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- Jan 27, 2019 -

Pac-Man , stylized in all capitals, is an arcade game designed by Toru Iwatani of Namco and first released in Japan as Puck Man in May 1980. Licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway Games, it was released in October 1980 when top arcade games were stark space shooters, such as Namco Galaxian, and Asteroids. Pac-Man established the conventions of the maze chase genre, and is considered one of the classics of the medium and an icon of 1980s popular culture. The game and subsequent entries in the series—became a social phenomenon that crossed over to other media, such as the Pac-Man animated television series and the top-ten Buckner and Garcia single "Pac-Man Fever." Dozens of similarly-styled maze games appeared over the next several years, with some becoming successful in their own right.

According to one estimate published in 1982 60% of Pac-Man players were women, while 90% of those playing space shoot-em-up Omega Race were men.

It is also one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s. Adjusted for inflation, all versions of Pac-Man are estimated to have grossed over $12 billion in total revenue.

The character has appeared in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs in addition to bootleg versions. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest-running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games. The Google Doodle version was estimated to have been played by over 1 billion people worldwide in 2010. Pac-Man is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and New York's Museum of Modern Art.c

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