Pac-Man is leveling up to become the newest inductee into the Comic-Con Museum's Character Hall of Fame, the San Diego-based museum announced Thursday.
The honor makes the beloved, yellow pop-culture icon, who has spent his 40-year life chomping through a sea of dots, only the second to be inducted into the hall of fame.
The museum said Pac-Man was selected "for his enduring impact he has had on the video game industry and the role of storytelling in games."
Pac-Man is the highest-grossing video game ever made, according to the museum. As of 2016, the game had generated more than $14 billion in revenue.
"We thought Pac-Man would be the perfect addition to the Museum Character Hall of Fame because he inspires a sense of nostalgia in many of us and even though he is turning 40, he is still highly relevant in pop culture today," said Eddie Ibrahim, senior director of programming for the Comic-Con Museum.
Batman was the museum's first inductee in 2019 and his inauguration offered a glimpse into what the Comic-Con Museum, situated in Balboa Park's former Hall of Champions, could be for generations of pop-culture fans once it officially opens in 2021.
A live virtual induction ceremony will be held on Dec. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. The ceremony will consist of a combination of interactive live stream elements and pre-recorded content and videos. For more information or to register to attend the induction, guests can visit here.
Though the Comic-Con Museum is on track to open its doors at the 68,000-square foot Federal Building in the park's Palisades section in mid-2021, the museum will not be completed until 2024, with portions of it opening in phases until then.
The museum will have 25,000 square feet dedicated to rotating exhibits; a 6,000-square-foot education center; a 4K video theater and presentation space; a gift shop packed with comics, graphic novels, branded souvenirs and more; learning-focused labs; and classes and seminars.
The Comic-Con Museum sits at 2131 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park, about a mile-and-a-half from the San Diego Convention Center, where the annual pop-culture convention is held.
"This is the first new museum in Balboa Park in a generation and I think people understand that will bring new audiences, it will bring some excitement and attention to Balboa Park," Museum Director Adam Smith said in 2019. "For such a big city, there’s almost a small community feel about it and I really appreciate that."
Pac-Man was created by Toru Iwatani and first released in Tokyo in May 1980. The game made its debut in the United States in October 1980.
It took nearly 20 years for anyone to complete a perfect game -- finishing with no lives lost and the maximum number of points from each level, according to the museum.
"Pac-Man's enduring popularity and relevance speak volumes to his position as an icon in the video game and pop culture worlds," said Dennis Lee, director of brand marketing at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.
"As Pac-Man enters his 40s, he's still entertaining millions of fans around the globe with new video games and products featuring his likeness. We look forward to Pac-Man delivering more fun for everyone for years to come."
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