Panic Inc.

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Panic Inc.
Founded1997; 25 years ago (1997)
FoundersSteven Frank
Cabel Sasser
HeadquartersPortland, Oregon, U.S.
Key people
Steven Frank
Cabel Sasser
ProductsTransmit, Coda, Playdate

Panic Inc. is an American software and video game company based in Portland, Oregon. The company specializes in macOS and iOS applications and began publishing video games in 2016.

Panic was founded by Steven Frank[1] and Cabel Sasser.[2]



Panic is known for their flagship app Transmit,[3] Audion, Unison, and Nova (a successor to their web development app Coda). The company has won multiple Apple Design Awards for their products.[4][5][6]

In 1999, Audion was introduced as a skinnable MP3 media player. One of its competitors, SoundJam MP, was acquired by Apple in 2000 and was further developed into iTunes 1.0, which became available in 2001.[7] Panic retired Audion in 2004 and began distributing it free of charge.[8]

After Audion, Panic focused development on two other software applications. In 2004, they released Unison, a Usenet reader.[9] In 2007, the web development application Coda was introduced.[10] In 2019, Panic announced a successor to Coda named Nova.[11] Panic also indicated that Coda would be removed from sale when Nova is released, and that an iOS version of the application may follow after launch.

App Platform Type Ref.
Active development
Transmit macOS FTP client
Nova macOS Web development
Prompt iOS Command line
Panic Pals iOS iMessage stickers
Code Editor iOS Web development
Audion macOS Music player [8]
CandyBar macOS Icon customization [12]
Coda macOS Web development
Desktastic macOS Desktop annotation
Stattoo macOS Computer statistics
Status Board iOS Information display [13]
Transmit iOS FTP client [14]
Unison macOS Usenet client [15]

Video games[edit]

The company published their first video game, Firewatch, on February 9, 2016.[16] Panic published their second game, Untitled Goose Game, on September 20, 2019.[17]

On May 22, 2019, Panic unveiled Playdate, a handheld video game console.

Title Platform(s) Developer Release date Ref.
Firewatch PC (Windows, macOS, Linux), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Campo Santo February 9, 2016 [16]
Untitled Goose Game PC (Windows, macOS), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch House House September 20, 2019 [18]
Nour: Play with Your Food PC (Windows, macOS), PlayStation 5 Terrifying Jellyfish TBD [19]


Playdate is a handheld gaming device, designed by Panic in collaboration with the Swedish firm Teenage Engineering. The device features a 400x240 pixel 1-bit screen, a directional pad on the left, two buttons on the right, and a mechanical crank on the right edge of the device.[20]

Games will be released in “seasons,” two games per week for twelve weeks.[21] Games will automatically download to the device when available. While some video games for Playdate are being produced at Panic, most games are created by prominent indie game developers such as Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman.[22]


Year App Award Category Result Ref.
2003 Transmit 2 Apple Design Awards Best Mac OS X User Experience Runner-up
2004 Unison 1.0.2a Apple Design Awards Best Mac OS X Product Runner-up
2004 Unison 1.0.2a Apple Design Awards Best Mac OS X User Experience Won
2005 Transmit 3 MacWorld MacWorld Best of Show Won [23]
2005 Transmit 3.2 Apple Design Awards Best Mac OS X Tiger Technology Adoption Won [4]
2007 Coda 1 Apple Design Awards Best Mac OS X User Experience Won [5]
2013 Coda 2 Apple Design Awards Mac OS X Won [6]
2021 Nova Apple Design Awards Interaction Nominated [24]


  1. ^ Rosmarin, Rachel (June 8, 2007). "Developers To Jobs: Give Me My iPhone!". Forbes. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Tach, Dave (October 2, 2013). "How Panic got into video games with Campo Santo". Polygon. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Sorrel, Charlie (May 13, 2010). "Video: iPad Loading Software onto Apple ][e". Wired. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "WWDC: Apple Design Award 2005 winners announced". Macworld. June 10, 2005. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Apple Design Awards 2007 winners announced". Macnn. June 13, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "The 2013 Apple Design Award Winners". Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Song Is Over for SoundJam". Macworld. May 1, 2001. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Gibson, Brad (November 11, 2004). "Panic "Retires" Audion; Reveals Inside Story". The Mac Observer. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  9. ^ "Panic unveils Unison, Usenet reader for Mac OS X". Macworld. January 28, 2004. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Martellaro, John (April 24, 2007). "Panic Releases Coda 1.0". Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  11. ^ "Panic Blog » Nova. Our next big thing". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Panic's Candy Bar is now free, goes to Iconfactory". Engadget. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  13. ^ Miller, Chance (November 29, 2016). "Panic discontinuing Status Board stats app following final iOS 10 support update". 9to5Mac. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "Panic Stops Development of Transmit for iOS & Removes it from Sale • Beautiful Pixels". Beautiful Pixels. January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "Panic discontinues Unison gracefully –". Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Firewatch: hope and heartbreak in the American wilderness". The Guardian. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  17. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (August 28, 2018). "Mischief-filled Untitled Goose Game is coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (August 28, 2018). "Mischief-filled Untitled Goose Game is coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  19. ^ "Upcoming Indie Game Nour: Play With Your Food Wants To Make You Hungry". Kotaku. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Fahey, Mike. "The People Who Published Firewatch Are Now Making A Game Console With, Uh, A Crank". Kotaku. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Webster, Andrew (May 22, 2019). "Playdate is an adorable handheld with games from the creators of Qwop, Katamari, and more". The Verge. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  22. ^ News, Edge Staff 2019-05-22T22:00:00Z. "Playdate, a new handheld console backed by indie royalty, unveiled in new issue of Edge magazine". gamesradar. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  23. ^ "Best of Show: Macworld Expo San Francisco". January 15, 2005. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  24. ^ "Meet the 2021 Apple Design Award Finalists". Retrieved June 4, 2021.