Splitgate, a first-person shooter that pairs arena-style blasting with the ability to spawn and travel through portals, will implement the ability to earn Bitcoin by playing thanks to a new Lightning Network integration from fintech startup ZBD.

ZBD has collaborated with Splitgate developer 1047 Games to roll out the Bitcoin integration for the PC version of the free-to-play shooter, with an upcoming tournament set to showcase the Lightning payments functionality while awarding players a share of a 0.5 Bitcoin prize pool—about $19,000 worth as of this writing.

The Splitgate Winter Invitational will kick off in December with 16 teams, with the first round of action on December 10-11, a second round losers showdown on December 16-17, and ultimately the grand finals on December 22. ZBD also plans to beta test the functionality ahead of the tournament.

Interested players can find details via the ZBD Discord server, with registration closing ahead of the first round on December 10. Players must be at least 18 years of age with a ZBD account, and reside in the United States or Brazil. The feature will let players earn Bitcoin rewards for winning matches, plus players can opt to pay into the prize pool to sweeten the pot for all.


“Splitgate continues to have a loyal and engaged player base. We’re always excited to hear innovative solutions to reward our players, such as what ZBD has done, and the tournament that they plan to hold,” said 1047 Games CEO and co-founder Ian Proulx, in a release.

Splitgate initially launched in early access in 2019, and saw a surge in popularity when it entered an ongoing beta phase in 2021—so much so that the servers buckled from demand.

1047 Games announced in late 2022 that it would end active development on the game in favor of focusing on its next project, but Splitgate remains online and free to play. The company says it has been downloaded over 18 million times across platforms. In 2021, the studio raised a $100 million funding round at a $1.5 billion valuation.


ZBD has previously integrated its Lightning-based Bitcoin tech into other big, mainstream PC games, albeit typically in an unofficial fashion without collaborating with the game studio. In 2021, the company launched a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) server that let players pay a small entry fee before each match before potentially earning a larger chunk of Bitcoin.

More recently, ZBD provided a Bitcoin earning integration for Microsoft’s smash hit game Minecraft, as seen on the Satlantis player-run server. Satlantis ran for months before Microsoft and developer Mojang cracked down on it, threatening to block the server after updating its usage rules to prohibit crypto earnings. Ultimately, Satlantis removed the functionality.

ZBD’s tech also powers a number of mobile games that pay out small amounts of Bitcoin to players, plus its Android app provides access to numerous games with Bitcoin earnings.

This isn’t the first time that Splitgate has waded into the blockchain world. In 2019, 1047 Games linked up with crypto video streaming platform Theta (called Sliver.tv then) to provide NFTs and token rewards for spectators. In 2021, the studio partnered with crypto startup Epik Prime to release a series of premium Splitgate NFT collectibles.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

GG Newsletter

Get the latest web3 gaming news, hear directly from gaming studios and influencers covering the space, and receive power-ups from our partners.