The Original Pacman Online

The Origins of Pacman

Originally known as “Puck Man”, Pac Man was developed by a Japanese game designer, Toru Iwatani, who came up with the idea after eating pizza one night with friends. Puck meant “to eat”, and this is how the original name was derived. The original ghosts that chase after Pac Man were actually considered monsters in the Japanese version. Their original names were “oikake” (Chaser), Machibuse (Ambusher), Kimagure (fickle), and Otoboke (stupid). When Puck Man hit the American Arcades and Atari home game consoles back in 1980, the name was changed by Bally Midway to Pac Man. The monsters were now known as ghosts and their names were changed to “Blinky” (red ghost), “Pinky” (pink ghost), “Inky” (blue ghost), and “Clyde” (orange ghost).

Pac Man still remains one of highest grossing video games in history, with revenues somewhere in the billions! Pac Man has evolved many times over previous decades. There were many versions of the game created for a large multitude of home and arcade platforms, and many new versions continue to pop up. Pacman was originally released in May of 1980 in Japan, and later released in October of that year in the United States under licensing from Bally Midway.

snapshot of the original pacman video game Atari 7800 pacman original cartridge

The original Pacman Arcade console was so popular in America that Bally sold more 350,000 units during the first year and a half of its initial inception into the U.S market! The Arcade units for Pacman averaged around $2,400.00 at the time, a hefty price but the upright console proved to be a major success in Arcades across the country. Pacman's popularity in the U.S was surprising to many in Japan, where it hardly managed to take off, and didn't gain much popularity in Asian markets early on. Namco continues to earn revenue today through licensing of the Pacman name and products world wide.

Play Retro Games Online

We've recently added a sliding retro games menu to this page, featuring Ms. Pacman, Joust, Ghouls n Ghosts, and many of your favorite retro titles! We have also created an extensive library of other retro flash games which are available from our arcade previews section located in the left navigation menu.

Picture of Pacman eating pellets

Pacman game start screen with ghosts

Be sure to check out Atari Arcade online for more classic games including, Centipede, Pong, Missile Command, and many more: Atari Arcade Online.

For more info on Atari, be sure to check out our article on: the history and evolution of video games