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The next OnePlus gaming-themed phone might be a blast from the past

OnePlus really likes releasing special edition smartphones. Just last year, it launched a special edition Cyberpunk 2077 OnePlus 8T, followed a few months back by a matching OnePlus Watch. Although it hasn’t necessarily always been gaming-related things, we’ve seen OnePlus launch devices themed after everything from Star Wars (with the OnePlus 5T) to The Avengers (with the OnePlus 6). OnePlus might now be doing yet another special edition smartphone, but this time it looks to feature a blast from our gaming past.

We’re talking, of course, about Pac-Man. The maze action game was first released in arcades in 1980 and has since become an icon of video game culture as well as a massively successful franchise with releases on modern consoles, film, television, and more. There doesn’t seem to be any particular Pac-Man-related anniversary coming up this year, though, as the 40th birthday of the franchise was last year. Nonetheless, OnePlus might be partnering with Bandai Namco to release a special edition smartphone.

Evidence was first spotted by Oxygen Updater (via XDA) that OnePlus was adding certain Pac-Man UI elements to some of its apps, including a new fingerprint scanning animation and a handful of strings seemingly suggesting a special Pac-Man always-on display clock. Leaker Max Jambor later shared an image of Pac-Man with “Nord 2” lettering, hinting that this special edition device will be a OnePlus Nord 2.

That could potentially be bad news for US folks looking to get a Pac-Man-themed smartphone. The OnePlus Nord 2, the company’s latest mid-ranger running a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 CPU, is not sold in the United States, and there are no publicly known plans for a US launch, either. But that’s not necessarily the beginning and end of this; OnePlus did hold a US launch for the McLaren Edition of the OnePlus 7T Pro, a phone that otherwise was only sold in Europe and Asia. Unless OnePlus says otherwise, though, you shouldn’t expect to see this phone in the States.