Pac-Man Creator Wants Games That Last

Pac-Man Creator Wants Games That Last
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Over 30 years ago, Toru Iwatani (not pictured) created Pac-Man. Decades later, it’s a game people still remember and still play. That, Iwatani said, is what game designers must do today. They must create games that stand the test of time.

“When you look at games coming out today, it’s doubtful that any of us will be talking about them in 10 years’ time,” Iwatani told Game Career Guide.

“You’ve had this flood of very simple games on the iPhone and social networks. They’re very ‘easy’ games, and by easy I mean easy to design and to pump out by the dozen.”

“I think more thought needs to go toward how games present themselves to the user, to how they can be made more fun,” Iwatani said.

That’s not exactly fair. Take something like Angry Birds. It is “simple”, but simple in the way Pac-Man is simple. The game’s basic premise is easy to grasp, but complex physics when into creating it, just as advanced programming went into developing Pac-Man.

Now, Angry Birds is only one game. And there is a lot of crap, too! But there are good games being created. Whether any of these iOS or Android games can last three decades, let’s check back on that in 30 years. When I’m in my 60s. Ouch.

Iwatani Interview [Game Career Guide via Eurogamer]

Top photo: Kevin Winter/Getty


  • I don’t think this is possible, and for the creator of Pacman to say it either seems arrogat or biased. How many games existed when Pacman came out? How good was it compared to the other games that were available, and therefore what percentage of people that played games played it and for how long.

    Pacman came at the start of the industry and will always be remembered because of that. I don’t see it as being superior to games that are out now. You can’t really compare it to the AAA titles that are coming out now, but I think Angry Birds is a fair comparison, both are simple and fun to play, easily accessible but with some hidden complexity. Both are very popular, however Angry Birds is competing with AAA blockbuster titles across multiple consoles and PC as well as all of the other small fun handheld games.

    You can’t compare something that was at the start of a movement to something today, and you can’t make out that something that was at the beginning is somehow better or move valid because it is remembered better.

    The Beatles are a band that will never be forgotten because they started something, and we will always remember them for it. Are they my favourite band? No, I prefer modern music but I will probably remember The Beatles for longer as they have become a part of our culture.

    The same can be said of Pacman

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