Gadget

Playdate developers have made more than $500K in Catalog sales

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Panic is celebrating Playdate’s second birthday this month, and the party favors include some piping-hot statistics about Catalog game sales.

Playdate hit the market in April 2022 with 24 free games. Its Catalog store went live in March 2023, offering 16 curated games for purchase directly on the device. Panic has added more titles to Catalog on a bi-weekly basis for the past year, and the marketplace today has 181 games and apps. More than 150,000 games have been sold on Catalog, giving developers $544,290 in gross revenue — that’s after taxes, processing fees and Panic’s 25 percent cut.

Playdate two-year data

Panic

The average price of a Playdate Catalog game is $5.36. The average install size is 5.03MB, while the smallest Catalog game is 30.1KB and the largest is 107MB. Playdate ships with 4GB of flash storage. It also has 16GB of RAM, an accelerometer, a 400 x 240 1-bit display, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, a mono speaker, and a condenser mic and stereo headphone jack. Oh, and it has a delightful little crank.

The figures Panic shared today cover Catalog purchases, which means they only tell part of the story. While Catalog has just under 200 titles, there are more than 800 Playdate games and apps available on itch.io alone, and the community there is active and vibrant. As I described in our Playdate retrospective published last week, browsing the device’s itch.io page feels like “hanging out in a friendly underground clubhouse populated by crank-obsessed video game freaks.” But, like, in a great way.

Playdate supports games from new and veteran developers, and some of its most notable titles include Mars After Midnight by Lucas Pope, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure from Keita Takahashi’s studio uvula and Zipper by Bennett Foddy. Some of my personal favorites include Root Bear, Spellcorked, Word Trip, Chopter Copter and Pocket Pets.

This is the first time Panic has publicly shared data about Playdate game sales or its revenue-share model. The 25 percent cut that Panic takes is less than the standard set by Steam, which gets 30 percent of most game sales, but it’s more than split on the Epic Games Store, which reserves 12 percent for Epic.

Playdate costs $199 and there’s an optional teal cover available for $30. Panic has also been teasing the Stereo Dock — an adorable Playdate charging station, Bluetooth speaker and pen holder — for more than two years, but the accessory is still “coming soon.” There’s no word on a price or release window for the Stereo Dock, but Playdate Project Lead Greg Maletic recently told Engadget to expect an update in the coming months.

“We apologize to everyone with a Playdate who has been waiting patiently for the Stereo Dock; it’s been a trickier project than we anticipated and we had a few false starts,” Maletic said. “We thought we’d save some time on that project by having our factory do the software for the Stereo Dock, but we’ve learned that you don’t always necessarily want that in some cases. The Stereo Dock is very much alive, we have the physical prototypes to prove it! We expect to have a formal update on when you can buy one later this year.”

Playdate Stereo Dock

Panic

More than 70,000 Playdates have been sold in the past two years and a little more than half of all owners have purchased a Catalog game, according to Panic.

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