Splitgate dev wants to become 'the next Riot Games' following $100 million funding round

Two shooters in suits and helmets aiming at each other, one is just arriving from inside a portal
(Image credit: 1047 Games)

After two years of relative early access obscurity, Halo-with-portals arena FPS Splitgate became wildly popular over the summer—enough that investors are willing to spend $100 million to see where developer 1047 Games can take it next.

Splitgate's sudden popularity might have briefly overloaded the game's servers, but it's also blown open the potential scope for the shooter. Speaking to TechCrunch, 1047 co-founder and CEO Ian Proulx now reckons Splitgate could be the studio's own League of Legends.

"There’s so much we couldn’t think about because we were a tiny team with a tiny budget, but now everything is on the table," said Proulx. "We’re focusing on the long term—I look at the game as being 25% done. We don’t need to be Fortnite tomorrow, but now it really is about building the next Riot Games, the next big games business."

A sci-fi gun looking into a portal

(Image credit: 1047 Games)

While set to launch in 1.0 over the summer, 1047 chose to keep the game in open beta indefinitely following the recent surge. That new-found fame coincided somewhat with the game's console release, but Proulx also reckons that in a space dominated by battle royale and hardcore options, there's sizeable demand for a good old fashioned arena shooter that sites somewhere in the middle.

"People grew up playing these games, and the reason [the market] is dead is not because they stopped loving them,” he said. “No one has moved the needle because there hasn’t been a lot of innovation, and there hasn’t been something that’s accessible to the masses. Quake Arena is great, but it’s extremely difficult. No 12-year-old Fortnite kid is gonna play it. We really do fill this void."

Apparently, Splitgate is now eyeing up a Halo-style in-game map editor, after a pointed jab at Halo Infinite's lack of Forge at launch.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.