Pac-Man will be turning 30 in 2010, and Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Hirokazu Yasuhara will be working on a brand new Pac-Man game to wish him a happy birthday.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Namco Bandai Games America boss Makoto Iwai said that the company was looking to do something for the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man in order to show the ravenous yellow spheroid some gratitude. “As a group, we feel like we should do something to make him come back. So, there’s one project that we started working on, and [Yasuhara is] part of it,” said Iwai.
Yasuhara, NBGA’s senior design director, has a fairly extensive resume – after being one of the co-creators and level designers for the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Yasuhara eventually made his way to Naughty Dog, where he worked on the Jak and Uncharted games.
Yasuhara mentioned Pac-Man in a 2008 interview also with Gamasutra, where he said that he had a strong desire to do a “character game” like Jak & Daxter, feeling that the market was saturated with first-person titles. Interestingly enough, Iwai told Gamasutra that the new Pac-Man project was “[S]ort of meeting his wish 100 percent, in a sense.”
A character action game, starring Pac-Man? Does … controlling him around a maze eating dots count as character action? Or will it be something completely different from Yasuhara, perhaps something along the lines of an action platformer?
Pac-Man is reportedly going to be spending his 30th birthday at home with his wife and children. Whether or not the ghosts are invited is anyone’s guess.