Every now and then a game seemingly comes out of nowhere and dominates the charts, and it seems like Splitgate is the latest example of this phenomenon. Just a few days after releasing its open beta, Splitgate has reached the number one trending spot on the PlayStation Store, surpassing giants like Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, and NBA 2K22.
Splitgate is a free-to-play FPS that the developers describe as “Halo meets Portal.” It’s an arena shooter at its core, but players can place portals to instantly travel around the map and flank enemies. It may not seem like much on paper, but adding portals to a game like this opens up so many gameplay possibilities. The game wears its inspirations on its sleeve (it even has a Halo-like announcer with great lines like “Killection Agency”) but it still feels really fresh.
We just hit #1 trending on PlayStation!
We continue to be amazed by all the support we're being shown, thank you all so much. ❤ pic.twitter.com/a3Kyo8CyHM
— Splitgate (@Splitgate) July 19, 2021
The game first released on PC in 2019 to little fanfare, although developer 1047 Games refused to give up on it. The FPS space is incredibly crowded and only grows more densely packed day by day, so succeeding as a competitive shooter is a difficult task these days. Lukewarm reviews and little marketing caused Splitgate to remain a game that struggled with growth despite being loved by its community. Still, 1047 Games continued to work on the game with the eventual plan to bring it to consoles.
Now, the game has proven to be an incredible success on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. According to 1047 Games, Splitgate has been downloaded over half a million times since the start of beta just one week ago, and that number doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Naturally, the game has been experiencing some server issues as of late due to the increased traffic, and it even got to the point where Amazon’s system thought the Splitgate servers were the victim of a DDoS attack because of the overwhelming influx of players.
Splitgate is just a recent example of a great game seeing a surge in players a long time after launch. Among Us is obviously the poster child for a small indie game blowing up out of nowhere due to social media, streaming, and word of mouth, but there have been other examples as well. Fall Guys exceeded developer Mediatonic’s expectations by a significant margin, for example. Also, Fortnite only became the phenomenon that it is after adding a battle royale mode post-launch, and Final Fantasy XIV is seeing a huge influx in players this month thanks to Twitch personalities.
Splitgate still hasn’t reached the popularity of these titles, and while it likely won’t reach the heights of Among Us or Fortnite, it still has the potential to grow even further once it is officially released on consoles and more people get their hands on it. With frequent updates and communication, Splitgate could easily find a place for itself in the FPS community, especially with how hungry players are for a good arena shooter these days. It has a unique gimmick, the gameplay is quick and punchy, and people just really want to play something like Halo right now.
Having played quite a bit of Splitgate myself, I’m hopeful that the game will stick around for a while. The skill ceiling is ridiculously high and there truly isn’t anything else like it on the market. With the explosive growth that the game has been seeing since the beta released, though, it looks like the only way for Splitgate to go from here is up, especially since it’s free-to-play with full crossplay support.
Splitgate is available now in Open Beta on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The full console release is scheduled for July 27.