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Official Pac-Man sake to see release in Japan

Something to wash the ghosts down with

We've already seen tons of Pac-Man merch to celebrate the character's 40th anniversary, and now we have one more item to add to the list. The series will see release of an official line of Pac-Man sake in Japan on July 4th, 2020.

The Pac-Man sake line will feature five different versions; Pac-Man and the four ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Each bottle is priced at 3,000 yen, and they contain Junmai-shu, a pure-rice sake made from only rice, water, and rice koji.

Multiple Pac-Man titles on sale via the Switch eShop to celebrate Pac-Man's 40th anniversary

Pac in the savings!

If you were following game news yesterday, it was hard to escape Pac-Man coverage. The entire game industry celebrated the 40th birthday of Pac-Man, showing love for one of gaming's original icons. Seeing all the attention probably made you hungry for some Pac-Man gaming, and now's the perfect time to jump in.

The Switch eShop is currently offering discounted prices on a number of different Pac-Man games, with some up to 75% off! Check out the rundown of sales below.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus - £4.19 / $5.99
Namco Museum - £9.99 / $8.99
Namco Museum Arcade Pac (EU only) - £12.20

GoNintendo Thought: A tribute to Pac-Man on his 40th anniversary

Happy 40th, Pac!

I couldn't let Pac-Man's 40th anniversary pass by without a few kind words. The industry owes a lot to what that little guy achieved! Hopefully my words do the iconic character justice. As always, thanks for reading

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The video games of today are endlessly complicated beasts. Putting them together takes teams of hundreds, if not thousands of people. The mechanics behind them are multi-layered and include tons of moving parts. The visuals are pushing the limits of what today's hardware can do. Storylines are multi-faceted and nuanced, filled to the brim with a variety of characters and personalities. Even the controllers we use for these games are daunting; jam-packed with more buttons than we have fingers.

Seeing how far we've come compared to 40 years ago is pretty crazy. An insane amount of progress has been made in those 40 years, with technology and developers moving at a breakneck speed. Hardly any other entertainment industry has seen such huge advancements in a relatively short amount of time. That evolutionary machine of hardware and software is only going to keep churning, giving us games that are more complex, visually impressive, and impossibly huge.

Is the push forward towards new gaming horizons a good thing? In a lot of ways it is, as its important for the industry to move ahead in order to see what's possible. Be it a new idea or new hardware, the next best thing could end up becoming a major milestone for the industry, showing us a path to the future. These innovations and expansions pave the way for other big ideas, more ingenuity, and things we've never thought possible in the world of gaming. With that said, there's one element from early games we better make sure is never lost.

Here on May 22nd, 2020, the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man, it's important to look back on where the game industry was all those years ago. Technology was extremely limited compared to what we can achieve today. If you wanted a game that looked or sounded "real," you had to envision it in your dreams. The industry just wasn't capable of providing those types of experiences at the time. That said, a game like Pac-Man did something that a lot of today's games fail to remember. For all the pretty visuals and sophisticated content, all the gameplay mechanics and impressive sound, some games forget to put fun above all else. That's something Pac-Man had in spades, and still has to this day.

You don't need a super-complicated idea to create something fun. It's certainly true that big, branching gameplay ideas can lead to an amazingly fun experience. We've seen plenty examples of that throughout the years. The thing is, back in the days of Pac-Man, fun had to be the focus of games. Visuals were rudimentary, sound was literally one-note sometimes, and the hardware powering games was limited in what it could do. This gave developers an extremely small amount of room to create something that could entertain players. It takes a lot of talent to work up something enjoyable in such a limited environment, but Namco managed to do just that.

The ideas at play in Pac-Man couldn't be any simpler. You're a character stuck in a maze, and all you have to do is eat up pellets. Steer Pac-Man through the maze, and avoid the evil ghosts that are out to try and get you. If one of the ghosts touches you, it's game over. Outside of your reflexes, the only other option you had to keep Pac-Man alive were Power Pellets, which could be gobbled up to give Pac-Man ghost-busting power. Throw in some fruit scattered around a map for bonus points, and that's pretty much it. You have the entirety of Pac-Man's gameplay described in a single paragraph.

