Today Is Pac-Man’s 40th Anniversary –

How old were you when Pacman was born on the 22nd? May 1980, when did slot machines arrive? Yellow hockey celebrates its 40th anniversary today, and what a long way it has come. From his early days in the arcades to his status as a cultural icon, Pac-Man has been represented just about everywhere. In the early 1980s, he had his own animated series, breakfast cereal, a board game and even a hit called Pac-Man Fever. Since then, he has appeared on countless T-shirts, is worn on almost every game system in existence, and remains one of the most recognizable characters in the world.

Pac-Man is taking part in Minecraft DLC today. A new game, Pac-Man Live Studio, is arriving on Twitch in partnership with Amazon Games. Bandai Namco suggested releasing new Pac-Man games later in the year. I hope they come to Switch! In the meantime, enjoy the Pac-Man Edition 2 Plus Championship or the Namco Museum in the online shop!

OFFICIAL CONFESSION:

Interactive entertainment company BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. today celebrates the 40th anniversary of PAC-MAN with upcoming events and partnerships to commemorate this milestone with fans around the world. The icon of video games and pop culture is approaching his fortieth birthday as he stars in a series of new video game offerings, product partnerships and brand collaborations.

PAC-MAN was launched on the 22nd. Born in May 1980, he immediately gained popularity, first in the arcades, then on the pop culture scene with the hit PAC-MAN Fever, and through a series of brand and entertainment appearances throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With a global recognition of 90%, the image and brand PAC-MAN remains one of the most recognized in the world.

Although PAC-MAN has moved into the world of entertainment, his heart still lives in video games. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, PAC-MAN will make a special appearance in Minecraft® DLC, allowing players to experience PAC-MAN’s in-game mazes starting today. In addition to Minecraft, the 40th anniversary celebration wouldn’t be complete without BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s new PAC-MAN video game offerings, starting with PAC-MAN LIVE STUDIO, which comes to the Twitch gaming platform in partnership with Amazon Games and allows four players to compete in a maze to see who can eat the most dumplings and survive the scene. Players will also be able to create their own PAC-MAN mazes and share them with their friends online or play the classic PAC-MAN game if they wish. For fans of classic arcade machines, a special Tastemakers 40th Anniversary Arcade 1UP machine is now available for $399 at Arcade1Up.com. The 40th Anniversary Counter-Cade, Party-Cade and Head-to-Head models will go on sale this summer. Finally, there will be new PAC MAN races in the second half of 2020.

In terms of product partnerships, brand collaborations and technology fronts, PAC-MAN is not an inch slower than it was at the beginning of the year when it was introduced on BANDAI America’s newest toy, the Tamagotchi. PAC-MAN also returns in PAC-MAN and Ghostly Snack Attack, the next chapter in the PAC-MAN™ Stories™ series on Amazon’s Alexa platform, available this summer. PAC-MAN, who has never shied away from the camera, will share his personal story in a book published by Cook & Becker in celebration of his 40th birthday that will trace his work and his life back to his 40th birthday. PAC-MAN is also the subject of NVIDIA’s advanced AI research. Based on 50,000 game episodes, a powerful new AI model developed by NVIDIA Research called GameGAN can generate a fully functional version of PAC-MAN – without a subsystem-based game engine. This means that even without understanding the underlying rules of the game, the AI can reproduce the game with convincing results.

Music has always been part of the PAC-MAN brand, and after creating the new 40th anniversary PAC-MAN JOIN THE PAC theme, world-renowned Japanese techno artist Ken Ishii has returned with new tracks in PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.1, PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.2 and PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.3. PAC-MAN beats are streaming now on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer, and starting on the 22nd. May to the 24th. New titles will be released every month through July 2020. Once all tracks are released, a special compilation CD will be released, with album artwork designed by The Designers RepublicTM, known for their work on Warp Records and Aphex Twin. Fans looking to access game soundtracks will be happy to know that the soundtracks from PAC-MAN & GALAGA DIMENSIONS, PAC-MANIA and PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX will also be available on the above music streaming services starting today.

The theme of health and fitness is more relevant than ever to the PAC-MAN brand. As PAC-MAN approaches his 40th birthday, he is increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and hopes to inspire his fans to do the same by partnering with Giants Enterprises, the development and industry arm of the San Francisco Giants Baseball League, for numerous games, including a special virtual challenge. Fans from around the world can register online for the virtual event and run or walk a total of 40 miles through September to receive a limited edition PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Running Kit with a commemorative medal, bib and finisher sticker to showcase their achievements. As a goodwill ambassador for BANDAI NAMCO, PAC-MAN recently participated in Google’s Stay and Play initiative. In the process, the popular PAC-MAN 30-year-old doodle was integrated into the Google logo with a fully playable PAC-MAN maze. In 2010, there were about 4.8 million hours of gameplay worldwide thanks to this Google doodle.

PAC-MAN was truly the first superstar in our industry to escape, and his resilience speaks volumes about the experience he gave fans and the love they gave him in return, said Ross Borden, vice president of marketing for BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. While 2020 has been a year of challenges for everyone, we hope that our fans embody PAC-MAN’s promise to always move forward, never back down in battle and overcome every challenge as a winner!

For more information about PAC-MAN’s 40th anniversary celebration, please visit: https://www.pacman.com/en/. You can also follow PAC-MAN on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pacman/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/officialpacman?lang=en or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/officialpacman/?hl=en. For more information on PAC-MAN LIVE STUDIO, please visit: www.amazongames.com/games/pac-man-live-studio. To register for the PAC-MAN Virtual Challenge, please visit: https://race-sfgiants.com/PACMAN.

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently an editor and contributor to Age of Games.

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