Pacman Arcade Machine
Namco released Pacman for the first time in Japan in May of 1980. The game was designed by Toru Iwatani. Midway released the game in the USA in October of the same year. The Pacman Arcade machine was not a gradual success, it was always popular, even from the very beginning. Pacman has transcended typical arcade game fame and became a part of pop culture, even until this day. There have been Pacman games for multiple systems, Ms. Pacman, apps, TV shows, and even a song.
The Pacman arcade game established a new niche. At the time it came out, a lot of games that were trending were games like Space Invaders, where you were responsible for operating a gun and shooting. Contrasting this were games like Pong, or games that were supposed to be like sports. Pacman paved an entirely new lane. This creativity proved to be a bold and lucrative move. By the 90s, the franchise was responsible for taking over two and a half billion dollars in quarters. Pacman was in over 30 games, and that only counts the licensed ones.
Within the first year and a half after the game was released, the game brought in a billion dollars. It is estimated that in 1982 there were 30 million people playing Pacman in the USA alone. The game has been called the top grossing game of all time, as well as the best video game of all time. Pacman was so influential for many reasons. Among them, is the fact the it was the first time a game had an original character mascot. It also was the first time a game had cut away scenes or interludes.
There were many spin offs, including Ms. Pacman, which many people consider better than the original. There were also games for other more modern systems, like the nintendo gamecube. Some of these new games literally bring Pacman into a new dimension.