Pac-Man turns 40 today!
In the little over 5 decades since the first electronic entertainment systems appeared, the industry has grown rapidly and has witnessed the creation of thousands of franchises. However, a handful are those who helped introduce this hobby in the late second half of the 20th century. It is precisely one of them that is celebrating its 40th anniversary: Pac-Man.
On May 22, 1980, the game Pac-Man debuted by a Namco team, one of the titles that helped introduce video games as a means of entertainment for the masses. It originally came to arcades in Japan, but its success in the country caused Namco to launch cabinets in America where it garnered parallel results.
The game was designed by Toru Iwatani, a Namco employee who came up with the idea of giving Pac-Man the shape of a circle without a 45 ° slice, after he tore a slice of pizza from the Shakey’s Pizza chain. The details of his name are also well known. Originally released as Puck-Man (evoking the sound it makes when eating the pills), Namco changed its name to prevent the American public from changing the “P” for the “F”.
Regardless of the change, a franchise had been born and over the past decades it has become a benchmark for video games worldwide. Along with Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, the 4 ghosts that have accompanied him all this time, a kawaii art style, and a memorable game design, Pac-Man managed to capture attention without distinction, as he appealed not only to men , but also women and children. Thus, Pac-Man’s foray was a disruptive moment not only in the industry, but in popular culture as well.
Pac-Man made his arcade debut, but over the past 4 decades he has reached various platforms, from home consoles to mobile devices such as Tamagotchis. He has appeared as a guest franchise in movies, such as Pixels, or in animated productions for children, such as in the television series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. In fact, it is one of the oldest IPs that is still active today.