Pac Man turns 25

Pac Man celebrates his 25th birthday – May. 10, 2005

Arguably the most influential game in the industry’s history (with Pong the only other real contender), Pac Man has made more than $100 million dollars one quarter at a time. He’s spawned his own line of trading cards, lunch boxes, board games, breakfast cereals and been the inspiration for a Top 40 hit (Buckner & Garcia’s “Pac Man Fever” hit number 9 on Billboard’s charts in 1982).

The story repeats the old bit about the shortage of yen coins in Japan, due to Pac-Man. Can anyone confirm that? I’ve heard it multiple times in the past, but there’s a small cynic inside of me that thinks it’s almost too fantastic a fact to be true.

6 thoughts on “Pac Man turns 25

  1. Pac-Man is still one of the most addictive games developed and a brilliant piece of graphic design if you think about it.

    I just wish that with all the repackaging of the game in new Namco compilations that they’d put in some of the customized variants like Pac-Man Plus.

    The original Pac-Man is sometimes too slow and easy to play!

  2. I have to admit that I’ve always preferred Ms. Pac-Man to Pac-Man. Don’t know why that is, though. . . I think I was just exposed more to Ms. than the original. I was really young at that point, so that’s a possibility.

  3. I want “Super Pac Man” in some home format, be it PC or otherwise. Why hasn’t this game ever been released? Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I’d also love to have the video-pinball hybrid, Baby Pac Man, but that’s not gonna happen.

  4. “$100 million a quarter at a time” and then he goes on to list all the merchandising dollars. (which, you know, generally aren’t paid for a quarter at a time.) Lazy, lazy writing.

  5. Super Pac-Man hasn’t had an official release because A) it was a commercial disaster; B) most people who have played it (including yours truly) HATED it; and C) MAME is so widespread and available that really the only problem is tracking down the ROM for Super Pac-Man and that’s no big deal.

    (MAME stands for “Multi-Machine Arcade Emulator.” It’s an international freeware effort to develop software that can emulate the functions of legacy arcade hardware so that gaming enthusiasts can enjoy old games that are no longer supported or ported to newer systems anymore by their manufacturers. While this DOESN’T mean the game code isn’t still under copyright, it’s understood that most game companies WON’T prosecute individuals if they keep quiet about using and distributing old arcade code online. That’s why very few sites with the actual MAME emulator software actually have MAME ROM downloads on them. Many of them don’t even link directly to ROM dump sites, eithe. MAME isn’t exactly legal, but it’s not exactly being actively prosecuted, either, since over 90% of the games supported by MAME haven’t had active development, commercial emulation, or sequels in years.)

    You can probably find a foreign website with a Super Pac-Man ROM download fairly easily within an hour using either Yahoo or Google.

    I frankly don’t think it’s worth it.

    The original Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are by far the best (and most popular) entries in the Pac-Man series so that’s why they get bundled most often in Namco game collections. There are very few color gaming and PC systems right now that can’t run an emulator that will run the EXACT arcade code the Pac games used over 20 years ago.

  6. Brain fart…!

    MAME stands for “Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator.”

    Just caught that typo now!

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