Something to look forward to: Pac-Man is one of a small number of video games that even people who don’t know a PC from a PlayStation recognize. To celebrate it turning forty last year, Cook and Becker have released a 300+ page book detailing the history of the franchise, and there are some enticing collector’s editions.
As reported by The Verge, Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon is described as “the first-ever official history book” examining the series, “from creator Toru Iwatani’s “pizza slice” inspiration to the game’s incredible success in arcades and beyond.”
The standard hardcover version of the book arrives later this year, priced at $39. Classic video game fans might be tempted to opt for the collector’s edition, which includes an exclusive Pac-Man arcade token, a brand-new vinyl pressing of the song Pac-Man Fever by Buckner & Garcia—it reached number nine in the US charts in March 1982—and a very cool Pac-Man slipcase. This edition is limited to 2,000 copies and will cost $99. Meanwhile, super-fans can grab one of the 40 collector’s editions signed by Iwatani himself for $299.
“With untold stories, new details, and archival imagery, Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon showcases the franchise’s complex history from Tokyo to Chicago to Boston, unpacking the stories of video game industry stalwarts Namco and Midway Manufacturing,” reads the description.
As some people know, the game was originally called Puck-Man, but US distributor Midway changed it to Pac-Man. The company was worried about anyone defacing the arcade machines to read something less family-friendly.
Another interesting Pac-Man fact relates to the Atari 2600 version, which was such an awful port of the arcade game that it was blamed, alongside ET, for the 1983 video game crash—despite selling 7 million copies.
Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon can be purchased now and is expected to ship on July 30, 2021.