It happened on May 22, 1980, when the video game legend Pac-Man made its debut in Japanese arcades.
Friday was the 35th anniversary of the coming of Pac-Man, one of the most recognizable franchise and character the video game industry has ever seen. Even if Pac-Man was not the first video game created, this yellow character is responsible for the industry’s growing popularity in its arcades period back in the ’80s.
To mark Pac-Man’s birthday, here are a few interesting facts about the video game icon:
Pac-Man was inspired by pizza. A fact that you might not know about is that its creator Toru Iwatani got the idea of how the star of his game must look. In an interview with Time Magazine some weeks ago, Iwatani remembered taking a slice of pizza and seeing how the remaining ones looked like a character. “That’s how Pac-Man’s iconic shape was created,” he told the magazine.
Pac-Man was designed to attract female players. Just before Pac-Man’s arrival, the biggest stars of video game were aliens, with legendary games including Space Invaders. To stand out from the crowd, Iwatani explained he created Pac-Man to be more appealing for women.
“It seemed very dark. It was for men, it wasn’t fashionable at all. When women would go out, they’d go out in a group of friends or with a boyfriend as a couple. And I realized that if women and couples were going to come to game centers, they had to be cheerful places,” Iwatani mentioned about arcades at the time in an interview with Wired just before the game’s 30th anniversary.
He was at first named Puck-Man. Japanese versions of the video game had this earlier name, but as Iwatani explained, it was changed to Pac-Man mostly for its U.S. release in order to avoid vandals from changing the “P” to an “F”.
Pac-Man is the most successful coin-operated arcade ever to be built. According to Guinness World Records, there were more than 293,000 Pac-Man machines built and used worldwide between 1981 and 1987. Since its debut, the game has been played an approximately 10 billion times.
According to the official Pac-Man website, there is a maximum high score of 3,333,360. There was even a song created to honor Pac-Man.Songwriters Buckner & Garcia released the tune Pac-Man Fever in 1982, at the height of the game’s popularity.
Image Source: Great News