Leading interactive entertainment company BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. today celebrates PAC-MAN™’s upcoming official induction into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame (MCHOF). PAC-MAN is the first video game character to be inducted into the MCHOF and is being recognized and honored for his profound impact on the video game industry, his influence on popular culture, and his far-reaching and enduring popularity across the globe.
Born on May 22, 1980, PAC-MAN immediately rose to meteoric popularity, first in video game arcades, then on the pop culture stage, and later through an array of branding and entertainment appearances throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With a worldwide brand recognition rate of 90%, PAC-MAN continues to be one of the most recognized images and brands on the planet. Featuring a simple pick-up-and-play yet challenging-to-master gameplay design, PAC-MAN was created to buck the trend of arcade games that were commonly designed to attract male players. Instead, PAC-MAN was created to appeal to both male and female players and to be appropriate for players of all ages. These core design principles contributed to making PAC-MAN the family-friendly character he is today and delivering on his goal of bringing more fun to everyone no matter their gender or age.
The MCHOF induction process will comprise of multiple parts, starting with a character tribute dedicated to PAC-MAN’s 40-year history through exclusive online content as well as an award and online induction ceremony. The many creators and developers who have contributed to PAC-MAN’s status as an icon will also be recognized and honored. PAC-MAN fans will also be part of the celebration as commemorative T-shirts and pins will be made available and they can participate in virtual museum experiences.
“When I created PAC-MAN over 40 years ago, I never could have imagined the amount of joy he has brought to video game fans, nor could I have imagined his reach around the globe,” said Toru Iwatani, the original creator of PAC-MAN. “While I’m proud of my work, the real happiness I feel is in how PAC-MAN has entertained millions of fans around the world and how those fans have in-turn supported PAC-MAN with their love and loyalty all these years. The bond between creator, character, and player has been so strong these past decades. I hope to see this connection continuing long into the future.”
“PAC-MAN’s enduring popularity and relevance speak volumes to how he has touched the lives of countless players and fans throughout his 40 years as the original video game icon,” said Yutaka Fuse, Head of PAC-MAN Branding and Licensing at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. “To be inducted into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame is truly a great honor and we look forward to celebrating with fans around the globe.”
“We thought PAC-MAN would be the perfect addition to the Museum Character Hall of Fame because he inspires a sense of nostalgia in many of us and even though he is turning 40, he is still highly relevant in pop culture today,” said Eddie Ibrahim, Senior Director of Programming for the Comic-Con Museum. “Characters tell the stories of pop culture and what better time, when we are more digital than ever, to honor our first digital character.”
Even as he enters his 40s, PAC-MAN shows no signs of slowing down. Just this year, PAC-MAN has released new gaming experiences through partners such as Minecraft with a special PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary DLC content pack, Google Maps with PAC-MAN GEO™, and the just-released PAC-MAN MEGA TUNNEL BATTLE™ on Google Stadia.