Space Invaders went on to set record after record after it invaded the planet. More than four hundred thousand arcade cabinets were made, and the game pulled in more than 3.8 billion dollars by 1982. If you factor in inflation, that would be THIRTEEN BILLION DOLLARS today, making it one of the highest-grossing video games of all time.
Nishikado admitted that while he loves video games, he is actually quite horrible at playing them. He kept the secret for more than thirty years, but in a recent interview he admitted that he struggles to complete even the first level of his Space Invaders game.
Anyway, back to 1980, a year after Iwatani and his famous pizza. Up until this point, video games were really geared toward boys. Especially in Japan, where arcades were overflowing with young men lining up with quarters to play Space Invaders and Asteroids. Iwatani knew that arcades would be more popular if he could attract girls as well as boys. So, he created the first video game mascot, added a maze component, and pumped it full of all the colors found in a bag of gummy bears. The name of the game was changed from Pakkuman to Puck-Man, and do you know what? It
Game development began in early 1979, directed by Toru Iwatani with a nine-man team. Iwatani wanted to create a game that could appeal to women as well as men, because most video games of the time had themes of war or sports. Although the inspiration for the Pac-Man character was the image of a pizza with a slice removed, Iwatani has said he also rounded out the Japanese character for mouth, kuchi (Japanese: 口). The in-game characters were made to be cute and colorful to appeal to younger players. The original Japanese title of Puck Man was derived from the Japanese phrase "Paku paku taberu" which refers to gobbling something up; the title was changed for the North American release to mitigate vandalism.
Pac-Man was a widespread critical and commercial success, leading to several sequels, merchandise, and two television series, as well as a hit single by Buckner & Garcia. The character of Pac-Man is now the mascot and flagship icon of Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game remains one of the highest-grossing and best-selling games, generating more than $14 billion in revenue (as of 2016[update]) and 43 million units in sales combined, and has an enduring commercial and cultural legacy, commonly listed as one of the greatest video games of all time.
After acquiring the struggling Japanese division of Atari in 1974, video game developer Namco began producing its own video games in-house, as opposed to simply licensing them from other developers and distributing them in Japan. Company president Masaya Nakamura created a small video game development group within the company and ordered them to study several NEC-produced microcomputers to potentially create new games with. One of the first people assigned to this division was a young 24-year-old employee named Toru Iwatani. He created Namco's first video game Gee Bee in 1978, which while unsuccessful helped the company gain a stronger foothold in the quickly-growing video game industry. He also assisted in the production of two sequels, Bomb Bee and Cutie Q, both released in 1979.
Originally, Namco president Masaya Nakamura had requested that all of the ghosts be red and thus indistinguishable from one another. Iwatani believed that the ghosts should be different colors, and he received unanimous support from his colleagues for this idea. Each of the ghosts were programmed to have their own distinct personalities, so as to keep the game from becoming too boring or impossibly difficult to play. Each ghost's name gives a hint to its strategy for tracking down Pac-Man: Shadow ("Blinky") always chases Pac-Man, Speedy ("Pinky") tries to get ahead of him, Bashful ("Inky") uses a more complicated strategy to zero in on him, and Pokey ("Clyde") alternates between chasing him and running away. (The ghosts' Japanese names, translated into English, are Chaser, Ambusher, Fickle, and Stupid, respectively.) To break up the tension of constantly being pursued, humorous intermissions between Pac-Man and Blinky were added. The sound effects were among the last things added to the game, created by Toshio Kai. In a design session, Iwatani noisily ate fruit and made gurgling noises to describe to Kai how he wanted the eating effect to sound. Upon completion, the game was titled Puck Man, based on the working title and the titular character's distinct hockey puck-like shape.
