‘Pac-Man’ news conference set for June 15 in LA

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the “Pac-Man” arcade game with new titles and other big plans, Namco Bandai Games Inc. (NBGI) is holding a news conference on June 15 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

The event coincides with the first day of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), North America’s largest international videogame convention. E3 runs June 15-17.

The venue is expected to be packed with videogame industry members from around the world. NBGI is set to announce its development and marketing plans for “Pac-Man” for future generations.

With Club Nokia adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center, where E3 is held, the news conference is certain to attract attention.

“Pac-Man” burst onto the gaming scene in 1980 and was an instant worldwide hit. The player controls Pac-Man’s movements around a maze in his attempt to consume all the dots in his path while avoiding the ghosts.

This simple but deep gameplay, along with its catchy electronic sounds and cute characters, captured the hearts of players. Fans also went crazy for the game’s unique idea of retaliation: When Pac-Man eats a power pellet, he is granted the temporary ability to attack the ghosts.

The game was especially popular in the United States, triggering an unprecedented social phenomenon. In 2005, “Pac-Man” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most successful coin-operated game ever.

In recent years, NBGI has created new plans for the character business to make use of the brand. The game maker regards 2010 as the revival year for “Pac-Man” because it is the 30th anniversary of the game’s release. The company will intensify its efforts to promote the “Pac-Man” franchise.

With the slogan of “Pac Is Back,” NBGI will announce at the news conference its plans to offer new games, character goods and anime for years to come.

An official Pac-Man 30th Anniversary website, as well as an official Twitter page, have been opened to provide information on recent developments involving the franchise.

In addition, NBGI is to offer a social game called “Pac-Man Reborn” this summer. In the new game, which will interact with Twitter, players create their own Pac-Man. NBGI started offering a beta version for free on May 22 from its mobile site.

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.