PlayFab Party may sound like some kind of new family multiplayer collection, but it’s actually a new service from Microsoft for game developers that handles multiplayer networking and in-game chat operations. As Microsoft describes it, PlayFab Party is “a set of cross-platform libraries and services for easily adding multiplayer real-time networking and chat communication to your game”.
Opening the playground for everyone
The purpose of the ‘Party’ toolset is that it includes an “efficient, high-performance in-game chat system”. This includes things like transcription, text chat/quick chat that accompanies voice chat and speech synthesis (voice-to-text).
These are some of the same tools that Microsoft’s own studios have used in first-party titles like Forza Horizon 4. Now the company is allowing devs on Switch, mobile and PC to gain access to them.
Depending on the adoption rate of this toolset, more games could feature voice chat that go completely around Nintendo’s solution of the Switch Online mobile app. That said, it is amazing Nintendo is actually letting a competitor put its development tools on the Switch, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Microsoft and Nintendo don’t really see each other as adversaries anymore.