Pac-Man (Jap. Packu-man?) - a computer game in the arcade genre, developed by Namco and first published in 1980 in Japan. Before the release of Pac-Man, most American games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders or Defender (Eng.) Russian. Pac-Man also developed a new game genre - chasing in a maze that does not involve violence , and therefore the game was positioned for both boys and girls.
The main character appears in more than 30 officially licensed games and sequels, as well as countless unofficial clones and fakes. The game influenced various spheres of culture: the series was filmed on it and the Pac-Man Fever music album was released, which included tracks with the names of games popular in those years.
The game was developed primarily by Namco employee Toru Iwatani for eighteen months. In the original, it was called pakku-man [pakku-man]. The name comes from the Japanese descriptive expression “paku-paku-taberu” (jap., Eat, bite, repeatedly opening its mouth and shutting it). It is often mentioned that Ivatani received inspiration from a slice of pizza. In an interview in 1986, he noted that it was half true: Ivatani rounded the hieroglyph kuti (yaproth) as a symbol of eating and gave him the likeness of a mouth. Iwatani also said that in many games of that time there was violence, and therefore they were not suitable for all categories of the population. He wanted to create a fun game that most people would like.
Ivatani tried to make the game interesting for wider segments of the population, in addition to ordinary boys and teenagers, and he added an element of the maze to the game. As a result, the game was named PUCK MAN. When the game appeared in Japan in 1980, it received an indifferent response, since games like Space Invaders or Defender were much more popular.
In the US, the release of the game took the company Midway, but under the modified name. This was due to the fact that the Latin letter P is fairly easy to change to F, making the name obscene (FUCK). In order to avoid possible vandalism, the joint decision of the publisher and developer of the name of the game “PUCK MAN” was changed to “Pac-Man”. After the release of the American version of the new name has been used throughout the world. The company Midway has changed the design of slot machines. Namco style was more expensive and less suitable for the American market. While PUCK MAN was painted white and colored with colorful patterns, Pac-Man was made in yellow and the patterns became simple and memorable.
The American public was well received by the game, which provided an alternative to Space Invaders, which resulted in an unprecedented popularity and income that surpassed its successful predecessor. Even Iwatani was surprised by US sales. The game soon became a worldwide phenomenon in the video industry, numerous sequels were released, the style of play was often copied, but none of the clones could surpass the original.
The game needed to complete all 255 levels. The maximum points were recorded on July 3, 1999 in Hollywood: Billy Mitchell scored 3,333,360 points. For this, it took him 6 hours. He collected all the points, all the energy-drinkers, all the fruits, ate all the ghosts at all 255 levels.
Video game makers were impressed with the success of the game. Its popularity has exceeded the rating of Asteroids, arcades with huge sales. Pac-Man machines sold out in the amount of 350,000 copies. The game was so popular that many fakes were born on its basis in the early 1980s.
The unique game design made game manufacturers rethink the idea of endless alien invasions. The element of humor introduced into Pac-Man allowed the game to match the interests of broader segments of the population. Teenagers' interest in Pac-Man has exceeded interest in shooters. Many popular video games of the 1980s owe their existence to Pac-Man to one degree or another: Q * bert, Donkey Kong, Frogger.
The Killer List of Videogames website considers Pac-Man to be the No. 1 game of all time on the list of the 10 most popular video games.