One of the most intriguing aspects of Panic’s Playdate — besides its lovely crank — is the unique game delivery method that will bring 24 free games to the device. Panic plans to release a season of games (Season One), two games at a time each week. In a new FAQ released on Wednesday, Panic explains a bit more about how that’ll work and reveals that, due to limited manufacturing capacity, not everyone will be playing new games at the same time.
All Playdates will download new games weekly on “New Game Day” as long they’re connected to Wi-Fi, starting with the first two games when you connect your device. The catch is that not everyone will connect their Playdate to the internet on day one due to limited preorders. That means rather than being in sync with the entire Playdate population (what Panic’s original “season of games” pitch implied), players will instead receive games in more or less the same cadence as the people in their preorder batch. Panic explains that this slight adjustment is due to what level of manufacturing and distribution is possible during the pandemic:
Our initial dream was a fully synchronized season for every owner, but that turned out to be really really hard to do with the reality of manufacturing (the factory can only make so many a week!) and distribution (international package delivery is only so reliable!)
If Panic does decide to do a Season Two of games, it says it should be able to pull off its original plan since many people will already own Playdates. The company also makes it clear that even though the Playdate will automatically download games, you don’t have to be committed to them. You can delete and re-download games at any time if you need to make room on your device for other homemade titles.
You can see our impression of the Playdate in our hands-on here and a preview of what games Panic has lined up for Season One on its Playdate site.