Pac-Man chomps into record books

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Gaming

Namco today celebrated its 50th birthday, but the company has more to cheer about than just its golden anniversary. During its anniversary party, held in Yokohama prefecture, Namco was officially awarded for its entrance into the Guinness Book of World Records. The company's classic arcade game, Pac-Man, is being listed in the record book as the "most successful coin operated game" in history.

Namco sold 293,822 units of the arcade machine during the seven-year period from 1980 to 1987, when the arcade game was still being manufactured. David Hawksett, science and technology editor at Guinness World Records, appeared at the party to present the official Guinness plaque to Namco founder Masaya Nakamura and Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani.

"There is no question that Pac-Man was a revolution in computer gaming. It not only showed what could be done with very little processing power to the world, but it also brought computer technology to the attention of many young people," commented Hawksett.

"I'm extremely honored," commented Nakamura. "I'm used to being called the 'Father of Pac-Man,' and he's like a son to me. He's smart, he's courageous, and he's tough enough that there's an M&A term called 'Pac-Man Defense' named after him. I hope that Namco will continue growing strong like Pac-Man for its next 50 years."

Nakamura's company originally manufactured wooden-horse rides for kids in 1955 and has grown to become an international operation with more than 2,500 employees over the past 50 years. After Namco's merger with Bandai, Nakamura will step down from his current position as Namco chairman to become the chief adviser to Namco Bandai Holdings.

By Hirohiko Niizumi -- GameSpot