NEW YORK — April 18, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. and NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. today made video game history by announcing the first-ever Xbox 360™ “Pac-Man” World Championship, presented by Quiznos. From April 25 to May 9, fans of one of the world’s most beloved video games of all time will compete on the classic arcade game via Xbox LIVE® Arcade on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system, evolving “Pac-Man” gameplay from the local pizza parlors and arcades of the ’80s to the Xbox 360 and its online gaming community with more than 6 million members. The top finalists from participating countries around the world will be flown to New York City for the finals on June 5, with the winner being crowned the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Champion by Toru Iwatani, the creator of “Pac-Man.”
Since launching in 1980 in Japan and in 1981 around the world, “Pac-Man,” its host of ghosts and the famous “wakka wakka wakka” sound have become global pop culture icons. This arcade game played an instrumental role in establishing the video game industry in the ’80s, while the launch of Xbox LIVE in 2002 was a key factor behind the rapid growth in popularity of online gaming. Today, Xbox LIVE Arcade is the premier online destination for digitally distributed, high-definition games — with more than 25 million downloads — offering fans of “Pac-Man” across the globe a great opportunity to connect, compete and enjoy the fun through the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship.
“NAMCO BANDAI Games and I are proud to partner with Microsoft on the Xbox 360 ‘Pac-Man’ World Championship, which celebrates how popular ‘Pac-Man’ remains to this day,” said Toru Iwatani, creator of “Pac-Man” and currently a professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University. “The success of “Pac-Man” stems from its fun gameplay and host of characters that have been enjoyed by families for generations. It will be exciting to see ‘Pac-Man’ fans from around the world compete on Xbox LIVE Arcade to become the first-ever ‘Pac-Man’ World Champion.”
“‘Pac-Man’ reached an iconic status in the ’80s across multiple generations and cultures, so the Xbox 360 ‘Pac-Man’ World Championship provides a great incentive for fans old and new to fall in love with the game all over again,” added Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Global Marketing for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. “We are thrilled to be partnering with NAMCO BANDAI Games and our sponsor, Quiznos, to invite ‘Pac-Man’ players from around the globe to join in the fun.”
A total of nine finalists in the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship will advance to the finals based upon the highest Xbox LIVE Arcade leaderboard scores. There will be one finalist from each of the following countries and geographic areas: Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Mexico; and two finalists from Europe and the United States. This group will also be joined by the winner of the “Pac-Man” FANatic contest, a competition that will encourage “Pac-Man” fans from the United States and Canada to submit a video that demonstrates why they are the ultimate “Pac-Man” fan. The winning entry will be flown to New York as a wildcard entrant in the final round of the tournament. Details are available online at http://www.xboxlivetournament.com starting April 25, 2007.
The Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Champion will receive worldwide acclaim from being the first-ever Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Champion and gain a place in gaming history. The winner of the finals will also receive other great prizes, including 26 years of free Quiznos toasted subs (one sandwich a week for 26 years, a $13,520 (U.S.) value), 100,000 Microsoft Points for games, movies and other fun content available on Xbox LIVE, and a one-of-a-kind Xbox 360 featuring a special design inspired by “Pac-Man.”
“Great food and entertainment go hand in hand, and we expect international gamers to connect with Quiznos food with the same passion that they bring to their gaming,” said Steve Provost, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Quiznos. “The Xbox 360 ‘Pac-Man’ World Championship promises to be a milestone moment in video game history, and we’re thrilled that we can help make it into a reality.”
Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship, Presented by Quiznos
Participation Information and Timeline:
Gamers who want to start practicing can download “Pac-Man” (400 Microsoft Points) now from Xbox LIVE Arcade on the Xbox 360.
Starting April 25, 2007, at 12:01 a.m. GMT (April 24, 2007, at 5:01 p.m. PDT), gamers can visit http://www.xboxlivetournament.com to register and review full eligibility criteria, regulations and rules.
