Pac-Man (Japanese: パックマン Hepburn: Pakkuman), stylized as PAC-MAN, is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan in May 1980. It was created by Japanese video game designer Toru Iwatani. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway Games and released in October 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Upon its release, the game—and, subsequently, Pac-Man derivatives—became a social phenomenon that yielded high sales of merchandise and inspired a legacy in other media, such as the Pac-Man animated television series and the top-ten Buckner and Garcia hit single "Pac-Man Fever". Pac-Man was popular in the 1980s and 1990s and is still played in the 2010s.
When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters—in particular, Space Invaders and Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivatives of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. It is also one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s.
The character has appeared in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games. It is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and New York's Museum of Modern Art.
The player navigates Pac-Man through a maze containing various dots, known as Pac-Dots, and four multi-colored ghosts: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. The goal of the game is to accumulate points by eating all the Pac-Dots in the maze, completing that 'stage' of the game and starting the next stage and maze of Pac-dots. Between some stages, one of three intermission animations plays. The four ghosts roam the maze, trying to kill Pac-Man. If any of the ghosts hit Pac-Man, he loses a life; when all lives have been lost, the game is over. Pac-Man is awarded a single bonus life at 10,000 points by default—DIP switches inside the machine can change the required points to 15,000 or 20,000, or disable the bonus life altogether. The number of lives can be set to 1 life only or up to five lives maximum. High score cannot exceed 999,990 points; players may exceed that score, but the game keeps the last 6 digits. There are 256 levels in total, however, when the game was made, the memory ran out at 256, so it is only half loaded while the other half is a jumble of letters and digits.
Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as Power Pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the ghosts and earn bonus points. The enemies turn deep blue, reverse direction and usually move more slowly. When an enemy is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the center box where the ghost is regenerated in its normal color. Blue enemies flash white to signal that they are about to become dangerous again and the length of time for which the enemies remain vulnerable varies from one stage to the next, generally becoming shorter as the game progresses. In later stages, the enemies go straight to flashing, bypassing blue, which means that they can only be eaten for a short amount of time, although they still reverse direction when a Power Pellet is eaten; starting at stage 19, the ghosts do not become edible (i.e., they do not change color and still make Pac-Man lose a life on contact), but they still reverse direction. There are also fruits, located directly below the centre box, that appear twice per level; eating it will result in bonus points (100-5,000).
The enemies in Pac-Man are known variously as "monsters" or "ghosts". Despite the seemingly random nature of the enemies, their movements are strictly deterministic, which players have used to their advantage. In an interview, creator Toru Iwatani stated that he had designed each enemy with its own distinct personality in order to keep the game from becoming impossibly difficult or boring to play. More recently, Iwatani described the enemy behaviors in more detail at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. He stated that the red enemy chases Pac-Man, and the pink enemy aims for a position in front of Pac-Man's mouth. The blue enemy is "fickle" and sometimes heads towards Pac-Man, and other times away. Although he claimed that the orange enemy's behavior is random, in actuality it alternates from behaving like the red enemy when at some distance from Pac-Man and aiming towards the lower-left corner of the maze whenever it gets too close to him.
Although Midway's 1980 flyer for Pac-Man used both the terms "monsters" and "ghost monsters", the term "ghosts" started to become more popular after technical limitations in the Atari 2600 version caused the antagonists to flicker and seem ghostlike, leading them to be referred to in the manual as "ghosts", and they have most frequently been referred to as ghosts in English ever since.
|Color||Pac Man (Original)||Pac-Man (English version)|
|Red||Oikake (追いかけ)||Chaser||Akabei (赤ベイ)||Red guy||Urchin||Macky||Shadow||Blinky|
|Pink||Machibuse (待ち伏せ)||Ambusher||Pinky (ピンキー)||Pink guy||Romp||Micky||Speedy||Pinky|
|Cyan||Kimagure (気まぐれ)||Fickle||Aosuke (青助)||Blue guy||Stylist||Mucky||Bashful||Inky|
|Orange||Otoboke (お惚け)||Feigned Ignorance||Guzuta (愚図た)||Slow guy||Crybaby||Mocky||Pokey||Clyde|
Pac-Man was designed to have no ending – as long as at least one life was left, the game should be able to go on indefinitely. However, a bug keeps this from happening: Normally, no more than seven fruit are displayed on the HUD at the bottom of the screen at any given time. But when the internal level counter, which is stored in a single byte or eight bits, reaches 255, the subroutine that draws the fruit erroneously "rolls over" this number to zero when it is determining the number of fruit to draw, using fruit counter = internal level counter + 1. Normally, when the fruit counter is below eight, the drawing subroutine draws one fruit for each level, decrementing the fruit counter until it reaches zero. When the fruit counter has overflowed to zero, the first decrement sets the fruit counter back to 255, causing the subroutine to draw a total of 256 fruit instead of the maximum of seven.
