Pac-Man getting an official history book

PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon

Cook and Becker has announced a hardcover retrospective, the first-ever history of PAC-MAN.

PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon is written by Arjan Terpstra and Tim Lapetino, and made in conjunction with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. It is the first book detailing the birth, rise, and explosion of one of the video game industry’s most famous characters. It delves deep into PAC-MAN’s origins as a video game, cultural touchstone, and pop culture juggernaut.

This new non-fiction narrative volume will journey from creator Toru Iwatani’s “pizza slice” inspiration to the game’s incredible success in arcades and beyond. The book also dives into PAC-MAN’s unprecedented impact on pop culture, with more than 40 new interviews from key players around the world, behind-the-scenes stories, documents, images, and more.

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 (BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.’s former company name) and Midway Manufacturing.

Full of historical imagery, concept designs, marketing photos and more, the book will examine the game’s design philosophy and origins through the artists, designers, developers, and other creative teams who brought PAC-MAN to life.

“I’m thrilled to share the work we’ve done in digging deep into the history of PAC-MAN,” said co-author Arjan Terpstra. “We were given access to many of the original Namco team members who made the game what it is, and I’m excited to tell their stories. Whether you’re into video game history, art, or just the stories behind pop culture, there will be something in this book for you.”

“The history of PAC-MAN is also the history of the golden age of video games,” remarked co-author Tim Lapetino. “PAC-MAN’s origins also happen to run through my hometown of Chicago, and I’m very excited to be able to tell some of the stories that have been hidden until now. It’s about time to shed light on what PAC-MAN and its creators have meant to video games and the larger entertainment landscape.”

“It is a great honor that the 40-years’ history of PAC-MAN is now turned into a beautiful book and will soon be published by Cook & Becker,” Yakuta Fuse, Head of Licensing and Branding at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. adds. “Cook & Becker did a wonderful job of going deeply into the early days of the video game industry. We would like to show a special respect to the detailed research they had to do to realize this book. We hope this book will provide video game fans insight into the innovation and creation behind the industry’s history.”

PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon will be available in three separate editions. All ship to consumers summer 2021. The Standard hardcover edition, a limited Collector’s Edition, and an even more limited Collector’s Edition signed by PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani.

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