Namco plans to release a new Pac-Man game next year to mark the series' 30th anniversary, with former Sonic Team and Naughty Dog designer Hirokazu Yasuhara at the helm.
"As a group, we feel like we should do something to make him come back," Namco Bandai's US COO Makoto Iwai told Gamasutra (thanks Kotaku). "So, there's one project that we started working on, and [Yasuhara is] part of it."
Iwai added that a new Pac-Man is basically a dream project for Yasuhara, who previously worked with Yuji Naka on the original Sonic the Hedgehog games and was a designer on some of the Jak titles and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.
According to Iwai, the game is being developed at the publisher's North American development studio, which has split into several teams following the launch of Afro Samurai (out here later this month). One of these is now working with Yasuhara.
Although once upon a time the prospect of a new Pac-Man game felt like more of a threat than a promise, series creator Toru Iwatani's Pac-Man Championship Edition in 2007 improved the average somewhat, delivering addictive, fast-paced variations on the original maze-based collect-'em-up.
There's no word yet on where Yasuhara will decide to take Pac-Man for his 30th. Namco Bandai had not returned our request for comment on the project at the time of publication.