This corrupts the bottom of the screen and the entire right half of the maze with seemingly random symbols and tiles, overwriting the values of edible dots which makes it impossible to eat enough dots to beat the level. Because this effectively ends the game, this "split-screen" level is often referred to as the "kill screen".
Emulators and code analysis have revealed what would happen if this 256th level is cleared: the fruit and intermissions would restart at level 1 conditions, but the enemies would retain their higher speed and invulnerability to power pellets from the higher stages.
A perfect Pac-Man game occurs when the player achieves the maximum possible score on the first 255 levels (by eating every possible dot, power pellet, fruit, and enemy) without losing a single life, and using all extra lives to score as many points as possible on Level 256.
The first person to achieve this score is Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida, who performed the feat in about six hours. Since then, over 20 other players have attained the maximum score in increasingly faster times. As of 2016[update], the world record, according to Twin Galaxies, is held by David Race, who in 2013 attained the maximum possible score of 3,333,360 points in 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 49 seconds.
In December 1982, an eight-year-old boy, Jeffrey R. Yee, received a letter from U.S. President Ronald Reagan congratulating him on a worldwide record of 6,131,940 points, a score only possible if he had passed the unbeatable Split-Screen Level. In September 1983, Walter Day, chief scorekeeper at Twin Galaxies, took the US National Video Game Team on a tour of the East Coast to visit video game players who claimed they could get through the Split-Screen Level. No video game player could demonstrate this ability. In 1999, Billy Mitchell offered $100,000 to anyone who could pass through the Split-Screen Level before January 1, 2000. The prize was never claimed.
Up into the early 1970s, Namco primarily specialized in kiddie rides for Japanese department stores. Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, saw the potential value of video games, and started to direct the company toward arcade games, starting with electromechanical ones such as F-1 (1976). He later hired a number of software engineers to develop their own video games as to compete with companies like Atari, Inc..
Pac-Man was one of the first games developed by this new department within Namco. The game was developed primarily by a young employee named Toru Iwatani over the course of 1 year, beginning in April 1979, employing a nine-man team. It was based on the concept of eating, and the original Japanese title is Pakkuman (パックマン), inspired by the Japanese onomatopoeic phrase paku-paku taberu (パクパク食べる), where paku-paku describes (the sound of) the mouth movement when widely opened and then closed in succession.
Although Iwatani has repeatedly stated that the character's shape was inspired by a pizza missing a slice, he admitted in a 1986 interview that this was a half-truth and the character design also came from simplifying and rounding out the Kanji character for mouth, kuchi (口). Iwatani attempted to appeal to a wider audience—beyond the typical demographics of young boys and teenagers. His intention was to attract girls to arcades because he found there were very few games that were played by women at the time. This led him to add elements of a maze, as well as cute ghost-like enemy characters. Eating to gain power, Iwatani has said, was a concept he borrowed from Popeye. The result was a game he named Puck Man as a reference to the main character's hockey puck shape. Later in 1980, the game was picked up for manufacture in the United States by Bally division Midway, which changed the game's name from Puck Man to Pac-Man in an effort to avoid vandalism from people changing the letter 'P' into an 'F' to form the word fuck. The cabinet artwork was also changed and the pace and level of difficulty increased to appeal to western audiences.
