By Amy Wu and Jeremy Liew
Every year there are 1–2 hit indie games that break out of the typical “big-publisher sequel” mold. In the last couple years, breakouts were Valheim, Among Us and Fall Guys. In 2021, there was Splitgate.
Splitgate has taken the gaming world by storm since launching its beta on consoles last month. It’s a F2P AAA competitive arena shooter commonly described as “Halo Meets Portal”. The fast gameplay is reminiscent of Unreal Tournament, one of my favorite games growing up. A beginner player can have fun shooting opponents right away, but as they learn how to use portaling, the game tactics change. And keep changing. It’s easy to learn but hard to master. It’s also ready-made for esports.
A classic overnight success five years in the making, Splitgate rocketed from obscurity in August when it launched on console. In the month since, over 13M players have downloaded Splitgate, with 200k peak concurrents across PC, PlayStation, and XBOX. Players were willing to wait an hour in the server queue at launch as 1047 Games worked overtime to meet explosive player demand.
It wasn’t always easy. Co-founders Ian Proulx and Nicholas Bagamian are new to AAA games. They met as undergrad students at Stanford, where Ian built the first prototype of Splitgate as his senior project. When friends spend five hours playing the first playtest instead of studying for final exams, Ian knew he had found the fun. But the next five years deeply tested the gamemakers’ resolve, as they ground on the game with a “ramen budget,, launching first on PC, and then slowly taking player feedback. The founders almost quit last year, but they decided to see it through console launch, and the rest is history.
Game respects game, especially in gaming. We were first introduced to the team by Stephen Lim, storied co-founder of Valorant. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Lightspeed is leading the $100M Series A round for 1047 Games, investing alongside Insight Venture Partners, Anthos Capital, Galaxy Digital, VGames, Lakestar, and Human Capital.