Pac-Man has just turned 40, and as of a result there are a lot of announcements today, including a new video game and AI recreation.
Originally released on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man is a brand that has 90% recognition around the world, and continues to be one of the most recognizable images in the world. To celebrate this remarkable achievement, there will be some new video games from Bandai Namco Entertainment, starting with Pac-Man Live Studio, which is coming to the Twitch platform in partnership with Amazon Games. The game will allow four players to compete in one maze to see who can eat the most pellets and survive the stage. Players will also be able to create their own mazes and share them with friends online, or they can play the original stages if they just want to play some Pac-Man.
“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!”
For those who are waiting with bated breath, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Snack Attack, the latest in the Pac-Man Stories on Amazon's Alexa platform, will be coming soon. The game is an interactive story where kids and their parents will make their own choices in order to progress through a story. It will be available this summer on Amazon Alexa in English in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and India.
Nvidia has conducted AI research solely focused on Pac-Man, training their AI on 50,000 episodes of the game via a new AI model called Nvidia GameGAN, which can create a fully-functional version of the title without understanding the underlying game engine. This is a first because it means that AI can recreate a game with convincing results without understanding the game's fundamental rules.
For those looking for a more classical arcade experience--or tangible proof of Pac-Man's age--might be interested in some arcade-based hardware to celebrate the old man's life. If you are, why not check this out, which is a 1/4 scale playable replica of the original 1980s arcade cabinet. It's also signed by the creator of Pac-Man, Toru Iwatan, which is pretty cool. There's also a 40th Anniversary Micro Player, which has a 2.75" full color back-lit display and is being sold for $34.99. It can be found here.
For more information on the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man and what that entails, click here.
What do you think of this news? Have you ever played Pac-Man for longer than 30 minutes? Let us know in the comments!