Splitgate developers 1047 Games have raised $136 million AUD to remain independent and become the “next big AAA studio”.
When Splitgate first released in 2019, it was for early access only on Linux and Microsoft Windows through Steam. But on July 27th of this year, the multiplayer FPS with a twist released on Xbox and PlayStation consoles and was throttled by its own popularity.
As a free-to-play arena shooter, one might assume 1047 Games wasn’t doing anything special. But the Halo-inspired title proved innovative with its implementation of a portal gun system, similar to that of the Portal franchise.
The portals themselves can be destroyed by grenades, or even used by the enemy team to travel or shoot through (although they can’t see through them), allowing for some pretty nifty tactics. Pair that with multi-levelled maps, complete with platforms and tall buildings, and Splitgate’s got a recipe for a pretty fun time.
That said, it does take about 10 hours of ranked gameplay to unlock later, higher difficulty maps – unless you’re steering clear of the competitive sphere and cruising through custom games, that is.
Better yet, the only in-game micro-transactions are completely cosmetic. Weapon skins, armour styles, jetpack skins, and portal patterns are among the items you’ll find in the available loot boxes, with each one costing about dollar (or just over) each.
Mix that with the free-to-play model and so far, it’s pretty easy to see why people are so crazy about the game. So what’s the problem then?
💯We're at 100k concurrent & holding steady. This is an important milestone for us not only as a growth indicator, but from a technical viewpoint.
We also fixed many bugs along the way before they got out of hand!
Wait times are over an hour ATM, we appreciate your patience!🙏
— Splitgate – Season 0 (@Splitgate) July 31, 2021
Well, Splitgate is basically too popular for its own good. Once the beta was released to consoles, queue times jumped upwards of an hour. Some folks couldn’t even play at all. At one point, the developers boasted “100k concurrent” players on Twitter and thanked people for their patience while they did their best to fix wait times.
Hats off to the indie developers for managing to rack up such a huge playerbase, even if it means their servers are struggling.
The rate of growth of our playerbase is faster than the rate we can increase server capacity. We are working on a long term solution to greatly increase server capacity to well over 100k concurrent but this takes time.
Thanks for being patient <3
— Splitgate – Season 0 (@Splitgate) August 1, 2021
But that brings us back to the company’s fundraising efforts. The CEO, Ian Proulx, released a statement via Twitter detailing their successful round of recent funding, totalling $136 million AUD. Rather than selling out to another company, Splitgate remains firmly in its creator’s hands, who are aiming high as the “next big AAA studio”.
Proulx goes on to add that it means the hiring of more developers, which in turn means; more frequent updates, additional features, faster bug fixes, and most importantly, the ability to support their large playerbase. He certainly talks a big game, claiming that the “scope of what [they] can achieve just got 10x bigger”.
We have just raised $100 MILLION to continue our journey as an independent, community-first game studio.
Read more about it below: pic.twitter.com/jltcqMsvRb
— Splitgate – Season 0 (@Splitgate) September 14, 2021
Most importantly, they want to remain “true to [their] roots as an indie team that prioritizes [their] community”, despite the upsizing of said company. If they’re successful at that, then Proulx assures “together, let’s take Splitgate to the next level”.
Splitgate is available for Linux, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 now, for free. Find out more here.