Unity Gaming Services (UGS) has graduated out of beta with tools that help developers tackle the challenges of building a live game.
We launched Unity Gaming Services last October, a platform that helps developers build solid foundations, create engaging player experiences, and drive game growth. The launch saw eight new products enter beta with tens of thousands of game developers in 120+ countries signing up.
With every studio, developer, and game being unique, we designed UGS to be modular to let you work the way you want. Integrate with the engine of your choice – like Unity, Unreal, or a homebrew – and choose what tools you need. One dashboard with centralized data and SDKs designed for interoperability means less time managing your tech stack and more time creating, so developers can focus on great gameplay.
Below, we’ll cover what’s available in the UGS platform to make live game development easier.
1. Build a solid foundation
Let’s start with building your foundation. Building backend and multiplayer infrastructure early in production is vital for our developers – like InnerSloth, Riot Games, and Fika Productions. Pick what your game needs from multiplayer tools, player data management, and in-game content publishing.
Authentication, currently installed in more than 4,000 projects, allows you to assign an account to players and attach to them all the data generated by the backend products.
Cloud Save lets you track and store player data including abilities, statistics, and more, enabling cross-device accounts for your players – the service saw over 14 million API calls over beta.
“Having the ability to link Economy and Authentication in one place to achieve synchronization across devices was literally a game changer for us.” – Mike Hardy, Lead Game Designer and UI Engineer, Line Drift
Lobby enables players to come together in either private or public lobbies before joining into the core game session. Lobby is already supporting over 400 unique game projects, including both in-development and live games.
Relay enables developers to build peer-to-peer games without needing to tackle the complexities of dedicated game server hosting. Relay ensures security and privacy by never requiring IPs to be shared and encrypting all game traffic with DTLS.
In addition, Relay can be set up with Netcode for GameObjects (beta) for small scale co-op projects, and works out-of-the-box with Unity’s Lobby service. Today, Relay is powering more than 2,500 unique game projects.
Lobby and Relay join our other foundational multiplayer services, Game Server Hosting (Multiplay), and Matchmaker to bring players together for collaborative and competitive gaming experiences. These AAA-proven services enable scalable online infrastructure for studios of all sizes and are available now (contact us), with self-service capabilities currently pre-launch. Sign up to stay in the know.
Cloud Code allows you to write stateless server-side code on a fully managed infrastructure and isolate your game logic away from the client device – 40% of Cloud Code developers pair this service with Cloud Save.
Economy is another backend service that provides you with a way to create, manage, and publish an in-game economy system. During beta, organizations made nearly 3 million API calls to power their in-game economies.
“I love that Unity’s Game Backend products are integrated seamlessly with the Unity engine, and that I don’t need any third-party tools.” – Giacomo Nicotra, Programmer, Nivagia
Cloud Code and Economy join Cloud Content Delivery in this category, which is an end-to-end service for live game updates that lets you deliver new content to your players and keep their experiences fresh.
2. Understand and engage your players
Once your game is live, improving player engagement is how you keep your game fun. Understand your players through game data and insights, refine and deliver engaging player experiences, and maximize the Lifetime Value (LTV) of your game.
Understanding your players
Analytics allows studios to better understand game performance and player behaviors using prebuilt and custom dashboards and visualizations powered by reliable, real-time data. This includes the ability to build and execute queries, plot results, and export data to programs like Microsoft Excel, Tableau, or OpenOffice.
During the UGS beta, Analytics helped nearly 3,000 studios dive deep into the data with dashboards that give a 360 degree view of in-game performance.
"Analytics helped us to better understand the player data being pulled in from our first public demo for No Place for Bravery. The experience provided insights on game difficulty, whether the combat system was interesting, and if players were able to defeat tough enemies and bosses." – Matheus Queiroz, Head of Operations, Glitch Factory
Game Overrides gives Unity developers the ability to create personalized in-game player experiences and configuration changes safely, with guardrails in place. Schedule, target, and A/B test changes to your game directly from the Unity dashboard, without the need for game updates.
Using Game Overrides with Cloud Content Delivery allows developers to keep experiences fresh by targeting assets at different player groups or scheduling assets to be available for a specific time period – like the holiday season.
Push Notifications lets you send messages to targeted players when they aren’t active in your game. Leverage this to inform players about important events, re-engage lapsed players, and more.
Text Chat and Voice Chat (Vivox) is an engine-agnostic service that enables player communication. Its fully self-serve functionality is now available to bring high-quality player communications to games from many genres, platforms, and engines.
Currently, Vivox powers voice and text comms in over 230 countries, across 14 platforms, with over 850,000,000 minutes of conversations per day.
“We use Vivox for our voice communication. That’s super important to us because we’re an MMO and we’re a social experience and a VR experience so we want people to be able to speak to one another clearly in the game.” – Lauren Frazier, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ramen VR
Cloud Diagnostics is a crash reporting and error-handling service which provides real-time error monitoring to help you identify, investigate, and resolve crashes and exceptions impacting the stability of your Made with Unity mobile and PC games.
3. Grow your game
During mobile game development it’s important to think about how you will acquire players for your game so that others can enjoy your creation. More than enjoying your game, new players also become a source of revenue to support the future of your studio through monetization.
Unity User Acquisition (UA) solutions enable you to easily run ad campaigns and be seen by millions every day on apps and games. A diverse ad supply, advanced targeting tools, insightful analytics, and self-serve dashboards help you manage your campaigns and profitably scale your app or game.
“Unity is one of our most trusted partners. In a world where some ad networks now compete with developers, it’s helpful to have a powerful ally like Unity behind you that wants to make the world a better place by enabling creators like ourselves to exist and flourish,” – Hoa Ngo, Co-founder, Gamejam
Advanced solutions like Audience Pinpointer are trusted to optimize user acquisition campaigns for return on ad spend (ROAS), or for retention goals.
Monetize your game
Integrating ads into your game is easy with the Unity Ads SDK which gives game developers diverse and secure access to over 60 ad demand partners through Unity’s Unified Auction. Alternatively, get the same benefits of Unified Auction and more with the option to plug into additional top and trusted ad networks though Unity Mediation (beta).
“Unity has brought us a higher fill rate and helped us achieve a 10% increase in overall eCPM.” – Kelly Kang, Senior Director, Ad Strategy & Monetization, Pixel United
“With Unity Mediation, we don’t need to be monetization experts as the tool streamlines the majority of the work while maximizing our revenue.” – Andrew Lyons, Director at Paradyme
Work the way you want with Unity Gaming Services
You know what works best for your studio, which is why UGS is designed to be flexible to meet whatever your development needs might be. The modularity of the platform lets you mix and match the products as you see fit.