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The free-to-play shooter space is getting crowded, and it includes some of the biggest companies in video games. But Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and Valorant are not scaring an upstart like Splitgate: Arena Warfare out of the market.
Developer 1047 Games is preparing to expand its successful competitive arena shooter from PC to consoles next. I spoke to 1047 cofounder and chief executive Ian Proulx for the How Games Make Money podcast, which you can listen to below:
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Splitgate is launching on console on July 27. And for Proulx and the team at 1047, this is an opportunity to keep the learning process from PC going with a new audience.
“The entire process and the entire thinking here was that we know we’re not going to get it right on day one [on PC],” said Proulx. “We know there’s going to be a lot of learning. Let’s get it out there and in the hands of real users as soon as we have our minimum viable product. And that’s how we’re going to learn, and over the past two years that’s what we’ve been doing.”
This methodology has led a Very Positive rating for Splitgate on PC, but that was not because the team didn’t make mistakes. And one of those included trying to emulate Halo 2’s old 50-level ranking system.
“I was a huge advocate for [bringing] back the Halo 2 system,” said Proulx. “If you grew up playing Halo you know what I’m talking about. I mean people loved this, and we would tell people that we’re bringing back the Halo 2 1-to-50 ranking system and people’s eyes would light up. They would tell us, ‘oh, my gosh. Thank you. I can’t believe Halo got rid of it — they’re so stupid.’”
But implementing that ranking model made Splitgate worse.
“The truth is the system sucks,” said Proulx. “It’s horrible at getting you well-balanced games. What we saw is like 59% of our matches were absolute blowouts that were just totally lopsided. And so we had to get with the times — we made a mistake.”
Now, 1047 has figured out what Splitgate is and how to make it fun and compelling for PC players. The challenge now is getting attention on console when the game debuts.
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