Pac-Man is a Japanese arcade game developed by Namco
. The original Pac-Man was released in arcades on May 22, 1980. The character and first game were developed by Tōru Iwatani,
the latter of which took 18 months to complete. Pac-Man
was originally named Pakku-man, based on the phrase "paku-paku taberu," a Japanese onomatopoeia
for for opening and closing your mouth. His shape was partially based on a pizza
with a slice missing, but also on the Japanese word for mouth
, kuchi (口).
Initially, Pac-Man wasn't very popular, until it was licensed to Bally Midway
for U.S. distribution, and had its name changed from Puck-man to Pac-Man. From then on, Pac-Man became a gaming and merchandising icon, inspiring clothes, toys, television shows, and even pasta. At the time, most of the games in arcades were shooters, but Pac-Man was different than the other games of the time. After it caught the public's attention, Pac-Man inspired developers to be more innovative with their designs. Pac-Man quickly outdid its competition, even outselling Asteroids
with over 350,000 units sold.
The Pac-Man series has had many games and spin-offs; his female counterpart, Ms. Pac-Man
, has seven games to her name alone. Pac-Man himself has had more than 30 games, such as Pac-Man World
, Pac-Man Fever
, and Pac-Man World Rally
. He has even seen a revamped release on Xbox Live Arcade with Pac-Man Championship Edition
, which was very well received due to its new stages and updated mechanics.