8BitDo: Forward With Nostalgia

Abstract

8BitDo, a rising-star Chinese brand in the video game hardware industry, had been designing and manufacturing gaming peripheral products such as gamepads since 2013. In the context of the ever-changing video game varieties and sales as well as the emerging cloud game platform, this entrepreneurial tech company committed to its mission of making everything old in the gamer world new again. This initiative created a spirit of nostalgia and attracted a large group of gamer fans. Accompanying its growth was an escalating level of competition, with competitors from domestic copycats to global big brands attempting to knock off their products. The trade-off between close-at-hand profits and building a long-lasting brand challenged the founders of 8BitDo in each critical decision moment. This case describes these critical decisions and attempts to reveal how 8BitDo as a small technology company in the digital gaming industry develops a hybrid of company culture and strategies to create competitive advantages and carry forward the brand. The case ends with forward-looking questions on what strategies and business models 8BitDo can adopt to address new challenges until more Chinese manufacturers learn to respect intellectual property and join the brand competition in the global gaming market.

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