Happy Atari National Pac-Man Day

Cavalcade Arcade

30 years ago today on April 3, 1982, Atari announced National Pac-Man Day.

Atari National Pac-Man Day

National Pac-Man Day coincided with the release of Atari’s port of the Pac-Man arcade game.

Atari Pac-Man
Via John Mundy

Despite that game being one of the worst ports of a game ever created, it was the highest selling game of the year and received an enormous marketing push from Atari.

Pac-Man Phenomenon

Above is an ad touting the popularity of Pac-Man and it includes pictures from Pac-Man release parties all over the world.  Atari even held several Pac-Man Championships. Here’s an ad for the UK Championship.

UK Pac-Man Championships

Atari’s Pac-Man, along with E.T., probably killed not only Atari but the entire home console video game market.  At least for 4 or 5 years until the Nintendo Entertainment System took off. Because, despite selling millions of Pac-Man cartridges (as well as E.T.), Atari had over estimated demand and made many, many more than was sold and they were left with tons of extra cartridges.

So, enjoy Atari National Pac-Man Day! One of the nerdiest holidays ever!

Other Pac-Man articles:

1. Anniversary of the 1st Perfect Game of Pac-Man
2. America’s Love Affair with a Man Named Pac


3 Responses to “Happy Atari National Pac-Man Day”

  1. nytetrayn Says:

    Woo! Go Pac-Man!

    For some reason, I’m absolutely positive that my cousin had an Atari 2600 and that cartridge, which was how I played Pac-Man, but I honestly don’t remember the graphics being at all like that; I remember something closer to the arcade.

    I believe it is a rare case of my memory blocking it out, which is odd, as I usually remember these types of things pretty accurately, for better or for worse.

  2. Are you sure it was the 2600? I think the graphics were improved for both the Atari 5200 and the Atari 800.

    • nytetrayn Says:

      Pretty sure… I mean, it was that same joystick, and I’m pretty sure it was the same wood-paneled console…

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