"When I made Pac-Man, I strongly believed that the time had come for video games to become more than they were, and I wanted to express that in my new game. But the newer your ideas, the more work it takes to make others see your vision, and that really took up a lot of my time and energy."
- Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani
In a newly translated 1985 interview, Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatai reflects on his struggles to get the game, released in 1980, made at all -- something that seems almost funny, in retrospect, given its massive success. But his words will feel familiar to anyone who's pushed to do something new in the game industry.
"When you’re trying to bring a new idea to life, you often encounter the following problem: even though you may convince your bosses of the basic idea quickly enough, it can take a long time to convince them of the parts they’ve deemed 'extraneous.' You have to persuade them that those ideas are only unnecessary when viewed in isolation: once it’s part of a game that’s out there in the world, then those players who love that game will in no way see it as 'extraneous,'" Iwatani says.
These quotes come from a newly translated anthology interview series from classic arcade developers, posted on Shmuplations, and covering the years 1985 - 1987.
It includes the thoughts of not just Iwatani, but also developers of classic arcade hits like Pole Position, Space Invaders, and Galaxian. It's worth a look if you want to understand the challenges developers faced 30 or more years ago, and how they compare to today.