This article was originally published on Engadget.
Splitgate, a frenetic free-to-play arena shooter with portals, has become a word of mouth hit with 10 million downloads in under 30 days. Developer 1047 Games has announced that the game will remain in open beta indefinitely as it works on managing the sudden influx of players. As a result, Splitgate is no longer slated to fully launch this month. Instead, 1047 will continue to roll out updates and fixes to the game complete with new content and improvements to the backend that can facilitate the uptick in players. Queue times are now less than 10 minutes and a new Ranked Duos mode recently went live.
Splitgate injected the tired arena shooter with a much needed blast of vitality by adding portals to the mix. Players can cast these wormholes around the map and even shoot opponents through them. It helps that it’s free-to-play, contains a variety of guns and plenty of game modes (like Team deathmatch, Team Shotty Snipers and Team SWAT).
While the game has been in early access since 2019, it exploded in popularity in the wake of its open beta launch in early July, which brought with it cross-play with Xbox and PlayStation consoles. According to 1047, the shooter went from an initial 4,000 concurrent players to more than 175,000 in a few weeks. Naturally, the massive increase caused backend issues. Splitgate was taken offline twice in recent weeks as the small 1047 team worked on server optimizations.
In late July, the developer announced that it had raised $10 million in a recent funding round led by Human Capital on top of the $6.5 million it snagged earlier in the year. 1047 said it would put the money toward expanding its engineering team. The company also has a major announcement in store for Gamescom later this month as it looks to build on Splitgate‘s breakout success. In a recent Q&A session on Twitch, the developer reportedly mentioned that a Switch and mobile port of the game was “part of the vision.”
“This has been the most surreal time of my life,” said Ian Proulx, CEO and co-founder of 1047 Games. “The fan support has been incredible as we work to improve the player experience. We never dreamed of having to scale this big this quickly, and as a result we have had to overcome challenges to keep up with player demand. We met several major milestones in a short time, creating a stable platform where fans can expect to find a server to play on relatively quickly, and I’m proud of what our team has accomplished – but there’s a lot more to come!”
Proulx continued, “In looking at the issues facing the scalability of the game’s backend, the process includes far more than simply dealing with server capacity. We are focused on keeping the game stable for fans, and iterating on the game’s concurrent capacity in order to minimize player wait times. We want to do this the right way, and we want to be prepared for massive scale when we officially launch, all the while continuing to improve the beta with frequent updates, additional features, and improvements to server capacity.”
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