Pac-Man may be extremely simple by every sense of today's standards, but it nailed the one thing that's more important than any other. The game is really fun...the addictive kind of fun. You plop in one quarter and you see how far you can make it. Eventually you lose all your lives and you hit the Game Over screen. You sit there, staring at the darkness, and you feel a thought creep into your head. You consider pumping in one more quarter because you know you could make it a little further. You could do a little better and lock in a high score. You could move a little quicker and see what the next level has to offer. In all its simplicity and ease of play, you've become hooked.

I want to stress that today's games are extremely fun as well. There are hundreds of games each year that work their way into player's daily lives, and they provide a ton of joy. Developers work their butts off to create experiences that bring smiles to faces and get people talking, and many of them do a fantastic job with that. There's an unbelievable amount of fun and engaging content to play in today's industry, and more is sure to come. With all that said, you really have to marvel at what Pac-Man pulled off 40 years ago with such a limited set of tools. What's even more impressive is that we're still talking about Pac-Man to this very day, which is what every developer and publisher hopes to achieve with their games. A very limited few hit that mark, which only elevates Pac-Man's status higher.

With Pac-Man, Namco created something timeless. It provides a fun experience no matter what the generation is. Some games are very much the product of their generation, be it through the tech powering it, or the gameplay mechanics used. They're found to be fun by millions at one time, but then the titles lose their luster as time marches on. Pac-Man, for forty years now, continues to find woo players and keep them engaged. It goes to show just how perfect the original play mechanics are, and how a laser-focus on fun can create something that survives for ages.

While there have been a huge amount of Pac-Man spin-offs over the years, Bandai Namco continues to return to Pac-Man's classic play-style to attract gamers. That's because the gameplay of original Pac-Man nailed it the first time around. Take a look at something like Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus on Switch. Compared to the original Pac-Man, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus has greatly enhanced visuals, a huge jump in sound, online connectivity for high scores, and many other tweaks. When it comes to the gameplay though, things are very much the same as the original Pac-Man. There may be bigger mazes or a few new gimmicks on stages, but by and large, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus offers a very similar experience to what we got 40 years ago. It's refined and reworked to be sure, but the heart of Pac-Man beats loudly in that game.

You also can't beat the ease of play with Pac-Man, which is yet another reason why the game remains as popular today. Anyone can pick up and play Pac-Man. All you need is a method of movement and you're pretty much done. Grab the joystick and move up, down, left, and right. There's really nothing else to it. That ease of play does a wonderful job in eliminating a barrier for non-gamers. Today's controls and control schemes can be downright impossible for someone who doesn't play games, leading to a fear of giving games a chance altogether. Put that same person in front of Pac-Man, and you can have them on their way in a matter of seconds.

These are the reasons why Pac-Man continues to remain popular 40 years later. It's easy to play, both in terms of gameplay mechanics and controls. It offers up a great challenge, especially the longer you play. It creates an addictive gameplay loop, pushing you to give it one more try after a Game Over. It really is one of the few examples of a 'perfect' game, if there ever could be such a thing.

Great game design is absolutely timeless, remaining fun no matter how many years have passed since its debut. Throw in ease of play via controls and you have something really magical. A game that anyone can play and enjoy, no matter the skill level. Creating something like that is absolutely magical, and it really doesn't happen often at all. Pac-Man may be 40 years old, but he's not showing his age one bit. The core Pac-Man experience still provides thrills, laughs, smiles, and flat-out fun. It achieved something that very few games ever will. It has stood the test of time, and nothing is ever going to take it down.

Pac-Man DLC available for Minecraft today

It's hip to be square

It’s PAC-MAN’s 40th birthday today! WOOHOO! Excuse me, I mean WAKA-WAKA! This iconic character and close personal friend is the star of one of the most legendary games of all time. To mark this special milestone, we want to celebrate by releasing the new PAC-MAN DLC in the Marketplace!

Unlock new power-ups and avoid ghosts as you make your way through the 3D mazes! Played through all ten stages? Well, build your own maze then. No seriously, do it! It’s lots of fun. You can even challenge your friends to what I have now dubbed “a maze-off”. None of them have accepted but all of them have called me hack. I hope you have better luck and better friends.

You can find the new PAC-MAN DLC in the Marketplace. Good luck and remember to keep an eye out for Inky, Pinky, Blinky, Clyde, and Creepy!

First 4 Figures shows off their upcoming Pac-Man statue

Waka Waka!

