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The impressive history of Pac-Man, the world's most iconic game

The impressive history of Pac-Man, the world's most iconic game

History of Pac-Man

Pac-Man is probably the most famous arcade game of all time. It’s an icon - of gaming, of the 80s, of pop culture. Pac-Man is also probably the most adored arcade of all time, with legions and generations of fans. The instantly recognisable graphics and images of Pac-Man adorn t-shirts, interior decor and screens across the world.

But how did Pac-Man come to dominate the gaming industry? Since it’s release nearly 40 years ago, it’s climbed to become a cultural giant. We’re going to take a look back at the history of the classic game, and find out how it came to be the most famous game on the planet…

Original Pac-Man Machine | Games Room Company

History of Pac-Man

The game was designed and released in Japan in 1980 by Japanese games company, Namco - according to its designer, Pac-Man himself is based on the shape of a pizza with a slice missing! When it was originally presented in the USA, at various gaming expositions and events, it was passed over by a lot of major marketing executives who thought it wouldn’t ever catch on.

That’s because Pac-Man was a new type of game; at the time, the most popular arcade games were ‘space shooters’, like Space Invaders, and Pac-Man’s maze format subverted that. It’s credited with popularising this new type of game, once it was released to the American mass market and the public went crazy for it! Arcades of the 1980s were absolutely packed with people playing the game. Within its first year in the US, Pac-Man had sold $1 billion worth of units - now that’s popular!

It’s stood the test of time; it’s still incredibly popular today, just as it was then, and Pac-Man is regarded as one of the most influential games of all time.

Pac-Man in popular culture

Merchandise for Pac-Man reaches far and wide. We’re talking clothes, accessories, toys, books, TV spin-offs, costumes, song lyrics, comics….the list goes on and on! We’ve even seen people running the marathon dressed up as Pac-Man, and that’s before we’ve mentioned all the references to the game within other TV shows and films.

To add to this, there are world  tournaments and championships, books and seminars on Pac-Man strategies, and people who dedicate all their spare time to improving their skills. Pac-Man has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings! No other arcade game has had such an impact, or is still as adored today as it was when it debuted.

If you’re a huge Pac-Man fan, maybe the only thing you’re missing is a way to play the game in your own home. And we don’t mean on your computer - we mean the old fashioned way! Here at Games Room Company, we have amazing Pac-Man machines, some that date back to 1980 and are original models! Restored to be fully functioning, you can enjoy the wonderful world of Pac-Man in your own home - you won’t need to buy any of the strategy books to improve your skills, you can just practice every day!