Guest Piece: Photon Cloud & Corona SDK, A Dream Team for Cross-Platform Multiplayer Games

Guest Piece: Photon Cloud & Corona SDK, A Dream Team for Cross-Platform Multiplayer Games

Christof Wegmann is founder and CTO of Exit Games, provider of Photon Cloud, the #1 service for cross-platform real-time multiplayer game development. Christof has 13+ years experience in providing services and platforms for mobile devices and founded Exit Games in 2004 with the goal of forming a leading company for multiplayer services.

Photon Cloud is a cross-platform network engine and software as a service (SaaS) for real-time multiplayer games and apps. Photon Cloud is the latest Corona Plugin partner is now available for all Corona SDK developers. For more information, please see the Photon Cloud plugin documentation.

chris profile largeWe’re happy to announce our new partnership with Corona Labs! Using the Photon Cloud plugin, Corona developers will be able to build and launch cross-platform real-time multiplayer games and join the ranks of hits like Uberstrike, World Golf Tour, Offensive Combat, Kartuga, and King’s Bounty: Legions.

First, a little history about us: back in 2004, we started building multiplayer middleware and services for mobiles under the Exit Games brand. We recognized that there was an unsatisfied need in the industry — at the time it was very difficult to develop and launch a multiplayer game. We soon evolved from a pure mobile company and began to support non-mobile platforms, namely PC and Mac via browsers. At this time, we launched Photon Server, a cross-platform multiplayer socket server with a focus on real-time communication and unique features such as reliable UDP support.

Photon Server was a great success, powering a lot of browser-based games from companies such as Nival, Codemasters, Cmune, Bigpoint, Innogames and Warner Bros. Games. Yet, we were still convinced that multiplayer would become the standard for mobile games, just as it was for browser and console.

In February 2012 we launched Photon Cloud, with the goal of making cross-platform real-time multiplayer features available for all, from indie developers with a small budget to AAA studios with considerable resources.

Photon Cloud’s unique benefits include:

  • Cross-Platform Capabilities: Client SDKs for all major gaming platforms.
  • Global Low Latency: Photon Cloud is deployed in hosting centers across the U.S., Europe, and Asia (Singapore, Japan, and soon in South Korea). Based on this footprint, Photon Cloud’s infrastructure allows developers to launch real-time games on a global scale without any server hassle.
  • Real-Time: Photon Cloud’s communication protocols are streamlined and the service’s core is based on C/C++ to allow the fastest round-trip times for your multiplayer apps in conjunction with the global hosting centers.
  • Automatic Scalability: Photon Cloud scales automatically with the actual game’s load, supporting tens of thousands of users.
  • Matchmaking API: Match players randomly or by specific filters — or create a list of open rooms and let players pick one. It works, simply and quickly.
  • FREE Plan: Photon Cloud is completely free for up to 20 concurrent users (CCU) per app, and you can have as many apps as you like. If you need to support more players, you can upgrade to a paid plan at any time. We also offer plans with “CCU burst,” meaning you can exceed your limit and optionally upgrade — in the meantime, you won’t lose any users.

To date, over 36,000 developers use Photon Cloud and now it’s your turn to get started. For information on integrating Photon Cloud into your Corona-powered apps, visit our documentation page. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

  • Phil Smith
    Posted at 10:00h, 15 August

    This is great news, just what we had been waiting for!

  • Fan Studio iPhone Game Development UK
    Posted at 10:42h, 15 August

    Great news but I’ve just tried the demo and it’s very very laggy :((

  • Inna Treyger
    Posted at 12:08h, 15 August

    Hi @Fan Studio – Please make sure you’ve signed up for an account and then put in the appid into cloud-app-info.lua.


  • Daniel Williams
    Posted at 12:20h, 15 August

    Are there any Corona games that currently use this product?

  • Damir
    Posted at 12:42h, 15 August

    Is turn-based multiplayer supported ?

  • Christian Urquhart
    Posted at 14:03h, 15 August

    When it says concurrent players, why does that actually mean, number of players connected to one game or number of players over all games being currently played.

    For example (for 100 concurrent users) if my app is a 2 player multiplayer game is that up to 50 games being played at once? what happens if I have 200 games being played? Just looking for some clarification.

  • Lerg
    Posted at 14:05h, 15 August

    I didn’t quite understand about CCU.

    Is it the limit of all users using the app? Or is it the limit of users currently playing together. Say I want to build 1v1 multiplayer game. 100 CCU means 50 copies of my app can run simultaneously? Or since 2 is less than 100 is everything OK?
    50 copies sounds like too low.

    • Robert
      Posted at 02:34h, 23 August

      It is the limit of users playing together (concurrent) at the same time.

  • Witcher
    Posted at 14:40h, 15 August

    I give you a little free promotional advice 🙂
    You could organize some kind of online game jam with compulsory condition that participants must use photon cloud in their projects. It could help to promote it faster, I suppose.

  • helios
    Posted at 17:42h, 15 August

    is this the new replacement for Corona Cloud??? im just a noob so id like to know how this is different from Corona’s Game Center??

    this new addition to Corona seems awesome .. wanna give it a try..but first the documentations.hha >:DD

    • David
      Posted at 20:27h, 15 August

      helios – Photon Cloud is a completely separate 3rd party service. They do a fantastic job of enabling multiplayer games.

      If you are referring to Apple GameCenter, Photon Cloud enables real time multiplayer, which Game Center does not.

  • Overtorment
    Posted at 11:14h, 16 August

    For anyone looking for selfhosted and 100% free solution there is Noobhub:

  • Mujo
    Posted at 08:26h, 22 August

    Great for all those who can afford it, but simply too expensive for indie developers 🙁

    • Robert
      Posted at 02:41h, 23 August

      Hey Mujo,
      I wonder if you have been looking at the right plans: Photon Cloud is free for up to 20 CCU (concurrent user), US$ 9,- for 100 CCU, US$ 39,- for 500 CCU per month. You can launch a realtime multiplayer cross-platform game that is working world-wide for that amount.

      • Mujo
        Posted at 01:06h, 29 August

        Indeed you can. But what if u plan big? I mean like 500 000 players and above? I know that that’s really hard too reach, well, almost impossible, but why not?