The celebration of Pac-Man's 40th anniversary continues with a new statue from First 4 Figures. The 7″ Pac-Man PVC statue is pretty straightforward, but that's what makes it so fantastic. Unfortunately, there's no release date for the statue just yet, but we'll make sure to share that info when it comes available.

Cook and Becker and Bandai Namco Announce PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Book

Game history 101

Cook and Becker, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe S.A.S. celebrate 40 years of PAC-MAN in 2020 with a luxury design and history book. Richly illustrated and officially licensed, the PAC-MAN book gives a detailed account of the yellow dot muncher's design history, its stellar rise to fame, and its lasting influence on popular culture and video games worldwide.

The first stand-alone art and design book on PAC-MAN, the 40th Anniversary book dives deep into the archives of BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, and is produced as a luxury coffee table art book. The full-color book will be available both as a standard hardcover and as a limited, special collector’s edition with several extras. Both editions will be available for pre-order worldwide July 2020, and ship November 2020.

Exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with PAC-MAN’s original designers, marketing and sales staff, both in Japan and in the US, detail how PAC-MAN became the first true video game mascot, beloved by millions worldwide. As a game, PAC-MAN greatly expanded the expressive range of video games, while as a product its design philosophy made it uniquely suited to appeal to new types of video game players, forever changing the arcade and home video industry.

The history of PAC-MAN is researched on three continents, and is written by Arjan Terpstra (The Netherlands, author of Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book) and Tim Lapetino (USA, author of Art of Atari), with the help of Katsuaki Kato (Japan, former editor-in-chief Weekly Famitsu).

“I’m so glad to have the opportunity to write the first book dedicated to the history of this iconic gaming character", says co-author Arjan Terpstra. “We were able to conduct dozens of interviews with people involved in the design, production and sales of Pac-Man in the 1980's, both in Japan and in the US, and we think fans will be excited about some of the fascinating new stories and items we’ve unearthed."

“It’s a privilege to tell the story of Pac-Man and how the game has influenced pop culture worldwide,” says co-author Tim Lapetino. “Pac-Man and its successors have helped transform video games, visual culture, and the way games are made and marketed. I’m excited that we can share those stories here, with the creators and visionaries that brought Pac-Man to life.”

“We are thrilled to work with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment on an officially licensed book on one of the most iconic figures in video games and beyond”, says Cook and Becker’s CEO Maarten Brands. “The PAC-MAN games raised the bar for video games in more ways than one: it showed a budding industry a way forward, in terms of game design but also in terms of marketing, especially in merchandise. To give fans the book that puts the spotlight on these huge achievements, is an honor and a pleasure for us as a publishing house.”

SEGA'S Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account shares a tribute for Pac-Man's 40th anniversary

Some new shoes for Pac-Man!

The game industry is paying respects to Pac-Man today, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary. SEGA got in on the action with a special bit of Sonic tribute art, which you can see above. Now that Pac-Man has a fancy pair of Sonic's shoes, he should have no problem getting away from those darn ghosts!

Numskull Designs celebrates Pac-Man's 40th anniversary with a range of new merch

A true celebration!

One of the most iconic video games of all time has hit a major milestone. Arriving and revolutionising the gaming scene in 1980 PAC-MAN is celebrating its 40th anniversary – yes the favourite yellow character has been in the maze for 40 years running away from ghosts and gobbling up power pellets and he’s not done yet.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Numskull Designs has teamed up with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to introduce a whole host of ‘PAC-MAN’ exclusives to ensure this gaming legend keeps on gobbling and entertaining fans, old and new, everywhere.

‘PAC-MAN ™’ TURNS 40 YEARS OLD!

Numskull Designs celebrates 40th anniversary with the launch of limited-edition PAC-MAN Quarter Arcades and a range of officially licensed 40th celebratory exclusives

One of the most iconic video games of all time has hit a major milestone. Arriving and revolutionising the gaming scene in 1980 PAC-MAN is celebrating its 40th anniversary – yes the favourite yellow character has been in the maze for 40 years running away from ghosts and gobbling up power pellets and he’s not done yet.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Numskull Designs has teamed up with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to introduce a whole host of ‘PAC-MAN’ exclusives to ensure this gaming legend keeps on gobbling and entertaining fans, old and new, everywhere.

