Pac-Man Celebrates Turning 41 With a NBA Collab and Game Sales

Pac-Man Birthday NBA event in mobile game

Bandai Namco and the National Basketball Association are commemorating Pac-Man’s 41st birthday with a special event in the mobile game, Pac-Man. The mascot’s official website also shared artwork from the developers and producers to celebrate. Namco’s yellow puck made his debut in Japanese arcades on May 22, 1980.

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Pac-Man’s collaboration with the NBA involves 20 levels in the mobile title. Each level will represent the teams in the NBA Playoffs and State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament. Additionally, the game will have power-ups and cards with a basketball motif. Bandai Namco has partnered with the NBA since Pac-Man’s 40th anniversary.

Bandai Namco also has various games and merchandise on sale in its official store. All of the discounted items involve Pac-Man, from T-shirts to Steam Keys to Funko POP figures.

Pac-Man developers and partners like Nintendo also shared their support for his 41st. The mascot’s official site shared a plethora of hand-drawn and digital art featuring special birthday messages. Nintendo tweeted out a brief clip of the classic puck on its Twitter account. As a reminder, Pac-Man 99 is available on the Nintendo Switch exclusively to the console’s online subscribers.

Earlier in May 2021, Bandai Namco announced a positive “Pac-tive” initiative involving its flagship icon. The company asked fans to “be Pac-tive in body, mind and within [their] community.” The company even partnered with artists Yaeji and Weirdcore to produce a song and music video encouraging positivity.

Pac-Man released in Japanese arcades 41 years ago on May 22, 1980. Pac-Man is available on nearly any video game device, and then some. However, the NBA content is only for iOS and Android.

Oni Dino
About The Author
Oni Dino is a staff writer, Japanese-English translator, localization editor, and podcaster. He has several video game credits and regularly translates columns from Masahiro Sakurai and Shigeru Miyamoto. When not knee-deep in a JRPG and wishing games had more environmental story-telling, he's attending industry events and interviewing creative auteurs to share their stories.