How many other video game characters can make the boast of being a billionaire? That's right, none of them. The original Pac-Man arcade game, in just 10 years after its release, had generated a staggering $2.5 billion purely from quarters. That's 11,000 (give or take) metric tons of metal to have passed through coin slots and Namco's hands all thanks to a yellow sphere that likes to eat dots and weirdly-named ghosts. God knows how much dough Pac-Man's made his owners since then. Before names like Mario, Donkey Kong and Sonic The Hedgehog became household names, Pac-Man had already established himself as what many see as the very first video game mascot. Sure, Space Invaders, Pong and Asteroids all preceded our beloved Yellow Ball, but Pac-Man's introduction marked the first instance of an emerging trend; the beginnings of a brand and an image for a previously faceless and infant industry. Nintendo's Mario may be winning the popularity contest in 2015, but it's thanks to this guy that video games left the realms of an alternative - sometimes derided - hobby into a mainstream industry that's since become one of the world's most lucrative. Thank you Pac-Man, we owe you a lot. Who do you think is the most iconic video game character of all time? Let us know in the comments!
Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.