Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani was 27 years old and working for the Japanese video game company Namco when one day he took a hard look at the pizza he was eating. With two slices missing, the pizza resembled a mouth. According to Iwatani, that was the inspiration for the game that ate its way through untold quarters and single-handedly ignited the arcade revolution of the 1980s. Called Pakku-Man in Japan (after the Japanese word for the sound of a mouth opening and closing), it was only a modest hit until it was introduced in the United States. Video games predate Pac-Man, but none before it rode as intense a wave of cultural popularity.
It’s reported to have earned more than one billion dollars in its first year of release in the United States alone. It inspired 16 sequel games, including Ms. Pac-Man in 1981 and Jr. Pac-Man in 1983. Other games succeeded Pac-Man in popularity over the years, but nostalgia for the original remains strong.
Incidentally, it took gamer Billy Mitchell six hours on July 3rd, 1999 to achieve the worlds first perfect score in Pac-Man: 3,333,360