The first few levels he could 'play blind', he claimed. In 18 months it raked in $1bn through quarters, with 30 million players. It introduced so many 'firsts' to video gaming.
Pioneered designs from Pac-Man include, by Romero's counting: the first mascot, maze chase, characters, females, powerups, cut scenes and the all important licensing.
Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were in fact directly influenced by Pac-Man, said John Romero. Other notable industry veterans like Sid Meier counted Seven Cities of Gold and before that Floyd of the Jungle, as the biggest influences. Will Wright gave props to Flight Simulator, Choplifter, and Sundog but Apple II title Pinball Construction Set clinched it.
Epic's Cliff Bleszinski meanwhile points to The Legend of Zelda as his greatest design influence.