Namco’s Pac-Man 35th anniversary celebration is just sad

Publisher patches the mobile port

On this day in 1980, Pac-Man debuted in Japanese arcades. Now, publisher Bandai Namco has decided to celebrate the arcade classic’s 35th anniversary in the most depressing way possible.

The company has passed along a note announcing the existing mobile versions of the title have been updated with “a new, classic-inspired user interface.” Please try to contain your excitement.

“We are excited to bring a new, refreshing look to Pac-Man for Pac Man’s 35th birthday celebration,” Pac-Man mobile products producer Ben Acevedo said in a statement, probably straining to keep a straight face. “This is an almost totally new Pac-Man. Everything has been redesigned to enhance the player’s experience. We have brought a pixel-to-pixel recreation of the classic game with the same difficulty, and we have also introduced new mazes and challenges. We are planning to continue to bring new elements to Pac-Man and evolve the franchise!”

As nice as it would be to see Pac-Man make a glorious return, it’s difficult to imagine that ever happening — especially if this is Namco’s idea of a jubilee. Championship Edition was brilliant, but 2007 was quite a while ago and the series hasn’t seen many other bright spots in recent memory.

The new and improved Pac-Man is currently available on iOS devices for a mere $6.99.

Kyle MacGregor Burleson