Splitgate, a free-to-play “Portal meets Halo” FPS, has been available on PC for a few years but has failed to sustain a player base. According to Steam Charts, after a relatively robust debut in May 2019, the game soon dropped to an average monthly concurrent player count of a little over 100. Things began to take up in late 2020, but in the last week, the player count has skyrocketed, making it tough to matchmake into a game.
The reason is the forthcoming console launch on July 27 and more especially the open beta that is now underway. The beta, which opened on July 13 with full crossplay across PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, was such a smashing success that developer 1047 Games first extended it, and then took it entirely down yesterday due to server overload.
The beta test has resumed, however, the capacity concerns have not been rectified. “We spent all night optimizing further, but after speaking with AWS [Amazon Web Services], we discovered our database (redis) can only handle 65,536 concurrent players (what we hit last night”),” 1047 tweeted. “As a result, no optimizations are necessary at this time. We’re working on a queuing mechanism to let 65k people access until we can eliminate this restriction.”
Naturally, console gamers are driving a huge portion of this unexpected surge in demand, but Steam is also experiencing a significant increase in activity: According to Steam Charts, more than 8,400 individuals are now playing the game, indicating a significant increase in demand. Unfortunately, those server issues are affecting PC players as well as everyone else.
1047 stated that it intended to build a queuing system “shortly” to assist better control traffic, but it also has a pinned tweet that is obviously geared at lowering expectations:
The longer-term concern is whether Splitgate will be able to sustain these numbers following the full console launch on July 27. Hopefully, it will, or something close to it: Crossplay’s considerably bigger player base instantly makes it more appealing, and as Morgan pointed out when he looked at a trio of new maps earlier this month, it’s really very good: An “underrated arena FPS that’s like Halo if everyone carried around a portal gun,” which isn’t the worst notion I’ve ever heard for a videogame.