When first launched in Japan by Namco in 1980, Pac-Man received a lukewarm response as Space Invaders and other similar games were more popular at the time. However, the game's success in North America in the same year took competitors and distributors completely by surprise. A frequently-repeated story claims that marketing executives saw Pac-Man at a trade show before its release and completely overlooked both it and the now-classic Defender, seeing a racing car game called Rally-X as the game to outdo that year. However, industry reporting from the era indicates that it was Namco itself which was heavily promoting Rally-X at the 1980 Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA), where Pac-Man was at least as well received and reviewed as Rally-X. The appeal of Pac-Man was such that it caught on immediately with the public. It quickly became far more popular than anything seen in the video game industry up to that point. Pac-Man outstripped Asteroids as the best-selling arcade game in North America, grossing over $1 billion in quarters within a year, by the end of 1980, surpassing the revenues grossed by the highest-grossing film of the time, Star Wars. 60% of players were women according to one estimate, because of its lack of violence, while 90% of those playing space shoot-em-up Omega Race were men.
More than 350,000 Pac-Man arcade cabinets were sold worldwide, retailing at around $2400 each and totalling around $1 billion ($2.4 billion in 2011), within 18 months of release. By 1982, the game had sold 400,000 arcade machines worldwide and an estimated 7 billion coins had been inserted into Pac-Man machines. In addition, United States revenues from Pac-Man licensed products (games, T-shirts, pop songs, wastepaper baskets, etc.) exceeded $1 billion (inflation adjusted: $2.33 billion in 2011). The game was estimated to have had 30 million active players across the United States in 1982. Nakamura said in a 1983 interview that though he did expect Pac-Man to be successful, "I never thought it would be this big".
Toward the end of the 20th century, the arcade game's total gross consumer revenue had been estimated by Twin Galaxies at more than 10 billion quarters ($2.5 billion), making it the highest-grossing video game of all time. In 2016, USgamer calculated that the machines' inflation-adjusted takings were equivalent to $7.68 billion. In January 1982, the game won the overall Best Commercial Arcade Game award at the 1981 Arcade Awards. In 2001, Pac-Man was voted the greatest video game of all time by a Dixons poll in the UK. The readers of Killer List of Videogames name Pac-Man as the No. 1 video game on its "Top 10 Most Popular Video games" list, the staff name it as No. 18 on its "Top 100 Video Games" list, and Ms. Pac-Man is given similar recognition.
An important trait of any game is the illusion of winnability ... The most successful game in this respect is Pac-Man, which appears winnable to most players, yet is never quite winnable.
The game is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time, for a number of reasons: its titular character was the first original gaming mascot, the game established the maze chase game genre, it demonstrated the potential of characters in video games, it opened gaming to female audiences, and it was gaming's first licensing success. In addition, it was the first video game to feature power-ups, and the individual ghosts had deterministic artificial intelligence which react to player actions. It is also frequently credited as the first game to feature cut scenes, in the form of brief comical interludes about Pac-Man and Blinky chasing each other around during those interludes,:2 though Space Invaders Part II employed a similar technique that same year. Pac-Man is also credited for laying the foundations for the stealth game genre, as it emphasized avoiding enemies rather than fighting them, and had an influence on the early stealth game Metal Gear, where guards chase Solid Snake in a similar manner to Pac-Man when he is spotted.
Pac-Man has also influenced many other games, ranging from the sandbox game Grand Theft Auto (where the player runs over pedestrians and gets chased by police in a similar manner) to early first-person shooters such as MIDI Maze (which had similar maze-based gameplay and character designs).:5 Game designer Chris Crawford praised its balance, observing that Pac-Man "appears winnable to most players, yet is never quite winnable". John Romero credited Pac-Man as the game that had the biggest influence on his career; Wolfenstein 3D was similar in level design and featured a Pac-Man level from a first-person perspective, while Doom had a similar emphasis on mazes, power-ups, killing monsters, and reaching the next level. Pac-Man also influenced the use of power-ups in later games such as Arkanoid, and the game's artificial intelligence inspired programmers who later worked for companies such as Bethesda.
Guinness World Records has awarded the Pac-Man series eight records in Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008, including First Perfect Pac-Man Game for Billy Mitchell's July 3, 1999 score and "Most Successful Coin-Operated Game". On June 3, 2010, at the NLGD Festival of Games, the game's creator Toru Iwatani officially received the certificate from Guinness World Records for Pac-Man having had the most "coin-operated arcade machines" installed worldwide: 293,822. The record was set and recognized in 2005 and mentioned in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008, but finally actually awarded in 2010.
