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Stop baking 3rd party products you don't own or control into your games

Backend services have become mandatory and relying on 3rd party services that can stop existing, get banned, not support all platforms equally, and relinquish ownership of data and player's experiences is a mistake we don't have to make.

Anyone who built on my former company Playtomic, or OpenFeint, or cancelled features from HeyZap and Mochi, or Google+ Games, etc has been burned by dependencies being baked into our games.  Anyone who built on Apple's GameCenter and wanted identical functionality on Windows Phone has been burned.  Anyone who builds on Google is asking for pain when they inevitably do the iOS and other versions and are forced to offer different, not necessarily better experiences.

It's easy to forget the ramifications when we're deciding whether to do a whole lot of extra work we might not be comfortable with and instead opt to use a 3rd party service.   Backend services have become mandatory and relying on 3rd party services that can stop existing, get banned, not support all platforms equally, and relinquish ownership of data and player's experiences is a mistake we don't have to make.

With the rise of JavaScript as a server-side language and much more simplified cloud hosting and services it's time that developers take control of their games from end to end.  

With all of that in mind I've open sourced a large chunk of Playtomic at http://playtomic.org/ as self-hosted leaderboards, user generated content and dynamic configuration.  Playtomic.org already includes full documentation and extensive tests and examples for iOS, Android, C#, HTML5, Flash and Unity3d games.

It's your game, and now it's your backend too. 

Enjoy. 

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