Splitgate Enters the Arena with AccelByte Multiplayer Backend

1047 Games was founded by Ian Proulx and Nicholas Bagamian in their dorm rooms at Stanford (the company was named after the building’s address). What started as two computer science majors putting portals into an FPS for a senior project, has evolved into a VC-backed company that has raised over $120MM in funding and is now one of the fastest-growing game studios in the world. They released their flagship game, Splitgate on Steam in 2019.

Splitgate is a free-to-play, fast-paced multiplayer shooter that features player-controlled portals. This sci-fi shooter takes the FPS genre to a new dimension with its portal mechanics, delivering high-flying, multi-dimensional combat.

Challenges

In July 2021, players around the world could not get enough of Splitgate as it launched F2P cross-play on Xbox, Playstation, and Steam. In the first week alone Splitgate had two million downloads and soon hit over 200k concurrent players.

Splitgate proved so popular that the 1047 Games team was caught unprepared. With the huge influx of players came new challenges around scaling accounts, matchmaking, and other backend services. Users reported they were having trouble logging in, inviting friends, and starting matches during peak hours.

A big challenge for 1047 Games was that Splitgate’s monolithic backend service was built in-house. The service was feature-rich, and implemented novel solutions to optimize for match quality, but was now difficult to scale and costly to re-work and extend as Splitgate grew.

With such massive interest in the open beta alone, Splitgate needed a backend platform with the ability to scale to millions of players and extensible solutions that could be customized to support new, evolving game requirements for Splitgate as the team pushed towards launch.

Solutions

Road to Champion Rank: Matchmaking and Lobby

No matchmaker is perfect. However, competitive matchmaking and ranked play were at the core of Splitgate. The 1047 Games team had spent years experimenting with, learning from, and creating unique matchmaking protocols and wanted to continue building on those learnings. AccelByte worked with the 1047 team closely to support Splitgate with a matchmaking service that can produce high-quality matches within a short amount of time:

  • Multi-Game Mode and Playlist matchmaking (e.g., casual, ranked 4v4, etc.)
  • New Player Experiences (e.g., tutorial, bot training, new player 2v2 + bots)
  • ELO Based Matching and team balancing
  • Cross-play Matchmaking toggle
  • Flex Rules for Matching (to prioritize latency, skill, or other metrics)
  • Playable Waiting Area Before Matches
  • Session combining

Earning Splitcoins: User Profiles, Leaderboards, and Achievements

In the Beta, the Splitgate Battle Pass is free. It's automatically unlocked and activated when you first launch into the game. AccelByte helped 1047 Games migrate and continue building on this Battle Pass system to keep players across all platforms engaged. AccelByte Access and Engagement services supported Splitgate with:

  • Battle Pass tying progression to unlockable rewards
  • Daily, Weekly, Seasonal, and even Weapon-specific Challenges tied to rewards
  • Item Drop tools for configuring drop tables, probability, and eligible user segments
  • Leaderboards for Ranks and Stats
  • Achievements integration with 3rd Party services (e.g., PSN, Steam)

Supporting Every Portal: Dynamic Server Management

AccelByte supported Splitgate with a dynamic game server manager that routes players to the best server based on the players in the match for optimal game experience. The fleet manager provides ‘hug the player curve’ autoscaling logic to ensure the peak load is handled at the lowest cost.

AccelByte collaborated with 1047 Games to prepare dedicated servers across the world in multiple regions and performed continuous load testing to validate the stability of the platform at even peak player counts.

Arming Splitgate with their Own BFB: ‘White-Glove’ Migration Support

Migrating 1047 Games’ backend to AccelByte was, as expected, not a one-to-one fit. Since Splitgate was already live and under continuous development, migrating the backend was akin to replacing a plane engine while mid-flight!

The AccelByte Professional Services team worked closely with 1047 Games to deploy dedicated infrastructure and platform engineers to collaborate directly on game integration, testing, support, as well as migrate live player data incrementally.

Results

Working hand-in-hand, 1047 Games and AccelByte have been able to set Splitgate up for success and prepare for future content expansions. The results?

  • Full migration of millions of player records within a few hours
  • A quick transition from Splitgate’s custom backend onto AccelByte’s backend
  • Faster matchmaking and higher quality matches
  • Fully featured Battle Pass, rewards, and challenge services extensible to support future releases and development however the game evolves

To learn more about AccelByte’s solutions request a demo here.

For a downloadable version of this customer story, download file below.

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