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Pac-Man Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Slew Of Activities

by Rainier on May 22, 2020 @ 5:59 a.m. PDT

Bandai Namco Entertainment 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.

Pac-Man Live Studio will offer a number of challenging modes. Beyond competing to set the high score with their friends at home or in the arcade, now players can compete against the entire world, live on Twitch. Game modes include:

  • Studio Mode - Create and share your own maze creations. The most popular mazes will be more visible on the global charts, giving you the chance to be recognized as a top creator! 
  • Endless Mode - Up to four people play simultaneously with just one life per level, working together to achieve the highest combined global ranking while competing against each other for the bragging rights of most points scored on the team.
  • Select Mode - Up to four players team up cooperatively to achieve the max score on any community-generated maze; you might even find mazes created by your favorite streamer!
  • Classic Mode - Travel back to 1980 and experience the original Pac-Man game.

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 Bandia 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 Republic, 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 Dimension, Pac-ManIA, and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX will also be available on the music streaming services listed above starting today.

My Arcade announced the Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Edition Micro Player. Created in partnership with Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., this gold-clad version of My Arcade’s popular Micro Player line features lenticular “moving” labels on the cabinet sides and an arcade version of the classic Pac-Man. The Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Edition Micro Player will be available later this summer for MSRP $39.99.

Dripping with classic 80s style, the Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Edition Micro Player is the perfect collectible to celebrate 40 years in one of gaming history’s most iconic moments. It is ideal as a gift for old school gamers looking to relive the arcade age or those that want to meet Pac-Man for the first time. Standing at just over six inches tall, this collectible arcade cabinet can be comfortably placed on a desk or put on display in an entertainment center.

“We are extremely happy to partner with our friends at Bandai Namco to celebrate 40 years of Pac-Man,” said Amir Navid, SVP of Product Development and Creative Director of My Arcade. “We ‘re commemorating this special occasion with a beautiful, unique collectable that is as fun to look at as it is to play, and we hope fans of the franchise enjoy it.”

Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Edition Micro Player features:

  • Full color screen 
  • Arcade version of Pac-Man adapted for Micro Player
  • Glowing coin trap 
  • Removable joystick - Play in your preferred way, either with or without the joystick 
  • Lenticular labels that animate the classic arcade cabinet graphics 

While waiting for the Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Edition Micro Player, gamers can check out My Arcade’s current line-up of BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. retro collectibles with titles including Pac-Man, Ms.Pac-Man and many more!

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 the official website.

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