It may be difficult to imagine for someone who wasn’t there at the time – or heck, even someone who was – but following its North American arcade release by Midway Games on October 26th, 1980, Pac- Man became huge. Like, stupidly huge.
One could draw comparisons to more recent titles as a sort of gauge of how big Pac-Man was in the early 80’s: Pokémon, Guitar Hero, Minecraft, or even Mario all seem valid as contend- ers, and in some cases, have perhaps been even bigger than the maze-run- ning ghost-gobbler was in his prime, or simply had greater longevity. But one thing that must be taken into account is that while Mario helped revitalize the game industry and the others that would follow were born into that, Pac-Man became an enormous draw when the business was still in its very infancy.
In addition to spurring on multiple sequels (whose legality was iffy at best), Midway was also happy to license out Pac-Man for all sorts of tie-ins to the arcade phenomenon. Here, we’ll be talking a bit about some of the more popular items and tidbits of greater renown – some of which
you can still enjoy today!
But not this one. For the love of everything, if you should find yourself in the posses- sion of a can of Pac-Man pasta, please do not eat it. Not that the stuff was necessarily bad, but it was released in 1984, and even a sealed can (with no preservatives) is only going to do so much to keep you from winding up on a list of Darwin Award winners instead of some imaginary YouTube Valhalla.
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