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@Gwathdring Keeping the games secret is… Not a good choice. But they aren’t making you buy blind booster packs of playdate systems to get the game you want. I don’t think it’s as malicious as you think it is, it certainly isn’t exploiting addiction, though I do think it is a poor decision.

If they deliver on their promise to create a platform that is easy to develop for (which they have claimed to be working towards, even calling for developers with no programming skill to apply), more competition in the handheld market would be welcome and beneficial to consumer and dev alike. Plus I think that there is still a market for games that don’t blow their entire budget on graphics and focus on story and interesting mechanics. Still skeptical, but they’re saying a lot of things that sound good.

I’m not sure why the bar for unreasonable and predatory has to be the worst case scenario of exploitative skinner-box marketing. I think something can be unreasonable without being horrifying. Ethics isn’t a binary thing, you know?

I don’t think it’s malicious or evil. I think it’s exploitative, regardless of intent, and it’s unnecessary. It can be a poor strategy and also a bit screwy towards customers that do buy in at the same time. It doesn’t have to be a masterclass in FTP marketing to be a for-profit product that unnecessarily obfuscates value and passes that off as a gimmick. It’s a gaming platform; I sincerely doubt the mystery of these first 12 games is a core feature that really elevates the experience and short of that, they’re obfuscating the main feature of the product.

I’m not angry or upset about it. I do however think it’s unreasonable. There’s time for them to change that, though, and they may well simply because it’s also as you say a bad idea.

P.S. It’s worth noting that physical products like this from smaller manufacturers get an extra lever over customers in that they can much more easily run out of stock. Adopting early or even preordering can end up being necessary to experience the product at all. This extra pressure makes me more wary of gimmicks that intentionally obfuscate details.

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I don’t really have the time to dig in here (still at work), but let’s agree to disagree. Whether or not the “surprise” is good or bad is for an individual to determine for themselves anyway. Though it needs to be noted that the 12 games will be distributed weekly, not monthly.

It’s interesting to me that you guys are still looking at the value proposition as compared to i.e. Nintendo’s machines though. This isn’t intended to compete in that space, nor is it even looking for a piece of the pie, and they’ve been explicit about that. I think that’s a real indication of just how niche the idea truly is; there are going to be a ton of interested eyes on the project, but only a small minority will remain excited once they’ve sussed out what it’s actually all about.

I guess I’m interested precisely because it’s a nice handheld that would fit into a different space than nintendo. A modern retro handheld.

But the only thing that would actually get me to buy it is if it turned into ‘gameboy 2: But anyone can develop for it’. I don’t buy those ‘999 games on one console’, not about to buy ‘12 in one’.

I’m not comparing it to specific consoles dollar for dollar or expecting that it will compete with Nintendo directly. I was emphasizing the uncertainty about Playdate sticking around. Even Nintendo can’t always guarantee a handheld device will last very long, and Playdate doesn’t have that brand advantage.

I also compared it to the PS4 and hopefully you don’t think I suspect it is competing with the PS4 in any direct fashion. :wink: The PS4 brand has established itself as supporting years of third party releases which takes some pressure off the launch in terms of value. Even then I’d be tempted to suggest that selling a game without telling someone anything about that game first is kinda shitty in most contexts.

Playdate is unlikely to be the Next Big Thing in handheld–you don’t seem to disagree, and that’s the only reason I referenced Nintendo. My main point is to emphasize the importance of clarity with respect to what launch titles customers are paying for, and point out how this is especially important for Playdate.

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See but I really don’t think it is! I’m not just trying to be contrarian, I promise, and I completely agree that your feelings and points of contention will end up being the prevailing opinions of most folks who catch wind of the project.

But! I don’t actually think that’s a problem for them (Panic). I’m not naive enough to think Panic is doing this as some benevolent passion project—profits be damned!—but I do think they’re coming off as realists with respect to actual broader appeal. We’re talking about a boutique developer branching out into hardware with the help of a boutique hardware manufacturer and enlisting boutique game makers to make little boutique games. It’s yellow and has a crank.

It’s a freaking hipster device, man. And holy crap does everything about it appeal to me. Absolutely there’s some risk involved in a preorder, but I risk more on any Kickstarter I’m likely to back and in this case I’ll at least be guaranteed a little curio out of the deal. It’s frivolous, it’s a bit ridiculous, and it’s no small chunk of change. It’s also cool, it’ll probably have a fanatical attach rate, and you better believe it’s gonna get hacked and homebrewed like there’s no tomorrow.

I guess to sum everything up, you are absolutely right on all accounts (though I still think some of your gripes are from perception rather than intent on Panic’s end), and that’s precisely why the Playdate will be less than a blip in the overall games market. Yet it strikes a chord for the tiny subset of people it’s aimed at, certainly the like-minded gamers I’m generally in contact with, and taken as an objet d’art, it’s an exciting proposition, even if it flops.

Interestingly, if this were coming from a larger corporation I’d be cynical as all get out over the whole damn idea! But this one’s tech art. I’ll let you know how it is next year. :wink:

Why are you asking me? Everyone seems pretty active about this topic, and Playdate has already gotten a lot of press from other sites, and you aren’t spamming us with your own spam. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another Cool Ghosts discussion.

(Actually, why are you asking me, specifically? I hardly ever hang out here in Cool Ghosts!)

You’re the only mod I’ve ever seen around here!

They are always here, lurking in the shadows…

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He’s bluffing, there aren’t any more out there. We outnumber them. We can take them down no problem! This is our chance. This is our time!



I look forward to your future banning! :wink:


SUSD IS A KANGAROO COURT. Wake up guys! Red pill thinking!

All of you sheeple are BANNED!

Seriously, though, Playdate. Topic. Focus, people!

My children are free most days, as they are imaginary.


Mine are free too. Take them. Please! Anybody?