In the spirit of total transparency, I’m here to share more about the progress of Epilogue over the last few months. With launching the GB Operator in January 2021 and then being picked up by notable retro gaming publications and channels, this year has been one of explosive growth. Reality has exceeded all of our expectations as we went from making the first few hundred units in a studio apartment to working in a 120m2 office with our own local assembly and production line here in Bucharest, churning out thousands of units per week.
I’d love for you to keep on reading until the end of this post, as a small chronicle of our work so far and our ambitions for the next year. Thank you.
As per this article, orders placed between Sept. 5th - 27th were due for delivery in December. I'm very proud to say that we've sent all remaining orders in the December batch and hope that everyone gets their GB Operators in time for the holidays. In some cases which had delays due to incomplete addresses or other issues, we chose to upgrade them from Standard Shipping to 2-Day shipping as a gift from our team, so that packages arrive as early as possible.
Playback App Updates
We are currently on version 0.7.2-beta of the app, and have big features planned for v0.8-beta (read more here). There are still many improvements and features to be added, and I have an extensive To-Do list that I’m working on. Thank you to everyone who sent us suggestions, feedback and also reported issues, this has been valuable in the R&D process. Please know that I am getting to implementing all of those requests and great ideas, but it takes time and your patience is much appreciated.
We are truly excited to release some stuff we’ve been working on for the past few months.
Building our Delivery System
We chose to focus on improving our delivering capabilities and making sure we can accept orders around the clock.
Epilogue is a small company, with 3 people managing all the logistic, legal and financial aspects of a business serving tens of thousands of clients worldwide. Handling deliveries all over the globe for thousands of packages per shipment round and making sure every order has the proper documentation to pass customs regulations according to each country is no easy task. That's why most of our work was focused in the past months towards developing an in-house solution to significantly expand and automate our capabilities.
The foundation built this year when it comes to the flow of accepting orders, manufacturing units and delivering them to clients’ doorsteps is solid. It will make everyone’s experience more pleasant as we launch new products, proving an integral part of our scalability as the company moves forward. Our target by the end of 2022 is that most, if not all of our products, will have permanent stock available in our warehouses. Basically you’ll be able to place an order which gets shipped the next day with an available option for 2-Day shipping to Europe and continental US. No more month-long waiting times.
Products On The Way
Now that the stuffy administrative aspects are done and out of the way, thanks to the internal software which automatically handles all paperwork for us, we're ready to get back to the best part of Epilogue. We can finally start adding new products to our lineup without major struggles on the logistics side. The pandemic and semiconductor shortage heavily affected us at the beginning of this year, but we adapted quickly and are now able to source components at a more reasonable price and in larger quantities. What this means is that we can develop prototypes faster and experiment with layouts and design more often, bringing us closer to a finished product.
There have been great strides made with the Operator for SNES, which many are looking forward to. Our long-term objective is to expand the Operator series and create versions for various consoles (such as NES, N64, Game Gear, maybe even DS/3DS or others) so that anyone can find the right fit for their collection. The Operator app will be common to all devices in this series.
In addition to this line of products, we have also been working since August on a rewritable cartridge for GB/GBC that we believe will contribute to the homebrew community and hopefully get more people into making games for the Game Boy. We expect to have it up for sale in the following months, thus launching our series of rewritable cartridges as well. Encouraging clients to explore this creative outlet and have fun transforming their stories into pixelated games is truly one of our biggest accomplishments. (Note: the rewritable cartridge is currently on hold as we focus on launching and developing more Operators).
The Team Behind the Scene
At the beginning of 2021, Epilogue was nothing more than 2 people with a vision, dedicating every moment to making this work. I’m pleased to welcome everyone who joined us this year, bringing our core team to 4 people and total people involved (including contractors) to 12.
In the past, as start-ups usually work when you’re understaffed and just starting out, I used to handle most of the different aspects of the business: I wrote all the code, designed the enclosure, assembled units, managed suppliers, created marketing materials etc. Thankfully, this has changed as we expanded our team with talented people that share the original vision and believe in what we aim to do. Having everyone on the same page allows us to focus on the most important thing: making products that bring to life the nostalgia for childhood games.
Looking Forward to 2022
2021 was a year highlighted by our official launch into the world of retro gaming. We hope the community that has begun to form around our shared passion for retro games will continue to grow. Expect from us new products, new app updates and the same dedication to making high quality products.
I'm really excited to see what 2022 has in store. Allow me to write this last sentence and say a sincere thank you - without your continued support, we would still be in a studio apartment with a vision before our eyes and not much else. Happy Holidays from all of us!