No, Evercade Does Not Need a Download Store

Evercade Facebook comment

Spotted by Evercade fans on a private Facebook group, a comment that was probably meant to allay concerns but has – thanks to poor wording – done the exact opposite.

“We have no plans to make a download store at this time.”

That seems pretty cut-and-dried, doesn’t it? After all, Evercade is a physical game product. That’s the whole point of it, its USP. They release game collections on cartridge, complete with striking presentation, good user guides, collectible cartridge cases, and you buy them to play or admire.

Evercade is not Nintendo Switch, with dozens of retro games to download depending on your preferred membership type. Everyone knows that.

But let’s look at that statement again:

“We have no plans to make a download store at this time.”

With that added emphasis, the declaration takes on a whole new meaning. Since releasing in 2020, everyone who has bought an Evercade has done so – primarily, or as a secondary reason – because it offers physical games at a time when these items are becoming more rare. Only retro enthusiasts (games, music, or video) are buying physical products. It’s a key part of the experience.

Retro music fans would rightly balk at an instruction to buy an album on Apple Music, and likely ignore it.

Is an Evercade download store planned?

“At this time” suggests plans for an online store. Perhaps not advanced plans, but certainly an understanding within the Evercade development team that it is a possibility. With possibilities like this come hardware planning, and then comes the implentation of hardware compatibility; Evercade VS and Evercade EXP both have Wi-Fi, after all.

Evercade VS game menu

All that is left is to implement a software framework for a download store and you’re racking up alongside Google Play, Amazon App Store, Apple App Store, Microsoft App Store, Steam, Epic, and many others.

Now, it might be that Blaze Entertainment are having their collective heads turned by the success of the downloadable Game of the Month previews on VS for the upcoming Indie Collection II cart, but if that is the case, they need to take a step back.

In my opinion, an Evercade store would be a failure, one that could take the entire platform down with it.

Who wants a download store for Evercade, really?

Virtually no one who bought Evercade, Evercade VS, or has pre-ordered Evercade EXP and invested money and time in cartridges wants an online store. To introduce one would undermine the ethos of Evercade – insofar as it is understood by its community – and, I’m afraid, make Evercade just another games retailer.

If anything, Evercade’s lack of an online store is refreshing. It makes the platform seem individual, like they people behind it understand the need for collectible cases and memorable pack art. Buying a cartridge might take longer than buying a download, but the ritual of inserting the cartridge into your console is usually quicker and more satisfying for the buyer.

I mean, if directly competing with Steam or Epic is your idea of fun, then knock yourselves out. But breaking into that marketplace seems like an unsurmountable (and unneccessary) task when you already have a dedicated following desperate for more physical releases.

Now, to give the team behind Evercade their due, they at least seem to be aware of this. Our recently analysis of the Evercade AMA last week proved that as well as some proposed big name cartridge compilations falling through, new games are being sought out and other game options are being considered. We also have some unannounced Evercade cartridges to look forward to in 2022.

“We have no plans to make a download store at this time.”

Let’s hope they keep their word. The alternative is losing the community that has been so passionate and vocal about the Evercade from day one.