EXTREMELY LIMITED EDITION: PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Quarter Arcades–signed by the original creator of PAC-MAN, Toru Iwatani

First up and guaranteed to whip die-hard PAC-MAN fans into a nostalgic gaming frenzy, is a very special limited- edition PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Quarter Arcades cabinet. There are two versions available – 256 units have been signed by none other than original PAC-MAN creator, Toru Iwatani.

The number 256 represents the number of levels in the game and these signed units are available worldwide. Each cabinet will be numbered with unique number plaques and when they’re gone, they’re gone! RRP £299.00, €349.00, $349.00.
PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Quarter Arcades – Standard Edition

For those who can’t get their gaming hands on the signed version, fear not, an unsigned version is also available. It does exactly the same and looks the same, complete with the 40th anniversary branding design, but without the signature. RRP £129.99, €149.99, $149.99.

Quarter Arcades offers a ¼ scale replica of the original arcade cabinet for the ultimate PAC-MAN gaming experience at home. This official, fully playable, highly collectible 1/4 scale replica stays true to the original arcade cabinet, with everything from its artwork, button/joystick sizes, and coin-mechanism shrunk down proportionately. This cabinet is perfect for playing and displaying at home for the most authentic playing experience of this arcade classic.

Here’s what you need to know about this cabinet:

Official BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment licensed product/merchandise
1/4 scale replica of the original arcade cabinets
Fully playable cabinet using the original PAC-MAN arcade ROM.
Exclusive 40th anniversary design: Limited to only 256 units of the signed edition worldwide.
High-quality: Made for durability, playability, and portability.
Measures: 16.92 inches Tall by 8.27 inches deep by 6.3 inches wide

There’s more…

The celebrations don’t end there. Complimenting the Quarter Arcades cabinets is a range of 40th anniversary merchandise. Confirm your status as a PAC-MAN superfan and get your gaming hands on this lot.

Show off with the Official Pac-Man 40th Anniversary 9 Pin Badge Set

Celebrate your passion for PAC-MAN and show off the new official anniversary set of nine PAC-MAN pins. These pins showcase retro designs synonymous with all things PAC-MAN and include the 40th anniversary pin. These quality metal pins look the part with a gloss finish so wear them with pride or simply keep as a collector’s item. RRP £24.99, €29.99, $29.99.

Official BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment licensed product/merchandise
Designed and engineered by Numskull Designs
Contains nine premium quality metal pins with a glossy finish.
Exclusive designs to celebrate the 40th anniversary of PAC-MAN
Housed in a collector’s display case

Pull Your PAC-MAN Socks Up

An essential part of the gaming wardrobe is the socks! Treat your feet to these retro beauties, an anniversary pack of 3 pairs of super comfy socks featuring cool PAC-MAN imagery. RRP £14.99, €16.99, $16.99.

Official BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment licensed product/merchandise
Designed and engineered by Numskull Designs
Made of high-quality cotton
Ribbed neck and a soft touch
Size 7-12 (US), 6-11 (UK), 39-46 (EU)

PAC-MAN Anniversary Gift Set

The ultimate tribute to all things PAC-MAN, this 40th anniversary gift set is perfect for retro gaming lovers. Check out this treasure trove of PAC-MAN goodies that includes, super comfy PAC-MAN socks, a ceramic mug and a snazzy key chain. RRP £16.99, €19.99, $19.99.

Official BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment licensed product/merchandise
Exclusive collector’s item to celebrate 40 years of PAC-MAN
Includes 100% cotton socks, key chain and a ceramic mug
Perfect gift for any PAC-MAN fan

That completes the PAC-MAN 40th anniversary line-up, all available in July, signed PAC-MAN Quarter Arcade cabinet available in August.

Preorder the entire range here

Bandai Namco teams up with Laps for a line of "Back to the 80's" watches

Retro never goes out of style

Fancy yourself a watch-wearer and a classic gaming fan? Bandai Namco and watch-maker Laps have the perfect lineup for you. The two companies have come together to create a "Back to the 80's" line of watches, which feature classic gaming brands like Pac-Man, Galaga, Mappy, and more.

Preorders for these watches opened in Japan today, and will run until June 5h, 2020. Each watch is priced at 25,300 yen, and orders are set to ship out in Aug. 2020. You can check out individual pics of each watch here.

