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Topic: Rest In Peace Ms Pacman

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SepticLemon

If you guys know, PacLand was released today on the Arcade archives for the Switch and PS4/5. However, keen eyes out there might notice something...

The original arcade game (Japanese ROM)
https://imgur.com/HNYdiib
Untitled

Today's Arcade Archive version.
https://imgur.com/Qs6Ng06
Untitled

Ms Pacman has been changed, and that's because she's not Ms PacMan anymore, but now a new PacMan character called PacMom.

To put this into perspective, Ms Pacman has always been a complicated mess when it comes to intellectual property. Ms Pacman wasn't developed by Namco, but by a different company called General Computer Corporation who were working on a PacMan clone called Crazy Otto, and Midway at the time, who owned the rights to manufacture and publish PacMan in the West, saw this game and wanted to get the developers to work on a new game that would become Ms Pacman. Technically, this wouldn't have been good to Namco as their IP was being used outside of them, but Midway would respect the deal made between them and Namco, and Namco would receive royalties to a game that they didn't put time in. Basically free money. A contract was made between GCC, Midway and Namco that made it that non-Midway versions of Ms Pacman, essentially the Japanese version of MsPacman, Namco would give a small royalty to GCC to use and distribute the ROM on arcade machines; after all, the game was very popular. Issues would happen in 2002 when Midway noticed that there was a new 20th-anniversary edition MsPacman machines popping about, mainly because GCC was not receiving the royalties that were in the contract. So Namco hastily changed the MsPacman ROMs into just PacMan ROMs, to then release a home edition of the arcade cabinet that has MsPacMan on it, making the claim that the contract was only for machines that appeared in arcades and not at homes. Then in 2009, Midway would file for bankruptcy to then a year later get liquidated where their assets were sold mostly to Warner Bros, with Studio NetherRealm saving themselves and becoming their own publisher. In 2019, AtGames would buy the MsPacman contract from GCC in a bid to possess rights to the MsPacman IP and release a Plug&Play machine with MsPacman on it. However, Namco filed a lawsuit against AtGames claiming that the contract was only ever for publicly positioned profit-making arcade machines and not for home use hardware, preventing AtGames from releasing a version of the PacMan Blast Controller containing the MsPacMan ROM.

From the sounds of things, it appears that Namco is trying to avoid using MsPacman, along with other companies from using MsPacman as it's an intellectual property and copyright nightmare. So rather than releasing a version of PacLand with MsPacman in it, they just got Hamster to change the sprite, changing the red bow into a pale pink hat. Plus the PacMom name has been discovered in a data mine on the PacMan Museum Plus game that's coming out soon and seeing that the 3D model that they found dons a pink hat, it's safe to say that MsPacMan has been replaced by PacMom.

It's a shame that such an icon in arcade history is just going to disappear on us like that, the world's first gaming heroine. MsPacman will always be remembered, it's a good thing that MAME and old arcade hardware exists to to MsPacman, not to mention the awesome Turbo mod edition of the game that I got to play the first time a few years ago that made me realise why MsPacman was a better game than the OG Pacman game.

Edited on by SepticLemon

SepticLemon

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SepticLemon

Eel wrote:

The images don’t show up. I’d love to see the new design.

I did have issues trying to make it work at first, at least it's working for me right now. But PacMom is just Ms PacMan but replaces the bow with a pink hat. In PacMan Museum Plus, her statue is shown with her holding a pink umbrella.

SepticLemon

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Eel

They show up as untitled for me. Thanks for the description.

Anyhow I’m sure this new character will be mostly used in ms. Pac-Man-adjacent games so Namco can rerelease them without issues.

Her arcade game and rereleases are likely gonna stay as they have always been.

Edited on by Eel

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SepticLemon

Eel wrote:

They show up as untitled for me. Thanks for the description.

Anyhow I’m sure this new character will be mostly used in ms. Pac-Man-adjacent games so Namco can rerelease them without issues.

Her arcade game and rereleases are likely gonna stay as they have always been.

Thing is, I highly doubt we'll be seeing a new MsPacman or even a replacement PacMom game. This is Namco's way of saying that they're done with this legal nightmare.

SepticLemon

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Eel

For better or worse, the main Ms. Pac-Man game has always been a second thought, always a separate download, a special DLC, or its own novelty toy.

And I don't think that will be changing much, AtGames will likely seek to continue using her as normal. But I guess we'll see.

With Pac-Mom I suppose they can take any game that would otherwise require them to ask for permission and pay a random company money just because it features Ms. Pac-Man, and just replace the character.

Edited on by Eel

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SepticLemon

@Eel Thing is though, I've learnt that MsPacman is a better game than the original PacMan. AtGames has that contract, but the most they can do with it is possibly manufacture full-blown arcade machines to go into arcades and restaurants. They can't do any plug and plays or home arcades with it. This is why I honestly think this is MsPacman's end.

Plus, I just left links to the images rather than using the IMG tag, at least the links work.

SepticLemon

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Eel

The links lead to an "access denied" page.

Well, Ms Pac-Man is still featured in several handhelds and mini arcade machines, they could be old stock but I think the only ones that have given up on using the character and selling the game are Bandai Namco themselves.

Edited on by Eel

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SepticLemon

@Eel I believe that the MsPacman games they used before are based on the Famicom/NES ROM rather than the arcade ROM. The idea with the Blast Plug and Play was that they used arcade ROMs rather than Famicom/NES ROMs. When they used the Famicom ROM, they had to get permission and pay royalties to Namco to use it, but the arcade version is more complicated due to that contract with GCC.

BTW, try the links now, I found out that I had them set as hidden rather than public.

Edited on by SepticLemon

SepticLemon

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SepticLemon

@Eel That might have been done to save on memory, at least from the arcade's system architecture. But from the video I've seen of Museum+, the PacBaby statue has a pink flower too.

SepticLemon

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SepticLemon

Oh, something to point out, there's a great video about MsPacman disappearing here,

So yeah, PacGirl, PacmanLady, Cylindria, and PacMarie.

Namco REALLY doesn't want anything to do with MsPacman!

Edited on by SepticLemon

SepticLemon

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KingMike

@SepticLemon I think the game itself is still copyright to Namco, so AtGames would still have to pay to use it.
Kind of like how Nintendo would be forced to pay someone else to release arcade Donkey Kong (and maybe arcade DKJr.) which is probably why they never re-released them until Hamster came and was willing to pay off the third party.

Not sure if Ms. Pac-Man been separated has been a license stipulation, sort of how I heard Midway was told that when they licensed "Atari Corporation" games (pre-split, like Tempest and Centipede) they could not be mixed together in compilations with the "Atari Games" games which Midway owned the rights to (pretty much all the arcade games 1984 and later).

KingMike

Burning_Spear

What a farce. Ms. Pac-Man is a timeless classic that should be downloadable on every platform. Talk about video game preservation ... she is the poster child for it. Sad.

I have a bunch of versions of the game and can easily hop into a game in three minutes on my GBA, Wii or PS4, but I would download it to any console that made it available.

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Ryu_Niiyama

Honestly I was more interested in seeing those women making the arcade machines. I don’t really feel bad for GCC/atgames but it sucks for gamers that want to legally play the game.

Edited on by Ryu_Niiyama

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Snatcher

Wow, that really sucks, RIP, ms. pacman

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Kermit1

Goodbye for now Ms. Pac-man
Untitled

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