Press release


Panic shares data on the one-year anniversary of Playdate’s initial launch

PORTLAND, APRIL 18, 2023 - One year ago the tight-knit team at Panic began delivering on their unique – and somewhat offbeat – idea of a small, yellow dedicated games handheld with 1-bit graphics and a crank: the Playdate. On the first anniversary of them beginning to ship Playdate, the team is excited to share that they have sold 53,142 Playdates to date to customers across their initial shipping countries.

Panic first opened pre-orders for Playdate on July 29, 2021. At the time, Panic planned to manufacture 20,000 units, and were not sure if the demand would be there to sell those 20,000 units in a timely fashion. Panic would go on to sell those 20,000 units in under 20 minutes that day.

“It’s been a great year for Playdate,” says Greg Maletic, Playdate Project Lead at Panic. “When we started, we had no idea how big the audience would be for a weird product like this, but we told the factory: build 20,000. To have now sold more than 53,000 (and counting) is heartening. And this, at a time when parts shortages forced our delivery lead-times out as much as a year. As those lead-times shorten and Playdate delivery becomes more immediate, we’re looking forward to an even better Year Two.”

Currently, Panic has shipped 27,000 of their Playdate pre-orders. The team is hard at work on getting customers their Playdates, and fully expect to deliver all pre-orders by the end of this year. 

Playdate Update #3 - 3/7/23
The surprise launch of Catalog

Every Playdate purchased comes with Playdate’s curated Season of 24 games, but Playdate was designed to be open for anyone with the desire and ability to make a game for Playdate to do so. Since launch, Panic has been delighted to discover that this mission statement became reality. To date, there are 400+ Playdates games and apps available for download on, with 39.7% of Playdates owners having sideloaded at least one Playdate game or app onto their device. On March 7, 2023 Panic launched Catalog, their own curated on-device and web browser based store for Playdate games and apps. In a little over a month since its launch, games and apps from Catalog have been downloaded 19,577 times.

Words from independent developers who have developed games for Playdate: 
  • “I totally loved developing for Playdate. When I first saw it in a press release ages ago, I impulsively wanted to create a game for it, because I like the idea of finding innovation in limitation. Building everything from the ground up was a very cool challenge.”  - Philipp Stollenmayer @ kamibox, developer of A Joke Worth .99¢.

A Joke That's Worth .99¢
  • “With Bloom, developing for Playdate's unique features and limitations really encouraged creativity in a way we haven't experienced elsewhere. Bloom saw greater success than our past games financially, due to the increased focus in a smaller game library, and was a massive creative success. We'd never made a story-driven game before, so having the opportunity to do so and having that experience be so loved by players was incredibly positive for us..”  - Benjamin Busche @ RNG Party Games, Writer & Artist on Bloom.


Looking towards the future of Playdate, once Panic catches up with their backlog of pre-orders they hope to have Playdate available to purchase on demand, with significantly reduced shipping times. With the increased bandwidth once pre-orders are fulfilled, Panic also plans to deliver to customers the previously announced Playdate Stereo Dock, designed in partnership with Teenage Engineering. Panic also plans to one day expand the list of territories where they can ship Playdates to - including Malaysia, where Playdates are manufactured. They also continue to work with developers to get their Playdate games and apps up on Catalog for Playdate owners to discover them on device

Playdate is available for pre-order for $199 at A new episode of the Playdate Podcast celebrating the one-year anniversary is out today.

Playdates being tested and manufactured at the factory in Malaysia.

About Playdate

Playdate is a truly unique gaming handheld system that is a celebration of video games. It’s yellow. It fits in your pocket. It includes games from amazing creators, it has a beautiful black and white screen, and yes, it also has a crank.

Created with great attention to detail and affection by app developer and video game publisher Panic, Playdate hopes to capture the spirit of endless possibility and excitement that games have given us since the beginning. Playdate’s collection of games will delight players with their inventiveness and ingenuity. And in addition to introducing players to brand new games, Playdate also encourages people to create their own imaginative games and interactive software using a suite of easy development tools. In short, Playdate was made just for fun.

For hardware information, pictures, and more details on Playdate visit the Press Kit here:

Find Playdate on Twitter at @playdate and on their website at

For special interview requests or any other requests, get in touch with

About Panic Inc.

Founded in 1999, Panic is an ancient corporation in Portland, Oregon that relentlessly follows its heart in an effort to make nicely made things that bring everyday joy. Originally — and still — a Mac app developer, Panic has also become a highly-focused video game publisher that has helped to release into the world Firewatch, Untitled Goose Game, and the upcoming interactive food game, Nour: Play With Your Food. In the spirit of creating products that bring joy, Panic has also created its very own handheld video game system, Playdate.
Visit their website:

Find Panic on Twitter