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Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon

Publisher Cook and Becker is proud to announce its gorgeous, hardcover retrospective, the first-ever history of PAC-MAN. The book, PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon, is available worldwide.

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

This new non-fiction book 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.

A Full History of PAC-MAN

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 and Midway Manufacturing.

The book PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon is written by Arjan Terpstra (writer of our Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book) and Tim Lapetino (author of Art of Atari and other books), and made in close conjunction with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.

“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," Yutaka 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.”


The book PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon will be available in three separate editions: The Standard hardcover edition, a limited Collector's Edition, and an even more limited Collector's Edition signed by PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani.

Standard Hardcover Edition:
    • The PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon book
    • 300+ pages of full-color history, design, and imagery.
    • English text
    • Hardcover/dust jacket.
    • Contains a fascinating bonus text, the first English-language translation of PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani's memoir, PAC-MAN's Method.

Collector's Edition:
    • The PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon book
    • A unique box and PAC-MAN shaped slipcase, celebrating the visual history of PAC-MAN.
    • Includes an exclusive PAC-MAN arcade token.
    • Includes a limited, brand-new 7” vinyl pressing of the 1981 smash hit "PAC-MAN Fever" by Buckner & Garcia!
    • Limited to 2,000 copies.

Collector's Edition (signed)
    • Everything included in the Collector's Edition.
    • Personally signed by PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani.
    • Limited to sixty (60) copies.

PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon is officially licensed by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.


Loaded with nostalgic greatness

"I bought this for my son and I had to laugh because its so heavy you could knock out an intruder with it, he could barely keep it held up to read in bed ????
Jokes aside, this is great. So much information and the pictures are fantastic. What a great way to share something from one generation to another, or take a solo trip back in time."

Amazon review, July 7 2022, Anonymous.

A treasure trove/history/museum of one of the most beloved video games of all time!

"As a child of the 80's this book is hitting all the right notes. If there was such a thing as a brick and mortar museum for all things Pac-Man this might be the equivalent. Hundreds of rare photos from concept art, code, character design, names, advertising, cabinets, art, merchandise and so much more. And that is just the photos! This book is chock full of the history of "Puck-Man" later named "Pac-Man." I recognize some of the items in the photos as I either had it or someone else I knew did. The story behind Pac-Man is equally as spell-binding as the photos and layout is. It also serves in a sense as a history of arcade games themselves as Pac-Man was the predecessor to some of the earliest arcade games. I barely scratched the surface of the book and it is by far worth every penny so far, and I've only had it a few days! If you are a child of the 80's, an avid gamer who grew up in the early days of gaming (Atari, Pong, Commodore, etc) you will enjoy this book immensely!

The book is fairly large in size (but not over lengthy). It can be a little cumbersome to read. The pages are thick and quality glossy paper. Images are bright, colorful, and oh, so nostalgic. The layout and page design is gorgeous (I am a graphic designer). Now I need to get the Art of Sonic!"

Amazon review, D. Jones, June 3, 2022

Stellar Arcade Book of the Ages!

"I just finished another stellar book by Tim Lapetino and Arjan Terpstra. This one covers an in-depth look into the origin story of Pac-Man and the creators behind the development of the game throughout the 80s. It gives us an insightful perspective of early arcade culture and evolution of the game itself. Plus a complete nostalgic overview of all things Pac-man related and every single spin-off game that came after it. Much like The Art of Atari, this book contains a vast collection of both historic and archival photographs of the development of the game and 80s arcade culture. Highest recommendations for all!"

Amazon review, March 9, 2022, Alan McClelland


BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. is a Japanese video game production and publishing company.

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