Bandai Namco Partners With NBA For Pac-Man’s 40th Anniversary

Time for some basketball.
Time for some basketball. Bandai Namco

Pac-Man is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The game was first released in Japan in July 1980. It was then released to the US in December of the same year. There’s actually been a lot of events related to the celebration of this milestone.

As part of the celebration, developer Bandai Namco has partnered with the National Basketball Association for some NBA-themed video game integrations. Expect different co-branded Pac-Man and NBA licensed products. This is just in time as the NBA is set to begin its 2020–2021 season this December 22.

The collaboration will offer different points-of-engagement during the NBA’s season. Fans get to enjoy not only their favorite video game icon but also their favorite sports league in unison. On the day the new NBA season starts, fans can have fun with NBA-inspired game content in the Pac-Man mobile game.

Talking about the partnership, Yutaka Fuse of Bandai Namco said in a statement that they are excited to collaborate with the NBA. The combination of the two brands more than guarantees that they can offer both special products and creative experience, which fans can enjoy. He added that they’re going to “launch a new PAC-MAN initiative with the aim of inspiring our fans to be engaged and stay PAC-TIVE with a variety of safe in-home PAC-TIVITIES.”

Meanwhile, Matt Holt of the NBA said that they are happy as well to partner with Bandai. Holt added that they are looking forward to engaging its “fan base through the range of interactive video game experiences and products that PAC-MAN offers.”

A Bit of History

As mentioned, Pac-Man was released back in 1980. Game Designer Toru Iwatani wanted to design a game that would also appeal to women. At the time, several video games became focused on either sports or war. Upon release, the game was both a critical and commercial success. Many considered it as one of the greatest video games of all time.

When the game was first released in Japan, it was initially titled Pakkuman. Later, it was changed to Puckman. There were concerns about the name, especially with a planned release to the international market, and you could pretty much guess why. This eventually led to the game title becoming Pac-Man.

What are your best memories in Pac-Man?

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