The game has inspired various real-life recreations, involving either real people or robots. One event called Pac-Manhattan set a Guinness World Record for "Largest Pac-Man Game" in 2004. The business term "Pac-Man defense" in mergers and acquisitions refers to a hostile takeover target that attempts to reverse the situation and take over its would-be acquirer instead, a reference to Pac-Man's power pellets. The game's popularity has led to "Pac-Man" being adopted as a nickname, most notably by boxer Manny Pacquiao, as well as the American football player Adam Jones.
On August 21, 2016, in the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, during a video which showcased Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, a small segment shows Pac-Man and the ghosts racing against each other eating pac-dots on a running track.
The Pac-Man character and game series became an icon of video game culture during the 1980s, and a wide variety of Pac-Man merchandise has been marketed with the character's image, from t-shirts and toys to hand-held video game imitations and even specially shaped pasta.
General Mills manufactured a cereal by the Pac-Man name in 1983. Over the cereal's lifespan, characters from sequels Super Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were also added.
The Pac-Man animated TV series produced by Hanna–Barbera aired on ABC from 1982 to 1983. At one time, a feature film based on the game was also in development. In 2010, a computer-generated animated series titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures was reported to be in the works. The show was released on Disney XD in June 2013.
In music, the Buckner & Garcia song "Pac-Man Fever" (1981) went to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and received a Gold certification with over a million records sold by 1982, and a total of 2.5 million copies sold as of 2008. Their Pac-Man Fever album (1982) also received a Gold certification for selling over a million records. In 1982 "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a song titled "Pac-Man", which is a parody of "Taxman" by the Beatles. The song was played on the radio but was not released on a record at the time due to a cease and desist letter sent by the attorneys representing the Beatles. The song is set to be released in 2017 as part of the 15-album box set Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of "Weird Al" Yankovic. In 1992, Power-Pill (an Alias of Aphex Twin) released Pac-Man — a techno tune which apart from a Breakbeat and a few vocals, consists entirely of samples from Pac-Man.
In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man. In this game, players move up to four Pac-Man characters (traditional yellow plus red, green and blue) plus two ghosts as per the throws of a pair of dice. Each Pac-Man is assigned to a player while the ghosts are neutral and controlled by all players. Each player moves their Pac-Man the number of spaces on either die and a ghost the number of spaces on the other die, the Pac-Man consuming any white marbles (the equivalent of dots) and yellow marbles (the equivalent of power pellets) in its path. Players can move a ghost onto a Pac-Man and claim two white marbles from its player. They can also move a Pac-Man with a yellow marble inside it onto a ghost and claim two white marbles from any other player (following which the yellow marble is placed back in the maze. The game ends when all white marbles have been cleared from the board and the player with the largest number of white marbles is then declared the winner.
Sticker manufacturer Fleer included Pac-Man Rub Off Game cards with their Pac-Man stickers. The card packages contain a Pac-Man style maze with all points along the path covered with opaque coverings. Starting from the lower board Pac-Man starting position, the player moves around the maze while scratching off the coverings to score points. A white dot scores one point, a blue monster scores ten points, and a cherry scores 50 points. Uncovering a red, orange, or pink monster scores no points but the game ends when a third such monster is uncovered. A Ms. Pac-Man version of the game also includes pretzels (100 points) and bananas (200 points).
A pinball version titled Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man was designed by George Christian and released by Bally/Midway in 1982. The spin-off arcade game Baby Pac Man also contains a non-video pinball element.
In South Pasadena, California a store called Kaldi has a non-commercially available Pac-Man 2 game machine in the store. Only 3 machines exist, the others are in a mall in Arcadia, California and Brooklyn in NYC.
Pac-Man is one of the few games to have been consistently published for over three decades, having been remade on numerous platforms and spawned many sequels. Re-releases include ported and updated versions of the original arcade game. Numerous unauthorized Pac-Man clones appeared soon after its release. The combined sales of counterfeit arcade machines sold nearly as many units as the original Pac-Man, which had sold more than 300,000 machines.