In North America, Midway had limited expectations prior to release, initially manufacturing 5,000 units for the US, before it caught on immediately upon release there. Some arcades purchased entire rows of Pac-Man cabinets. It soon became a nationwide success. Upon release in 1980, it was earning about $8.1 million per week in the United States. Within one year, more than 100,000 arcade units had been sold which grossed more than $1 billion in quarters. It overtook Atari's Asteroids (1979) as the best-selling arcade game in the country, and surpassed the film Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) with more than $1 billion in revenue. Pac-Man was America's highest-grossing arcade game of 1981, and second highest game of 1982. By 1982, it was estimated to have had 30 million active players across the United States. The game's success was partly driven by its popularity among female audiences, becoming "the first commercial videogame to involve large numbers of women as players" according to Midway's Stan Jarocki, with Pac-Man being the favorite coin-op game among female gamers through 1982. Among the nine arcade games covered by How to Win Video Games (1982), Pac-Man was the only one with females accounting for a majority of players.
The Atari 2600 version of the game sold over 8 million copies,[b] making it the console's best-selling title. In addition, Coleco's tabletop mini-arcade unit sold over 1.5 million units in 1982, the Pac-Man Nelsonic Game Watch sold more than 500,000 units the same year, the Family Computer (Famicom) version and its 2004 Game Boy Advance re-release sold a combined 598,000 copies in Japan, the Atari 5200 version sold 35,011 cartridges between 1986 and 1988, the Atari XE computer version sold 42,359 copies in 1986 and 1990, Thunder Mountain's 1986 budget release for home computers received a Diamond certification from the Software Publishers Association in 1989 for selling over 500,000 copies, and mobile phone ports have sold over 30 million paid downloads as of 2010[update]. II Computing also listed the Atarisoft port tenth on the magazine's list of top Apple II games as of late 1985, based on sales and market-share data. As of 2016[update], all versions of Pac-Man are estimated to have grossed a total of more than $12 billion in revenue.
"Maze chase" games exploded on home computers after the release of Pac-Man. Some of them appeared before official ports and garnered more attention from consumers, and sometimes lawyers, as a result. These include Taxman (1981) and Snack Attack (1982) for the Apple II, Jawbreaker (1981) for the Atari 8-bit family, Scarfman (1981) for the TRS-80, and K.C. Munchkin! (1981) for the Odyssey². Namco themselves produced several other maze chase games, including Rally-X (1980), Dig Dug (1982), Exvania (1992), and Tinkle Pit (1994). Atari sued Philips for creating K.C. Munchkin in the case Atari, Inc. v. North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp., leading to Munchkin being pulled from store shelves under court order. No major competitors emerged to challenge Pac-Man in the maze-chase subgenre.
Guinness World Records has awarded the Pac-Man series eight records in Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008, including "Most Successful Coin-Operated Game". On June 3, 2010, at the NLGD Festival of Games, the game's creator, Toru Iwatani, officially received the certificate from Guinness World Records for Pac-Man having had the most "coin-operated arcade machines" installed worldwide: 293,822. The record was set and recognized in 2005 and mentioned in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008, but finally actually awarded in 2010. In 2009, Guinness World Records listed Pac-Man as the most recognizable video game character in the United States, recognized by 94% of the population, above Mario who was recognized by 93% of the population. In 2015, The Strong National Museum of Play inducted Pac-Man to its World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Pac-Man character and game series became an icon of video game culture during the 1980s.
Pac-Man inspired a long series of sequels, remakes, and re-imaginings, and is one of the longest-running video game franchises in history. The first of these was Ms. Pac-Man, developed by the American-based General Computer Corporation and published by Midway in 1982. The character's gender was changed to female in response to Pac-Man's popularity with women, with new mazes, moving bonus items, and faster gameplay being implemented to increase its appeal. Ms. Pac-Man is one of the best-selling arcade games in North America, where Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man had become the most successful machines in the history of the amusement arcade industry. Legal concerns raised over who owned the game caused Ms. Pac-Man to become owned by Namco, who assisted in production of the game. Ms. Pac-Man inspired its own line of remakes, including Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness (2000), and Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze, and is also included in many Namco and Pac-Man collections for consoles. 2b1af7f3a8