„We’ve hit the mid year point for our 2023 here at Blaze Entertainment, and what a year it has been so far!
When Blaze Entertainment first brought the Evercade to the retro gaming world there was a lot of interest and intrigue of what we were doing. Bringing back cartridges in a digital world seemed risky. Since then, our commitment to physical, legal, and quality retro gaming has won over the hearts of fans and changed the minds of doubters everywhere and here we are – over 45 cartridges and over 500 games by the end of 2023. I remember an early interview where I said there would be over 50 Evercade carts, we are now close to this milestone and I expect many more amazing collections to be released in the future.
At the start of 2023, we were in an incredibly fortunate position of having the entire year planned. Evercade Cartridges, licenses, production processes, marketing activity, hardware production. It’s been one of the busiest and most packed years that we have ever experienced, not to mention the added compilation of the Evercade EXP Limited Edition replacements following December’s theft.
So far we’ve bought more new partners, more systems, more Evercade cartridges, more ways to play, and more updates this year than we ever have before. There has been something new for Evercade fans to enjoy every month and the Evercade user base is continuing to expand with new players all the time.
At the end of 2022, it was clear to us that Blaze Entertainment as a company also needed to grow. For us to be able to continue to produce high quality licenced products, we needed to expand the company both in staff levels and in the avenues that we can offer to the retro gaming market, and improve what we already offer for our Evercade fans.
We have always been quite a small team at Blaze and we still are, but we’ve made new hires in every department since the start of 2023, doubling the size of the team. This has enabled us to be more present on our social media channels, improve our trailers and showcases, create and design products with greater speed and become more efficient in producing updates for our devices.
We’ve been able to address bugs more quickly and issue fixes much quicker than we ever have before, and we’ve been able to add new systems and software features to Evercade. More new features are in the works and over the rest of 2023 and 2024, these will be delivered to Evercade devices soon.
We are also continuing to improve bug identification and testing of our products before they release. We know from the community that with new updates and releases comes new issues. Working with decades old games can encounter original bugs that were never fixed as well as new ones in the operation of them via emulation.
Despite this we know we need to go further and we are working on processes and resourcing in this area. With several pieces of hardware and hundreds of games, many different Firmware versions it is certainly a challenge, but one we are very much focused on. Since 2020 we’ve been constantly improving our products through customer feedback and that is continuing at the fastest pace we can.
At this time, we’ve just launched our newest brand – HyperMegaTech!, and its first two products, the Super Pocket Capcom & TAITO Editions. For Blaze Entertainment and its offerings to grow, we need to bring more products to retro game fans and access a much wider market. Last year, we made the internal decision to launch a new brand to use our hardware production and licensing abilities to reach a new audience. Evercade is a fantastic product and one that resonates in the hearts of physical gaming and retro enthusiasts everywhere, but there is a huge audience of retro fans out there that want something even simpler than Evercade, but with the quality of product and emulation that we have achieved with Evercade.
The Super Pockets are our first new products that we believe offer something different to a much wider audience of retro gamers. Adding compatibility with Evercade cartridges is something we hope will bring even more people to the Evercade ecosystem in the future with the great selection of games we have cultivated since 2020. In future we will bring more interesting devices as well as the Super Pockets that we believe will ignite the interest of many more retro game fans yet to discover Blaze and the great communities of like minded gamers we service.
To help this, many things are changing in the way we approach our marketing. You’ve already seen our first Evercade showcase, the natural successor to our anniversary show, and more of these are coming. Semi-regular event showpieces that everyone can see online that will announce multiple new cartridges for Evercade and highlight the best of what we do.
We will also be reaching out into the world with physical events, with either representation or sponsorship and exhibition in both the UK, the US and Europe. We’ll be at trade shows across the globe and you may see early prototypes of new products in the wild. We will look to change the way we open pre-orders of products and provide more opportunities for everyone to hear about new and exciting things coming from both Evercade and HyperMegaTech!
Our company is transitioning from being the home of the Evercade to being the home of the best retro experiences at any price point.
The ultimate aim of all this is for Blaze Entertainment to bring easy to play, quality retro gaming experiences to as many people as we can, whilst providing great licenses that everyone remembers. For Evercade to continue to provide the classic gaming experience, and for HyperMegaTech to give more retro entertainment for adults and families to enjoy. We know fans of Blaze and its brands, both old and new, will join us in this journey.“
Andrew Byatt, CEO – Blaze Entertainment