Also on April 25, 2007, at 12:01 a.m. GMT (April 24, 2007, at 5:01 p.m. PDT), the worldwide competition will officially kick off on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
Previous leaderboard scores for “Pac-Man” will be deleted to provide a clean and fair slate for all gamers participating in the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship.
Concurrently, “Pac-Man” fans in the United States and Canada can also enter the “Pac-Man” FANatic contest and receive an invitation to compete in the finals in New York City. Starting April 25, 2007, they can visit http://www.xboxlivetournament.com for more information on how to submit a creative video that best illustrates their love for “Pac-Man.”
On May 9, 2007, at 11:59 p.m. GMT (4:59 p.m. PDT), the competition will officially cease and nine finalists from the identified regions, based on the top leaderboard scores,* will advance to the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship.
Before June 1, 2007, the top nine finalists will be announced.
The nine finalists will also be joined in New York City by the winner of the “Pac-Man” FANatic contest, and compete for the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship title on June 5, 2007, in New York City.
For a complete list of participating countries and country-specific eligibility criteria, rules and regulations and to sign up for the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship, gamers can visit http://www.xboxlivetournament.com starting April 25, 2007.
To help Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship participants get even more into the “Pac-Man” spirit, Xbox LIVE is also launching the animated series “Pac-Man” on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Xbox LIVE is the only place in the world where people can watch this popular cartoon and Warner Bros.-owned series that ran in the United States from 1982 to 1984. The series has been pulled out of the archives in honor of the Xbox 360 “Pac-Man” World Championship and will be available in the U.S. for 160 Microsoft Points per episode starting April 25 at 12:01 a.m. GMT (April 24 at 5:01 p.m. PDT) on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
As the story goes, one day in 1979, Namco developer Toru Iwatani removed a single slice of pizza and, after looking down upon the rest of the pie, saw what was to become one of the most popular characters in gaming history. The release of Pac-Man to arcades a year later (1980) lead to the beginning of “Pac-Mania,” in which over the next few years would yield everything from character-based board games and breakfast cereal to a top 40 song and popular Saturday-morning cartoon. Namco Bandai Games estimates that the original Pac-Man arcade title has been played more than ten billion times in its 27-year history.
PAC-MAN® & © 1980 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
About Toru Iwatani
Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1955, Toru Iwatani joined Namco in 1977. As a game designer, he created Pac-Man in 1980. Among its many achievements, Pac-Man was recognized in the Guinness Books of Records in 2005. As of April 2007, Iwatani serves as a professor of a game course in the Faculty of Arts at the Tokyo Polytechnic University. Iwatani also acts as a fellow (special advisor) for NAMCO BANDAI Games, Inc.
Celebrating its 26th anniversary in 2007, Denver-based Quiznos is a national chain designed for today’s busy consumers who are looking for a tasty, fresher alternative to traditional fast food restaurants. Using only premium quality, real ingredients, Quiznos restaurants offer creative, chef-inspired recipes for sandwiches, soups and salads. With more than 5,000 franchise restaurants, Quiznos is one of the fastest-growing quick service restaurant chains.
In June 2006, Nation’s Restaurant News ranked Quiznos in its Top 100 Restaurant Chains as the #1 restaurant chain in growth in number of units – five years in a row. Entrepreneur magazine in January 2006 ranked Quiznos in its annual Top Franchise 500 as the #2 Best Overall Franchise and QSR magazine ranked the chain in its Top 50 Chains in August 2005 as #3 by change in system wide sales. For more information, visit http://www.quiznos.com.
About Xbox LIVE Arcade
Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360 is the premier destination for digitally distributed high-definition games. Xbox LIVE Arcade is a fast-growing phenomenon with more than 25 million game downloads and a diverse library of original development and classic titles from the world’s best independent and established developers and publishers. With a dynamically updated library and free** trials for every title, Xbox LIVE Arcade makes it easy for every type of gamer — from casual to hard-core — to get instantly immersed in the fun. Xbox LIVE Arcade also lets friends connect and play these incredible games either from the same room or from around the world via the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/games/livearcade.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox LIVE online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a catalog of more than 160 high-definition games and is available in 37 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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