Pac-Man is a computer game in the genre of arcade, developed by Namco and first released in 1980 in Japan. Prior to the release of Pac-Man, most American games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders or Defender. Pac-Man also developed a new genre of the game - chase in a labyrinth that does not involve violence , but because the game was positioned for both boys and girls.
The protagonist appears in more than 30 officially licensed games and sequels, as well as in countless unofficial clones and fakes. The game influenced various spheres of culture: it was made a series and released a musical album Pac-Man Fever, which included tracks with the names of popular games in those years.
The game was developed mainly by a Namco employee Toru Iwatani for eighteen months. In the original, it was called pakku-man [pakku-man]. The name is derived from the Japanese descriptive expression "pack-pack taberu" (yap., Eat, bite, repeatedly opening his mouth and slamming it). It is often mentioned that Ivatani was inspired by a piece of pizza. In an interview in 1986, he noted that this was half true: Iwatani rounded the kuti hieroglyph (yap.rot) as a symbol of eating and gave him a semblance 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 also wanted to create a funny game that would please the majority.
Iwatani tried to make the game interesting for wider sections of the population, besides ordinary boys and teenagers, and he added a maze element to the game. As a result, the game was called PUCK MAN. When the game appeared in Japan in 1980, it got an indifferent response, because games like Space Invaders or Defender were much more popular.
In the US, the release of the game took the company Midway, but under a changed name. This was due to the fact that the Latin letter P is quite easy to change to F, making the name obscene (English FUCK). To avoid possible vandalism, the joint decision of the publisher and developer, the name of the game "PUCK MAN" was changed to "Pac-Man". After the release of the American version a new name was used throughout the world. Midway has also changed the design of slot machines. Namco's style was more expensive and less suitable for the American market. While "PUCK MAN" was painted white and colorful with colorful designs, "Pac-Man" was made in yellow, and the drawings became simple and memorable.
The American public was well met with the game, which gave an alternative to Space Invaders, which was expressed in unprecedented popularity and income, surpassing its successful predecessor. Even Iwatani was surprised by sales in the US. The game soon became a worldwide phenomenon in the video industry, numerous sequels were released, the style of the game was often copied, but none of the clones could surpass the original.
In the game it was necessary to pass all 255 levels. The maximum number of points was registered on July 3, 1999 in Hollywood: Billy Mitchell scored 3,333,360 points. It took him 6 hours to do this. He collected all the points, all the energy-makers, all the fruits, ate all the ghosts at all 255 levels.
Manufacturers of video games were impressed by the success of the game. Its popularity exceeded the rating of Asteroids, arcades with giant sales. The machines of Pac-Man dispersed in the number of 350 000 copies. The game was so popular that on its basis a lot of fakes were born in the early 1980s.
The unique game design forced game manufacturers to reconsider the idea of endless alien invasions. Introduced in the "Pac-Man" element of humor allowed the game to meet the interests of the broader population. The interest of teenagers to "Pac-Man" exceeded the interest in shooters. Many popular video games of the 1980s in one way or another due to the existence of "Pac-Man": Q * bert, Donkey Kong, Frogger.
Site Killer List of Videogames considers Pac-Man the No. 1 game of all time in the list of the 10 most popular video games.