milox avatar image
milox asked

Sudden estimated bill hike after deleting players

So I had a clever idea to delete a million inactive users to save some monthly costs. And the next day I look at my estimate bill for the month suddenly risen almost 10 times from $44 to $344. All the charges are for Profile Writes. Does Playfab/Microsoft really wants to charge me 300$ for a bunch of one time database deletes? Going from $0 to $30-$40 a month I can live with, but suddenly charging me $300 for something I thought was going to be free since nowhere in the pricing it says that one time mass deleting player data counts as dozens of millions of writes? Is there a way to cancel this?

This game doesn't make enough for me to pay so much for simple database storage so I'll have to shut it down or switch from Playfab, which would be difficult since it's quite old Unity game. This whole Microsoft inspired transition is just not cool. For years Playfab was essentially free for small games when it was independent, now suddenly you charge these criminal prices for indies that barely scrape by. There's no spending limit option, no warnings, doesn't even show you immediately how much you'll pay, you just quietly rack up the bill and only see the estimate the next day.

10 |1200

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brendan avatar image
brendan answered

The meters are measuring your activity on the service - each operation has a fractional cost, which is what the consumption model uses. Player deletion is great for keeping your total month-over-month costs down - particularly if you have a title with high churn. But it is a non-trivial amount of work, and the one-time impact of a title that has a big backlog of players that you delete would be large. Deletion is, after all, a data operation that requires work to do. Unfortunately, there is no way to "undo" meter usage, since by definition that would also require CPU/database work to accomplish.

I'm sorry that the updated pricing isn't to your liking - we made every effort to ensure that indies have a way to build and launch their titles for free using the core services (the free tier, with Development Mode), and only pay when they have some degree of success (100K players), or need features like CDN or custom server hosting, where we can't realistically defer costs (those haven't change from the old pricing model). The change was made specifically for two reasons:

The main one was to unblock many developers we'd been talking to, who all wanted a consumption-based model, so that they could use just a few features. The MAU-based pricing assumed an average level of usage that was significantly higher than their needs.

The other reason was that we had a small number of titles that were using core services at a borderline-abusive rate - far, far higher than the average we'd calculated. So our choices to account for this were to either spread their costs out by raising everyone's prices or move to a model where each title pays for only what it actually uses.

One thing I can say is that we're continually working to optimize the service, in order to drive the prices down, and we've been continuously taking in feedback from developers, in order to tune the available tiers. Hence the reason we just posted the other day that we now provide a no-flat-fee pay-as-you-go tier, and managed to drop Party pricing by 90% ( thanks to key optimizations paying off.

If you're having trouble computing the costs for your title, or what any given change might mean, I'd highly recommend asking here, or opening a ticket with the support team via the Game Manager.

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