CHICAGO -- Pac-Man, Namco's iconic dot-munching arcade hit, officially turns 30 on Saturday, May 22. Namco Bandai is the current corporate incarnation of Namco and Japanese toy giant Bandai. Namco is holding an official birthday party on June 15, during the E3 show, in Los Angeles. It has also released Pac-Man Championship Editions for Apple's iPhone and iPad.
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.
Namco Networks America chief executive Kenji Hisatsune said the game's success derived from simple, understandable rules combined with fun and addictive gameplay. See the NY Daily News interview with Hisatsune. Namco game designer Toru Iwatani is credited with creating Pac-Man in 1979. It was sold in the U.S. by Bally-Midway.