25 years ago, the Tamagotchi arrived in France. Sold over 83 million copies, the concept still enchants today.
Created in 1996, the Tamagotchi is a small virtual pet. Created by the Japanese company Bandai, the game consists of educating an animal in a miniature console. In Japanese, “tama” means “egg” and “gotchi” means “watch”.
The toy was a global hit as Bandai had nearly 60% of its sales outside of Japan. In France, almost all children wanted to own this game, to the chagrin of school principals.
Indeed, the toy rang when the animal was hungry or bored, prompting children to take it with them to school to prevent their little protege from dying during their absence. As the ringtones had become excessive, school principals made the decision to ban Tamagotchi on school grounds.
Today, several thousand people around the world continue to buy Tamagotchi. On Facebook, a resale group brought together more than 6,500 members. In Montreal, a shop specializing in “pop culture and geek” items told the Duty “It’s not our most popular product, but we still sell a lot of it. About 10 to 15 a month,” explained the owner of the Rhox boutique.
For its part, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary, Bandai is trying to recreate the success of the Tamagotchi by relaunching the concept in the form of a connected watch: Tamagotchi Smart. Integrating a pedometer, a touch screen, voice control and the possibility of connecting with other devices, the watch has everything to appeal to new generations. For now, the watch has only been marketed in Japan.
The Tamagotchi paved the way for thousands of other games
If the Tamagotchi is less popular today, it inspired and paved the way for many franchises such as “Nintendogs”, “Animal Crossing”, and even “Pokémon GO”.
With the advent of NFTs, the company “DOGAMI” wishes to take up the torch with the concept of managing an NFT dog in augmented reality, all on their smartphone. Interactions will allow the user to earn “$DOGA”, a cryptocurrency for purchasing in-game accessories. DOGAMI is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2022.