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A small, egg-shaped portable video game defined a generation, but in doing so, it almost destroyed the company that created it. Bandai heads to GDC 2023 to share the fantastic, frenetic, and enduring legacy of the original virtual pet.

Beth Elderkin

November 30, 2022

2 Min Read

It's kind of amazing how one small, egg-shaped portable video game defined a generation, but in doing so, it almost destroyed the company that created it. Bandai heads to GDC 2023 to share the fantastic, frenetic, and enduring legacy of the original virtual pet, Tamagotchi.

The Game Developers Conference is thrilled to announce the first Classic Game Postmortem session coming to GDC 2023. 'Tamagotchi': The Original Virtual Pet will take a walk through the history of Tamagotchi with Nobuhiko Momoi, the Director and CTO (Chief Tamagotchi Officer) at Bandai, sharing the core of the original virtual pet's success and what's been done to keep the toy relevant for almost three decades.

Secure your GDC 2023 pass today.

First released in 1996 and still selling over 3-million units annually, Tamagotchi has truly evolved over its 27 years. Starting as a 90's toy fad that became a global phenomenon, Tamagotchi then became a massive inventory burden for Bandai, resulting in a huge loss and almost killing this iconic toy company. In 2004, Tamagotchi came back, and has since consistently adapted to market needs—including new play patterns to meet trends of the time, localized versions for specific territories, and collaborations with leading Japanese anime brands.

Nobuhiko Momoi may even share where Tamagotchi is heading into the future.

This is a must-see session looking into the past and future of a 90's staple—especially for those who'd scour the racks at Toys R' Us every weekend in desperate hopes of finding a Tamagotchi of their own, only to then have no idea how to actually take care of a virtual pet and have it immediately die. Oh goodness, did I just say all that out loud?

Join us at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023 to learn how a palm-sized virtual pet changed video games forever. Register for GDC 2023 today!

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023, and registration is now open! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC23 hashtag on social media.

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About the Author(s)

Beth Elderkin

Content Marketing Manager (GDC)

Beth Elderkin is the content marketing manager for the Game Developers Conference (GDC). She keeps buying new copies of 'Skyrim,' even though she already owns it. 

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