Category Archives: SNK Games General

What Is The Neo-Geo World Tour? Los Angeles Event Recap By Reiki-Kito

You sit down at an arcade cabinet, settle in, and get ready to play some “King of Fighters 98: The Slugfest”. The tournament is about to start and you’re getting that much needed practice in before you go on stage. In the station adjacent, a little boy is mashing away at a HRAP fight stick with an adorable obliviousness in the King of Fighters XIV. His mother is not too far away, but is keeping her distance to let him play on his own. He fumbles with the controls and enters into options. The little boy seems confused as he accidently hits the Playstation home button to take him out of the game. Breaking away from practice, you get up and adjust the controller for him and set him into training mode with your favorite character. You see the little boy’s eyes light up after you explain the controls the best you can and let him try out something new. The boy comes up to you 10 minutes later to ask how to play a different character or play the computer. You smile and oblige him, getting him setup with story mode. That was one of many memorable experiences I had at Retro City Festival.

When & Where was it held?

On January 20th, the NeoGeo World Tour kicked off at Retro City Festival in Pomona, California. The event was exciting from start to finish while highlighting NeoGeo classics as main features.

People came with a passion and love for each game from Samurai Shodown II to King of Fighters 98. That passion was shared by prominent players like Laban9898 to the commentators like Phil Moore, host of the Nickelodeon game show “Nick Arcade”. The event was very enjoyable because of the experiences players received, the production and staff were amazing, and the tournaments made every game matter.

What is Retro City Festival?

Retro City Festival is a homage event to an era of arcade cabinets, SNES, and N64 games. Rows of Neo Geo and Taito machines were set to gameplay from Metal Slug to Galaga. The NeoGeo World Tour is managed by Retro.HK, an organization that facilitates the largest retro convention in Hong Kong called the Retro HK Gaming Expo.

What games can people play there?

Each tournament, except XIV, was run on arcade versions of the games. Samurai Shodown II, Fatal Fury Special, KOF 98, and KOF 2K2 were using Neo Geo MVS cartridges. Arcade Works Omega provided two of their company’s “NeoGeo Omega” systems. This hardware brought the arcade experience with a console size. All the retro games were played on CRTs as well. From 9AM to 8PM, people could walk right up and play whatever game was available. It was fun watching people who’d never played any of these games before pick them up and have a good time.

Luis Cha and TC Y05HI, world-class players in the Southern California area, came to compete and play as well. It was hilarious to watch Luis Cha attempt glitches in 2K2 or perform difficult combos with his favorite characters. The King of Fighters XIV setups were updated, but did not have all the DLC.

How was the event presentation?

Spectators were able to enjoy the tournament whether they were in the venue or away from it. NeoGeo World Tour presented all the games from their twitch account:

Sean Aldas and Phil Moore commentated from 10AM to 8PM. What made the two so much fun to watch was how much fun they had with participants and watching the game. Hiccups in production or scores were corrected quickly and tournaments concluded on time or ahead of schedule. The competitors came up on stage with two cameras trained on them. Whether you were in the rows of seats at Retro City Festival or at home watching from twitch, you could see participants (like me) get frustrated at loses or excited at winning.

Competitors, like Laban98, were exciting to watch as they displayed their skill and personality up on the big stage. The Neo Geo World Tour occupied the main stage of the venue for all of Saturday. Announcements about the Top 4 participants duking it out were made on the loud speaker to draw people in.

How was the tournament experience for players? What prizes were given out?

The tournament for participants was a great experience from start to finish. The games featured at the Retro City Festival stop on the World Tour were the following: Samurai Shodown II, Fatal Fury Special, King of Fighters 98: The Slugfest, King of Fighters 2002, and The King of Fighters XIV. All games played down to the top 4 in a single-elimination tournament with the top 4 playing on stage. The tournament ran smoothly. When top 4 was being run, a new qualifying round for a game was happening. Hand-drawn paper brackets and staff members cheering on players whether they won or loss was welcome and nostalgic.

Sign-ups were taken the day of the tournament. People from the surrounding areas came to participate and had been there since 9AM to play their game of choice. If you were at the festival, your entry was free. Luis Cha and YO5HI came during the 2002 tournament and showed off their world-class talent.

The prizes ranged from SNK E-sports items like postcards and folders to NeoGeo Omega consoles, MVS cartridges, and a PS4! The exhibition participants won hoodies and jackets with the NeoGeo World Tour logo as well. The tournament ran seamlessly except for a few hiccups in scores and hardware. At one point, a clean PS4 had been used for the first top 4 match of KOF XIV. Stream viewers caught it, the setup was switched out, and the match was replayed soon after.

There were some “Steve Harvey” moments that were both memorable and humorous. It was all in good fun. The finale was the first ever: “King of King of Fighters” exhibition where runner-ups and champions competed in a 3 on 3 team slugfest through 3 different titles. The challenge was fun because it took the skilled players out of their strategies and showed the audience something they may never have seen before.

Sum it all up, the experience I had during the event was positive, the production was sound, and the tournament was exciting to both watch and participate. I would be glad to see the King of King of Fighters Exhibition format be used more and refined. I would also love to see what the future holds. Retro HK would like to explore more of the Americas. I would be happy to see events in the East Coast like CEO in Florida become a stop. I would also be glad to see events in Mexico like ThunderStruck VI becoming a stop as well as more events in South America.

