The Festival of Licensing: Celebrating 40 Years Of Pac-Man

by Gary Catig

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic video game Pac-Man. The people at Bandai Namco have been working hard in 2020 to ensure the titular character remains visible to the fans during this celebratory year. At The Festival of Licensing, Chief Pac-Man Officer, Yasuo Miyakawa, shared everything that’s been released so far and even some things that will be arriving featuring the famous dot eating guy.
Already, Pac-Man has partnered with various brands this year. He’s been involved in a virtual challenge presented by Alaskan Airlines for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. In addition, he was associated with the BMW 2 Series Grand Coupé because both are game changers in their respective industries. Pac-Man even had a small cameo in the Coca Cola Energy Super Bowl ad with Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese.
Though having an already impressive 2020 so far, Pac-Man still kept true to his video games roots. Arriving to Twitch and in conjunction with Amazon, is Pac-Man Live Studio. It provides an opportunity to play with and against other players in a variety of modes including classic.

Hoping to introduce himself to a new generation, Pac-Man also appeared in Minecraft inspiring stages and character customizations. Users could even play the classic game for a new perspective and angle. Also included were ten new 3-D mazes, the ability to build new mazes and explosive new features.
Finally, Bandai Namco is trying to keep up with the times by performing research on emerging mixed reality technologies. Previously they developed a VR experience utilizing the Microsoft HoloLens where players could assume the roles of either Pac-Man or the ghosts. They are currently creating a new experience utilizing the Microsoft HoloLens 2. It features brand new articulated hand and eye tracking where players can use their hand in a puppet motion to consume the dots.
From his humble beginnings, Pac-Man has been able to stay relevant after all these years. With Bandai Namco’s efforts to keep the character visible to the public, perhaps he will still be around for another 40 years or more.

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