Panic Co-Founder: Playdate Is Kind of Preposterous When I Think About It, But It’s Just What We Do


Playdate is the new handheld gaming system announced a few days ago by Panic, publisher of Firewatch and maker of several iOS applications.

While the announcement came entirely out of the proverbial left field, the Playdate has been in the works for quite some time. The latest EDGE magazine (issue #333, July 2019) has a long interview with the folks at Panic, starting with Co-Founder Cabel Sasser. Apparently, even he acknowledges the inherent weirdness of the crank-equipped device.

Playdate Shipping Is Delayed to Early 2022, Too

Things were not great for me and running this company now, I almost feel like a different person. I feel like a huge part of that is finding again how important it is to me and for everyone here to just make things, and be proud and excited about it. And that's why we exist. I don't know, it's so weird for me to calibrate. Because that's actually kind of preposterous when I stop and think about it. The whole thing is kind of preposterous when I stop and think about it, but it's just what we do.

That might be part of what makes it interesting for gamers, though. Later in the interview, Sasser tries to explain the target audience is anyone who still feels excited about making new experiences in games.

We're building this for people who love videogames. People who will never forget burning the bush in Zelda and uncovering the stairs to a dungeon, or people who remember laughing uproariously as they roll the ball of stuff in Katamari, or even people who got chills when they were riding their horse in Red Dead Redemption towards Mexico and that song started playing.

People who play Firewatch one week or Uncharted the next, they don't care about the platform, and they don't care about the genre or the number of 'A's, they just care about that indescribably electric feeling of experiencing something new that games give us. That's been my whole life as I played videogames. So Playdate, in a way, is a shrine to that feeling.

The device is expected to hit stores in early 2020. It will be priced at $149.