Pac man was a landmark in arcade games, it created mass media coverage and became a huge success in the usa. It’s success is mainly down to its simplicity, gameplay and creating a new genre. At the time only spaceship shooters existed and some sports games (like pong).
The History of Pac Man
Pac Man was developed by the Japanese game designer Toru Iwatani, and programmed by Hideyuki Mokajima San. The game first saw the light of day on May 22nd 1980, and took a total of 18 months to develop. It was originally entitled Pakku Man, which is believed to originate from the phrase paku-paku taberu. Basically this phrase describes the sound that the mouth makes when opening and closing.
However, in an interview in 1986 Toru Iwatani admitted that this was only half true, and that the idea came from simplifying the Japanese character for mouth pronounced Kuchi (which is a square) as well as the basic concept of eating.
The game was published by the Namco company, and received mixed public reactions upon release. It wasn’t until Pakku Man became released in the United States by the publishers Midway with a different name Pac Man that its popularity increased, and the history of Pac Man became cemented in stone.
Video Game enthusiasts saw this as a welcome departure from games such as Space Invaders and other popular space blasters of the 1980’s. Pac Man’s success soon sky rocketed, and a series of spin off games and imitations were released, and the maze genre of video games was born.
In 1982 Pac Man was released for the Atari 2600, it was the first version of the game to be released on a home console. Although this conversion was widely criticised by the purists, and saw Atari suffering a huge financial lose. But there was no stopping the little yellow guy that we all know and love. Other conversions soon followed on the Atari 5200, Commodore 64, Intellivision and MSX consoles and computers. World domination was forth coming.
Pac Man is one of the few games that is still being released two decades after the original, and popularity seems as rife now as it was back in the 80s. In 2007 the very first Pac Man world championship took place in New York. The game; Pac Man Championship Edition, which is now released on the Xbox 360 console. The winner Carlos Daniel Borrego won a Xbox 360 with special Pac Man artwork and signed by the games designer Toru Iwatani.
Pac Man is a true legend in video gaming, even in the society we live today. With gaming becoming ever more brutal and realistic, it still holds a fond place in the hearts of enthusiasts. Long live Pac Man.