Blood transfusion services face an ever-increasing demand for donor platelets to meet clinical needs. Whilst strategies for increasing platelet storage life and improving the efficiency of donor platelet collection are important, in the longer term, platelets generated by bio-manufacturing processes will be required to meet demands. Production of sufficient numbers of in vitro-derived platelets for transfusion represents a significant bioengineering challenge. In this review, we highlight recent progress in this area of research and outline the main technical and biological obstacles that need to be met before this becomes feasible and economic. A critical consideration is assurance of the functional properties of these cells as compared to their fresh, donor collected, counterparts. We contend that platelet-like particles and in vitro-derived platelets that phenotypically resemble fresh platelets must deliver the same functions as these cells upon transfusion. We also note recent progress with immortalized megakaryocyte progenitor cell lines, molecular strategies for reducing expression of HLA Class I to generate universal donor platelets and the move to early clinical studies with in vitro-derived platelets.