the game is ready, you need to move to the paid plan. The provider charges you a 5% revenue share. You can book enhanced support options for additional fees.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

Firebase

Google Firebase’s “Spark Plan” allows free usage of services (such as Authentication, In-App Messaging) and other services with pre-defined limits, such as hosting with 10 GB storage, and 360 MB per day data transfer limit.

The next level, called “Blaze Plan”, is based on pay-as-you-go model, so they will charge you depending on your usage. Their calculator can help you estimate the actual costs.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

Photon Public Cloud

Photon also provides a free plan for evaluation and development of your game with limitations.

It allows a maximum of 20 concurrently connected users (CCUs), 500 Msg/s per room, up to 16 Peers per room, and includes 60 GB traffic. The next plan costs $95 with 100 CCUs and an increased traffic limit.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

PlayFab

PlayFab allows free start with all features, with a contingent of free tier resources. The free tier allows up to 10 Titles with up to 100 thousand users per title. Up to 750 free compute hours for multiplayer server hosting.

After Hundred thousand of users, you need to change to either pay-as-you-go or to the “Standard Plan” for $99 per month.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

AppWarp

AppWarp also provides a free plan, only for indie games, with a generous unlimited number of concurrently connected users (CCUs), and unlimited number of players and messages per room.

They limit the number of messages to 2 million in the free plan. The next plan, called “Full House”, costs $100 per month, including already 300 million messages.

Free plan generosity:
Cost of growth:

Conclusion

Multiple BaaS providers allow online multiplayer game development for free or charge you a very low cost. The list above, although it is not comprehensive, will help you find and compare the currently available providers focusing exclusively on costs.


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