"There's A Lot Of People Who Still Don't Know About Playdate" 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Panic's Playdate handheld has been available for over two years now and has sold over 70,000 units, but Greg Maletic, Panic's head of special projects and Playdate, feels there's still a lot more work to be done.

Speaking in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Maletic says:

Now that we think we have our ducks in a row, the goal is to push the platform, push this out to people. There's a lot of people who still don't know about Playdate, who've not heard about it. And so the goal is to try and increase that penetration and awareness of the product. We know from the surveys we do that the people really have a good time with it. They really like it. And we just think if we can get more awareness then we can get more Playdates out there, which makes more money for our developers. And so that's what we're shooting for right now.

Panic recently released figures on the number of games sold on the Playdate Catalog storefront, and Maletic admits there was some scepticism in the beginning that any games would be developed for the system at all:

We never really thought anyone was going to make a Playdate game... we never imagined there'd be a thousand games out for it in this span of time.

Playdate's route to market was hardly what you'd call easy. COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works, and there were issues with the availability of certain parts and defective batteries. Panic has had to substitute the CPU and still hasn't released the much-hyped stereo dock – something that Maletic jokes "was supposed to be the easy side project."

Even so, he feels there's a lot to be proud of:

If for some weird reason we had to render a verdict right now, 'What happened with Playdate', I think we would say it was a success. It was a success beyond what we imagined.

The full interview is well worth a read.

[source gamesindustry.biz]