This is a very long read and I do apologize, But it’s been a very hot subject this past week.
Hey, guys... It’s been a while. Truth be told: I avoided coming here again out of fear of this fandom/community in general due to drama and me annoying people unintentionally. But that’s besides the point. I wanted to say I’m glad you guys are finally getting a new game like you deserve. That is the reason I kept pushing for you guys to fight and come together in the first place. I don’t blame anybody for being irritated with me, But you are the people I honestly have to thank for why I am so critical minded these days.
Unfortunately, I can’t say much good news has come for my part: You all know how much I loved Pac-Man, Particularly the World trilogy and Adventure games. Well recently there’s been an ongoing lawsuit between Bandai Namco and ATGames (Yes, THAT ATGames.) over the royalty rights for Ms. Pac-Man.
Basically, If you are a fan of the series like me; you would have noticed how Missy as a character had barely any reappearances throughout the 2010’s and was basically retconned out of existence following Ghostly Adventures, Something that fans and non-fans alike absolutely loathed. But there is a reason for this: The original Ms. Pac-Man Arcade game was originally a ROM hack made by a group of college students called General Computer Corporation. (GCC for short) Whom Midway hired back in the 80’s, and once Namco found out about the project they turned the unofficial sequel into an official one. They would continue to use the Ms. Pac-Man Character for years up until 2006 when GCC filed a lawsuit for them not paying royalties. So what happened as of now is Namco was in the midst of finally settling their long bitter relationship with GCC when ATGames (whom they let make a BLAST plug & play of their IPs last year) snuck behind their backs and outright purchased them while they were still discussing things. Considering the lawsuit seems to be why Missy was retconned from the series to begin with, I fear we are going to be stuck at square one for a long time again.
You can find a hundred page complaint Namco filed online in a few places but the reason I especially worry about this is because of how much I’ve wanted to come back to this franchise but just can’t because it’s stuck with insignificant mobile-tier games and nostalgia pandering rehashes. The issue also doesn’t just extend to the game but the mere character of Ms. Pac-Man as well whom was very prominent in the old World-era lore and prior. And unless Namco can get the rights for her back, Pac isn’t gonna be revived anytime soon. If they lose? There goes the chance of World trilogy remakes, any possible comeback sequels or any chance of Missy ever appearing again. I could care less about her arcade game being re-released ever again, I just want Pac-Man to actually be GOOD again because it’s been in an utter dark age since the early 2010’s. I’m devastated and honestly very anxious. I don’t know much about legal stuff but I know court cases take a long time to finally get to... I just doubt this series is ever gonna recover unless they can get back the rights for her and restore the old lore/continuity. It seems like they’ve avoided making Adventure games aside from that failed reboot BECAUSE of the legal spaghetti regarding GCC.
I apologize if this sounds overdramatic but, I just always wanted to educate you guys that: I swear this series used to be good past the early 1980’s. If the worst outcome does happen, that’s it. Pac-Man ain’t evolving... and honestly: if that’s the case? The series should just be given a proper burial. I’m rooting for Namco to win here... Especially after the realization all this stuff over the past couple of years mistreating this franchise may not have been their fault after all. This might possibly be Pac’s only chance at making a comeback, and it will all be for nothing if ATGames gets away somehow. Anything could happen at this point.