ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL -- After two years of rumors and hype, Namco America Inc. reports that Pac-Man Battle Royale is now shipping. News about the first four-player competitive Pac-Man game leaked in December 2009, when it became known that Namco filed for a "Pac-Man Battle Royale" trademark.
In early 2010, Namco released a teaser video about its new Pac-Man coin-op game on YouTube. The video reportedly got 12,000 views during its first 24 hours. Then in March, the manufacturer showed Battle Royale to the coin machine industry during the Amusement Expo in Las Vegas. The display also kicked off the 30th anniversary celebration of Pac-Man. The Pac-Man celebration and publicity continued at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, where the arcade game was among the biggest hits at a show that's all about console and mobile games.
In Battle Royale, the original Pac-Man concept takes a cannibalistic twist. Up to four players can position themselves around a videogame table to try to eat each other. Players maneuver their Pac-Men through the classic maze, swallowing "pac-dots." The goal is to eliminate opponents by eating them.
When a player eats a power pellet, his or her Pac-Man "powers up" by doubling in size and increasing in speed. In a powered-up state, a Pac-Man can easily overrun and consume other men and enemy ghosts. Players of the same size simply bounce off each other, and ghosts eat Pac-Men, unless they're powered up. Eating a piece of fruit or all of the pellets resets the maze with a fresh new set of power pellets.
The last Pac-Man standing wins the round.
At the end of the game, statistics are displayed for each player. They include "Won Most Rounds" and "Ate Most Pac-Men," among other notable accomplishments.
More information on Pac-Man Battle Royale can be had by visiting namcoamerica.com or calling (847) 264-5610.
Separately, Namco America is offering iPad and iPhone apps in conjunction with the release of Pac-Man Battle Royale. The free iPad app, which is a game demo featuring a single round, will be available at the iTunes Store on Jan. 28.
After the round, iPad and iPhone users are directed to the Pac-Man Battle Royale Facebook fan page where they can find nearest locations to them with the real games. The iPhone app, which will have a similar demo and location finder, will be available in mid-Feb.
The application allows operators to register locations. It also permits players to “drop a pin on the map” to identify new Battle Royale locations that they find.
“Pac-Man games have always been one of the most popular mobile apps," said Namco vice-president Frank Cosentino. "Tapping into the huge Pac-Man fan base through their mobile devices in order to introduce them to this brand new coin-op experience is something we have been looking forward to. Since Pac-Man Battle Royale is a completely new type of Pac-Man gameplay, we wanted to expose the concept to as many new players as possible. What better way than to give them a free taste on their iPhone or iPad then drive them to a location to complete the experience. Once the fans get a taste of eating other Pac-Men, they never stop!"
The original dot-munching arcade hit officially turned 30 on May 22, 2010. Namco game designer Toru Iwatani is credited with creating Pac-Man in 1979. It was sold in the U.S. by Bally-Midway. Last year, both Pac-Man and Masaya Nakamura, founder of Namco, were inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame. | SEE STORY
Named "best arcade game of all time" by PC World magazine, Pac-Man has reportedly been played more than 10 billion times. It's also recognized by Guinness World Records as the "most successful coin-operated game" ever made. The song "Pac-Man Fever," by Buckner & Garcia, cracked Billboard's top 10 chart in 1982 and Pac-Man himself graced the cover of TIME magazine. More recently, Pac-Man reportedly will become the star of reality TV series that will be produced by Merv Griffin Entertainment.