He has been eating for all these years and still hasn’t gained any weight. It was on May 22, 1980 when the video game was released in Japan.
The story goes that the game’s creator, Toru Iwatani, wanted to develop a game that would appeal to both women and men, unlike Space Invaders, Asteroids, and other more violent electronic games of the time.
Who could have predicted that the yellow cake-shaped character, who slides through a maze gobbling dots and dodging ghosts, would become a legend in the world of video games and beyond?
Originally dubbed “Puck-Man,” a reference to “puck-puck,” the sound for chewing in Japan, the character was given a new handle when he arrived in the United States to prevent an F-bomb reboot.
Pac-Man became a huge success, inspiring sequels, merchandise, two television shows, and a 1981 song, “Pac-Man Fever,” which reached No. 9 on the Billboard charts. There was also an album that sold 1.2 million copies by the end of 1982.
Pac-Man is one of the highest-grossing and best-selling games, generating more than $14 billion in revenue as of 2016 and 43 million units in combined sales.
And the yellow cake-shaped creature is still chomping, long after the days of leg warmers, Swatches, and Care Bears.
Pac-Man is the most popular online game
A recent study by the online gaming platform Yahtzee Craze found that Pac-Man is the most popular online game in the United States.
The survey analyzed data from Google in the US and around the world for the 14 most popular online searches associated with the word “play.” and ranked them according to average monthly Google searches in the US and worldwide.
Pac-Man racked up an average of 768,000 Google searches in the United States. Snake, which dates back to 1976, came in second place, averaging 669,000 searches per month.
Solitaire was ranked number three in the US with 499,000 searches per month.
Rounding out the top five were Tic Tac Toe, which dates back to ancient Egypt, and Minesweeper, a slightly newer game that was released in 1989.
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So are we sensing a theme here?
“People who Google video games are probably older people who played those games as kids,” said Mark Deppe, director of UCI Esports at the University of California, Irvine. “Most of my college students get their information through the Discord communities, on Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, and Reddit.”
Deppe noted that there has been a resurgence of some retro games recently.
“Chess is a great example as it has exploded on Twitch and now there are big college esports tournaments,” he said. “In June we organized an old school Tetris tournament at UCI.”
An older video game was also at the top of another poll. Gaming experts at Minesweeper said Take-Two Interactive (TWO) Grand Theft Auto V, developed nine years ago, is the most searched video game in 15 different states, including New York.
Most of the searches for the game were done in the South and Midwest.
The Minesweeper team analyzed Google trending search data for the 25 most popular video games, according to the HowLongtoBeat site for the year 2022 to date.
Released in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V is the seventh main installment in the Grand Theft Auto series and the fifteenth installment overall.
As of June, the game had shipped over 169 million copies worldwide across all platforms and sold more copies in 2020 than in any year since its release.
God of War, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, and Horizon Zero Dawn are the second most searched for games in the US, ranking #1 in Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.
Minesweeper noted that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge and Elden Ring, the most popular video game in Colorado and Oregon, were released this year.
“Grand Theft Auto V, however, has almost been played for the past ten years by gamers,” the company said in a statement. “It’s clear that the game’s immersive story, fun characters and gameplay still resonate with a large number of American gamers. It will be interesting to see how these results change throughout the year and into 2023.”
Deppe said he wasn’t surprised to learn that gamers are still crazy about Grand Theft Auto V after all these years.
“As games come and go in popularity, people often return to the games they love,” he said.