One of the first ports to be released was the much-maligned port for the Atari 2600, which only somewhat resembles the original and was widely criticized for its flickering ghosts, due to the 2600's limited memory and hardware compared to the arcade machine, and several design and implementation choices. Despite the criticism, this version of Pac-Man sold seven million units at $37.95 per copy, and became the best-selling game of all time on the Atari 2600 console. While enjoying initial sales success, Atari had overestimated demand by producing 12 million cartridges, of which 5 million went unsold. The port's poor quality damaged the company's reputation among consumers and retailers, which would eventually become one of the contributing factors to Atari's decline and the North American video game crash of 1983, alongside Atari's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
II Computing listed it tenth on the magazine's list of top Apple II series games as of late 1985, based on sales and market-share data, and in December 1987 alone Mindscape's IBM PC version of Pac-Man sold over 100,000 copies. The game was also released for Atari's 5200 and 8-bit computers, Intellivision, the Commodore 64 and VIC-20, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. For handheld game consoles, it was released on the Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, Game Boy Color, and the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
Pac-Man has been featured in Namco's long-running Namco Museum video game compilations. Downloads of the game have been made available on game services such as Xbox Live Arcade, GameTap, and Virtual Console. Namco has released mobile versions of Pac-Man for BREW, Java, and iOS, as well as Palm PDAs and Windows Mobile-based devices. A port of Pac-Man for Android can be controlled not only through an Android phone's trackball but through touch gestures or its on-board accelerometer. As of 2010[update], Namco had sold more than 30 million paid downloads of Pac-Man on BREW in the United States alone.
A version of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man was released on the Galaxy Games multi-game cocktail table unit in 1998. The game differed from the original in that players controlled Pac-Man's movement with a trackball instead of a normal arcade joystick.
Microsoft released Microsoft Return of Arcade in 1996 and Microsoft Return of Arcade: Anniversary Edition in 2000, and includes Pac-Man as one of its bundled arcade games.
Namco has repeatedly re-released the game to arcades. In 2001, Namco released a Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga "Class of 1981 Reunion Edition" cabinet with Pac-Man available for play as a hidden game. To commemorate Pac-Man's 25th anniversary in 2005, Namco released a revision that officially featured all three games.
Namco Networks sold a downloadable Windows PC version of Pac-Man in 2009 which also includes an "Enhanced" mode which replaces all of the original sprites with the sprites from Pac-Man Championship Edition. Namco Networks made a downloadable bundle which includes their PC version of Pac-Man and their port of Dig Dug called Namco All-Stars: Pac-Man and Dig Dug.
Pac-Man has numerous sequels and spin-offs, including only one of which was designed by Tōru Iwatani. Some of the follow-ups were not developed by Namco either —including the most significant, Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. Originally called Crazy Otto, this unauthorized hack of Pac-Man was created by General Computer Corporation and sold to Midway without Namco's permission. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original or even the best in the entire series. Stan Jarocki of Midway stated that Ms. Pac-Man was conceived in response to the original Pac-Man being "the first commercial video game to involve large numbers of women as players" and that it is "our way of thanking all those lady arcaders who have played and enjoyed Pac-Man." Namco sued Midway for exceeding their license. Eventually, Bally Midway struck a deal with Namco to officially license Ms. Pac-Man as a sequel. Namco today officially owns Ms. Pac-Man in its other releases.
Following Ms. Pac-Man, Bally Midway released several other unauthorized spin-offs, such as Pac-Man Plus, Jr. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man, resulting in Namco severing business relations with Midway.
Various platform games based on the series have also been released by Namco, such as 1984's Pac-Land and the Pac-Man World series, which features Pac-Man in a 3-D world. More modern versions of the original game have also been developed, such as the multiplayer Pac-Man Vs. for the Nintendo GameCube.
On June 5, 2007, the first Pac-Man World Championship was held in New York City, which brought together ten competitors from eight countries to play the new Pac-Man Championship Edition developed by Tōru Iwatani. Its sequel was released November 2010.