Pac-Man, the original video game super star, celebrates his 40th birthday today

Packing in fun for 40 years

Leading interactive entertainment company BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. today celebrates PAC-MAN’s 40th birthday with upcoming activities and partnerships to commemorate this milestone with fans around the world. The video game and pop culture icon steps into his 40s more relevant than ever as he stars in a bevy of new video game offerings, product partnerships, and brand collaborations.

Born on May 22, 1980, PAC-MAN immediately rose to stardom, first in video game arcades, then on the pop culture stage with hit song “PAC-MAN Fever” and through an array of branding and entertainment appearances throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. With a brand recognition rate of 90% around the world, PAC-MAN’s image and brand continues to be one of the most recognized on the planet.

While PAC-MAN has transcended into the world of entertainment, his heart still resides in video games. As part of his 40th birthday celebrations, there will be new PAC-MAN video game offerings from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment starting with PAC-MAN LIVE STUDIO coming to the Twitch game platform in partnership with Amazon Games which will enable four players to compete in one maze in an all-out chomp-fest to see who will eat the most pellets and survive the stage. Players will also be able to create their own PAC-MAN mazes and share them with friends online or play the classic PAC-MAN game is they so choose.

For classic arcade experience connoisseurs, a special Tastemakers 40th Anniversary Arcade 1UP machine will also make its debut in 2020, followed by 40th Anniversary Counter-cade, Party Cade, and Head-to-Head.

Lastly, more additional new PAC-MAN games are on the way for the latter part of 2020.

On the product partnership, brand collaboration, and technology fronts, PAC-MAN is not slowing down one bit as he started the year by being featured on BANDAI newest Tamagotchi toy.

PAC-MAN also returns in PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Snack Attack, the next chapter of his PAC-MAN™ Stories series on Amazon’s Alexa platform. The game tells an interactive story where kids and their parents make their own choices in order to progress into the adventure which will be available this summer on Amazon Alexa in English in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia and India.

Never one to shy away from the camera, a 40th Anniversary Book, edited by Cook & Becker, which will take a retrospective look at PAC-MAN’s creation and life leading up to his 40th birthday.

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment is also teaming up with Numskull designs to introduce a line of PAC-MAN exclusives to celebrate the gaming legend’s 40th anniversary. First up, a very limited-edition PAC-MAN 40th anniversary Quarter Arcades cabinet, signed by the original creator of PAC-MAN, Toru Iwatani, will be available with only 256 units. In addition to this, a Standard Edition of the PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary Quarter Arcade will be available, as well as various items that will part of a line-up available for sale starting in July

PAC-MAN is also the subject of advanced AI research being conducted by NVIDIA. Trained on 50,000 episodes of the game, a powerful new AI model created by NVIDIA Research, called NVIDIA GameGAN, can generate a fully functional version of PAC-MAN — without an underlying game engine. That means that even without understanding a game’s fundamental rules, AI can recreate the game with convincing results.

Music has always been a part of the PAC-MAN brand and after composing the new PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary theme song “JOIN THE PAC”, world-renowned Japanese Techno artist Ken Ishii is back with new tracks in PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.1, PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.2, PAC-MAN 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLABORATION vol.3. The PAC-MAN beats will start flowing via Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz, and Deezer with new tracks being launched every month between May 22, 2020 through July 24, 2020. Once all the tracks are released, a special CD compilation album will be issued with album art designed by The Designers RepublicTM, known for their designs for Warp Records and Aphex Twin. Fans looking to access game soundtracks will be pleased to learn that the soundtracks from PAC-MAN & GALAGA DIMENSIONS, PAC-MANIA, and PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX will also be available on the music streaming services listed above starting today.

Lastly, PAC-MAN recently participated in Google's Stay Home and Play initiative through the inclusion of PAC-MAN’s highly popular 30th Anniversary Google Doodle that featured a fully playable PAC-MAN maze integrated within the Google logo. In 2010, this Google Doodle famously resulted in approximately 4.8 million hours of play around the globe.

“PAC-MAN was truly the first breakout superstar of our industry and his staying power says a lot about the experiences he’s given to fans and the love they’ve given him in return.” said Hervé Hoerdt, Senior Vice President of Digital, Marketing and Content at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe. “While 2020 has been a trying year for everyone, we hope our fans can embody PAC-MAN’s drive to always move forward, never back down from adversity, and come out of any challenge on top!”

To learn more about PAC-MAN’S 40th Anniversary celebration, please visit: https://www.pacman.com/en/.

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