Ms. Pac-Man has been transformed into Pac-Mom in Bandai Namco’s Arcade Archives: Pac-Land game, likely due to an ongoing dispute over rights.
Ms. Pac-Man is known for her red bow and boots, but in this new game Pac-Mom has taken over - sporting pink stilettos, hat and gloves. Huh?!
Twitter user Nick C spotted the change and shared it online. Looks like Baby Pac has also been changed.
So why the change? As Polygon reports, it's likely due to a 2019 lawsuit between Bandai Namco and AtGames, which produces retro mini-consoles and arcade cabinets.
Bandai Namco has alleged AtGames interfered with its negotiations with Ms. Pac-Man’s original creators to buy out the royalty rights. Those creators were seven MIT classmates known as General Computer Corporation.
AtGames created a Ms. Pac-Man mini arcade cabinet, though Bandai Namco never gave permission.
However, confusingly, AtGames made a deal with GCC to acquire the royalty interest rights instead. That meant if Bandai Namco released anything with Ms. Pac-Man in it, it would owe AtGames - the company it was trying to sue.
Its way around this is to let Pac-Mom step up to the arcade cabinet.
But who is Pac-Mom? Is this Pac-Man's mother? His step-mother? Did he divorce Ms. Pac-Man and re-marry? It's not the older female representation in gaming we were expecting.
Arcade Archives: Pac-Land has just released on PlayStation 4 and Switch.