For the weekend of May 21–23, 2010, Google changed the Google logo on its homepage to a Google Doodle of a fully playable version of the game in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the game's release. The game featured the ability to play both Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man simultaneously. After finishing the game, the website automatically redirected the user to a search of Pac-Man 30th Anniversary. Companies across the world experienced slight drops in productivity due to the game, estimated to be valued at the time as $120,000,000 (approximately €95,400,000; £83,000,000). However, The Official ASTD Blog noted that the total loss, "spread out across the entire world isn't a huge loss, comparatively speaking". In total, the game devoured around 4.8 million hours of work productivity that day. Some organizations even temporarily blocked Google's website from workplace computers the Friday it was uploaded, particularly where it violated regulations against recreational games. Because of the popularity of the Pac-Man doodle, Google later allowed access to the game through a separate web page. On March 31, 2015, Google Maps added an option allowing a Pac-Man style game to be played using streets on the map as the maze.
In 2011, Namco sent a DMCA notice to the team that made the programming language Scratch saying that a programmer had infringed copyright by making a Pac-Man game using the language and uploading it to Scratch's official website.
In April 2011, Soap Creative published World's Biggest Pac-Man working together with Microsoft and Namco-Bandai to celebrate Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. It is a multiplayer browser-based game with user-created, interlocking mazes.
In 2016 an in-app version of Pac-Man was introduced in Facebook Messenger. This allows users to play the game against their friends while talking over Facebook.
On June 10, 2014, Pac-Man was confirmed to appear as a playable character in the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. The 3DS version also has a stage based on the original arcade game, called Pac-Maze. A Pac-Man Amiibo figurine was also released by Nintendo on May 29, 2015.
In Weird Al Yankovic's music video for "White & Nerdy", there are several scenes of Weird Al dancing in a black room, in front of road flares shaped like the arcade version of Pac-Man (which itself, is a parody of Chamillionaire rapping in front of a lizard made of road flares is his music video for Ridin'.[better source needed]
In the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, there are two scenes where the titular character recites trivia about the name Pac-Man to a love interest. He mentions the original name was Puck-Man, from the Japanese word paku-paku (to open and close one's mouth), but was changed to avoid potential vandalism from its resemblance of a curse word.
The Pac-Man character appears in the film Pixels (2015), with Denis Akiyama playing series creator Toru Iwatani. Iwatani himself makes a cameo at the beginning of the film as an arcade technician.
In the Japanese tokusatsu film Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Riders, a Pac-Man-like character was introduced as the main villain.
2005年5月22日で生誕25周年を迎えた『パックマン』。 ("Pac-Man celebrates his 25th anniversary on May 22, 2005", seen in image caption)
[Bandai Namco] puts the date at May 22, 1980 and is planning an official 25th anniversary celebration next year.
[...] they would not realize the fundamental logical difference between a version of Pac-Man (Iwatani 1980) running on the original Z80 [...]
Columbia Records' Pac-Man Fever ... was No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week.
Despite the success of his game, Iwatani never received much attention. Rumors emerged that the unknown creator of Pac-Man had left the industry when he received only a $3500 bonus for creating the highest-grossing video game of all time.
It would go on to become arguably the most famous video game of all time, with the arcade game alone taking in more than a billion dollars. One study estimated that it had been played more than 10 billion times during the twentieth century.
In the late 1990s, Twin Galaxies, which tracks video game world record scores, visited used game auctions and counted how many times the average Pac Man machine had been played. Based on those findings and the total number of machines that were manufactured, the organization said it believed the game had been played more than 10 billion times in the 20th century.
There are various Pac-man romsets out there right now, and at quick glance, it is difficult to tell which one was made first, which are hacks, and so on. In this article, I hope to figure out the order in which they were released.
The machines were well worth the investment; in total they raked in over a billion dollars worth of quarters in the first year alone.
The game produced one billion dollars in 1980 alone
Revenue from the game Pac-Man alone was estimated to exceed that from the cinema box-office success Star Wars.
Estimates counted 7 billion coins that by 1982 had been inserted into some 400,000 Pac Man machines worldwide, equal to one game of Pac Man for every person on earth. US domestic revenues from games and licensing of the Pac Man image for T-shirts, pop songs, to wastepaper baskets, etc. exceeded $1 billion.
If you made it to the secret Pac-Man level in Castle Wolfenstein, you know what I mean (Pac-Man never would have made it as a three-dimensional game). Though it may be less of a visual feast, two dimensions have a well-established place as an electronic gaming format.
Pac-Man Fever went gold almost instantly with 1 million records sold.
Mindscape, a software company based in Northbrook, sold more than 100,000 copies of Pac Man for the PC last December alone.