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Imagine going to an arcade and putting a quarter in the Pac-Man machine and then playing through 17,000 mazes. That’s what you can do with Genvid Technologies’ Pac-Man Community game on Facebook, where users have created 17,000 of their own mazes in four months.
The game from Genvid and Bandai Namco is officially exiting beta today and it has surpassed six million players during the beta period. It is a social adaptation of the arcade classic game that takes advantage of user-generated content in the form of player-created mazes.
And Genvid also announced today the addition of new features including community achievements, a Clock Mode and AI companions. Some of the player mazes are getting tens of thousands of plays.
“The community continues to build crazily and beyond our expectations,” said Jacob Navok, CEO of Genvid, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s been in beta for most of the last few months. We’re exiting beta as we’re confirming that everything is working. We built the features that we said that we were going to build like community achievements.”
The company announced Pac-Man Community Cares, a charitable initiative focused on giving back to gaming-related nonprofit organizations. The first PMC Cares project involved providing direct game development experience to a group of underserved youths from the New York Video Game Critics Circle making custom mazes.
“Pac-Man Community is unique among the many iterations and adaptations of our flagship game, as it offers so many ways to share and connect with Pac-Man,” said Mio Kaneko, manager of Pac-Man business and global team at Bandai Namco Entertainment, in a statement. “From the fun and excitement of playing with friends to the sharing of mazes you build yourself – even the ability to work together to help or hinder Pac-Man in Watch Mode, it’s a truly collaborative and communal interpretation of the original solo experience that so many generations have enjoyed
for more than forty years.”
The community game features a fast-paced 2-4 player co-op mode, easy-to-use maze creator, the ability for fans to jump directly into their favorite Facebook Gaming creator’s matches and more. And now Pac-Man Community is adding several new features including Communal Achievements, a new collective achievements system tracks progress in the Watch Mode and unlocks new features in the maze creator when key milestones are reached, giving the entire community more and different ways to build and embellish user-created mazes.
Achievement categories include power pellets, ghosts, and fruits eaten, warp tunnels used, and mazes completed. And with AI companions, co-op mode players now have the option to start games instantly with AI-driven Pac-Man characters replacing one or more human teammates.
And the new clock feature offers a timely way to follow the AI action in the unique, audience-influenced Watch Mode, where the entire community can help or hinder Pac-Man or his ghostly enemies in real-time.
Navok said the game has gotten a lot of users because it’s so easy to play. You can instantly join it, playing by yourself, with bots, or with friends. There is no download or installation. It uses Genvid’s streaming tech for instant play and so it works on a wide variety of devices.
“One group of users hit nearly nearly a quarter million points, which they must have passed close to 55 mazes in endless mode,” Navok said. “They were probably playing that for several hours. I think they’re trying for a million right now. We’ll see if they manage to get there. That’s beyond expectations.”
Navok said that tournaments will be coming soon, where players will be able to generate their own tournaments with friends.
Navok said there is a large player base in India, which is new and unexpected. There are a lot of players in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Mexico, and the United States. Genvid’s other game on Facebook, Rival Peak, has hit more than 10 million players. And a new The Walking Dead game is launching this summer.
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