Namco's Iwai: Sonic Co-Creator Working On Pac-Man Comeback Game

Gamasutra has learned that Naughty Dog alumnus and Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator Hirokazu Yasuhara is working on a new Pac-Man title for the game's 30th anniversary in 2010.
Gamasutra has learned that Naughty Dog alumnus and original Sonic the Hedgehog co-creator/level designer Hirokazu Yasuhara is working on a new Pac-Man title at the company's U.S. studio for the game's 30th anniversary in 2010. During a recent interview with Gamasutra, to be published in full in the near future, Namco Bandai Games America EVP and COO Makoto Iwai shed some light on the current doings of Yasuhara, who recently joined NBGA after a long stint at Naughty Dog. "We are in the midst of making Pac-Man come back because his 30th anniversary is in 2010 actually," said Iwai. "As a group, we feel like we should do something to make him come back. So, there's one project that we started working on, and [Yasuhara is] part of it." Though the whole of NBGA's internal staff was previously working on Afro Samurai to help to complete it, the group has since split into several teams, with one of these working with Yasuhara on the new Pac-Man title. During a GDC 2008 interview with Yasuhara (in which he casually references Pac-Man), he told Gamasutra that he had a strong desire to create a new character action game. At the time, Yasuhara said he feels that the genre has great potential for a comeback, given the dearth of such titles in the current market, and it appears that he now has his chance. On Yasuhara's new Pac-Man project, Iwai said during his interview with Gamasutra: "Yes, it's sort of meeting his wish 100 percent, in a sense." A full interview with Makoto Iwai regarding the state and future of Namco Bandai's North American offices will be published on Gamasutra in the near future.

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