Because Pac-Man and Basketball Always Go Hand-In-Hand
The 40th anniversary of Pac-Man is an incredible milestone and everyone is celebrating it in different ways. Pac-Man has showed in up in Minecraft and joined the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame. Pro players are celebrating by live streaming perfect playthroughs of the original game. And now, Bandai Namco has announced an unexpected crossover between their classic video game and the very real sport of basketball. That’s right, they’re going to collaborate with the National Basketball Association (NBA) on a myriad of NBA-themed video game integrations and various co-branded PAC-MAN and NBA licensed products. Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy? It sure doesn’t feel real. Someone pinch us.
Yutaka Fuse, Head of Licensing and Branding at Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc, described the partnership like this: “The combined star-power of the NBA and PAC-MAN enables us to deliver creative experiences and special products that are sure to delight fans of both brands. As we move into 2021, we will launch a new PAC-MAN initiative with the aim of inspiring our fans to be engaged and stay PAC-TIVE with a variety of safe in-home PAC-TIVITIES.”
Puns aside, at least they’re taking pandemic self-isolation concerns into account. Matt Holt, NBA Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, was also full of praise for the Pac-Man team. “We are thrilled to partner with such an iconic and timeless brand in PAC-MAN as the NBA family celebrates its impressive milestone.”
That’s all well and good, but what can we actually expect to see from this unlikely team-up? Well, for starters, the collab will be active throughout the upcoming 2020-21 NBA season. Starting December 22nd, the Pac-Man mobile game will feature NBA inspired content, including fun power-ups and special mazes. That’s stage one, presumably of many, but we aren’t sure what else these guys have in mind. A full NBA/Pac-Man crossover video game? It’s possible.