I had a great time at the Neo Geo World Tour at Retro City Festival. I hope that more SNK fans worldwide will get to experience the things I did as well!

James “Reiki Kito” Alderson

Photos by –James “Reiki Kito” Alderson, Laban, Neo Geo World Tour

SNK trademarks recently renewed

Recently the Twitter Trademark Bot account reported trademark renewals on a number of SNK titles:

Curiously, some of these titles match discoveries on SteamDB a few months ago, hinting at possible ports in the future:

SNK’s Chief of Gaming Division discusses company’s new focus on gaming in recent interview with Famitsu

Ever since the announcement of KOF XIV, SNK Playmore has been talking to the press a lot more than usual.  KOF XIV Producer Yasuyuki Oda has already given a couple interviews on different occasions.  Now SNK’s chief of gaming division, Yutaka Noguchi, has given an interview with Famitsu to discuss the company’s recent focus on gaming.

Professor from MM Cafe has translated the key points from the interview, where Noguchi discusses the details regarding SNK’s new found focus on gaming.  Below are the keypoints:

– New Pachislot regulations are one of the main reasons why SNKP decided to switch back to gaming. New releases of Pachislot machines were going to need huge changes, and when they laid down their business plans they decided it may be better to focus their resources back to gaming
– Noguchi: “Even as of now, we’re better known as a game company than a pachislot company. People still talk about us (as a game company) when we say our name.”
– When SNKP took their IPs into consideration, they decided that going back into the gaming business and taking advantage of their IP would probably be better. Also, their smartphone and Steam stuff were doing well and it helped push things in that decision
– Noguchi’s heard from many people that they’re happy SNKP is back in gaming. He says it’s a market where they can hear the user’s voices more directly, but it’s also a harsh market that consumers will go away unless the games are actually fun even if it’s based on a popular IP. He hopes they’ll create fun games with the fans becuase that should be enjoyable for their development staffs as well.
– They’re focusing on the PS4 since it’s selling well throughout the world. They’ll be focusing on KOF at first but want to make better use of their other IPs as well and to further raise their value. They have over 200 IPs in terms of titles
– They’ve been out of the gaming scene for a while so they’re basically starting off from scratch together with returning dev members
– KOF14’s main dev members are old staffs from SNK’s golden days.
– Noguchi : “A lot of staff are coming back, saying ‘hey, if it’s a new KOF’….”.
– In addition, old game staff(s) that’ve been working in the Pachislot division have also returned
– They also have talented staff members that’ve been the fans/players of KOF, and Noguchi hopes the new and old staffs will cause a synergy effect in development
– Right now in terms of console games, SNKP is focusing on KOF14’s development. Their contact at SCEA is a fan from the NeoGeo era who’s been requesting for some hardcore titles, and so they’ve been working together which is one of the reasons why some PS4 ports are in progress.
– SNKP released the Hunble Bundle 25th anniversary set because they know their titles are well known overseas
– Noguchi predicts the Smartphone game market will still continue to grow, and SNKP will continue to focus on it. He comments that the Metal Slug series is not just popular in Japan, USA, Europe, but also Middle and South America, and southeast asia.
– Metal Slug Attack is one of the main titles they’ll be focusing on in 2016
– In the old days SNK used to develop for arcades and then port to consoles, but Noguchi realizes that times have changed. KOF14 is being developed for console. He says that personally he’d like to release titles for the arcades as well.
– They’re going to put more effort into their licensing business.
– As one of their plans, they’re going to give out licenses that’ll fit the needs of various regions. For example with Asia, they licensed KOF98 and a spinoff-app based on the game’s world view was released by a third party (KOF98OL by Tencent). They’re also hoping to license out characters, like say if Iori is popular in China and Terry is popular in North America, they’ll allow them to come out in those region’s games and whatnot
– When asked about any collaborations with Japanese companies like “Capcom vs SNK”, Noguchi laughed and commented that they’ve just restarted their game business and there’s still a far way to go.

Source: Famitsu, via MMCafe

KOF 98 online generated $43 million USD revenue in November

Screenshot 2015-10-29 14.32.31

According to an estimate by CNG, KOF 98 online generated 283 million RMB ($43.2 million USD) in November.  This puts the KOF mobile game at #5 in gross revenue.

KOF 98 online launched earlier this year with much success, as the mobile game secured top spots in the App stores in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.  A Korean version of the game was also recently launched.

It should be noted, however, that KOF 98 online is a collaboration between SNK Playmore, PlayCrab, DurPalm, and Tencent, so SNK will only see a fraction of the revenue.  Regardless, this should be good news for SNK Playmore as the game is also well received in other markets so far.

Source: CNG, via Gamegyro

Humble NeoGeo 25th Anniversary Bundle

HumbleNeoGeo25thBundleThe Humble Bundle site is currently running a NeoGeo 25th anniversary bundle covering several NeoGeo titles, and additional extras at high enough tiers. This covers the applicable titles already available on Steam, and several others as DRM-free downloads which can also be played on a browser. Notably, on of the available titles is Samurai Shodown V Special, which has never been ported outside the NeoGeo.

The tier breakdown is as follows.

Pay what you want:

  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • King of the Monsters
  • Metal Slug 2
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Sengoku 3
  • The King of Fighters 2000

Above average – all of the above plus:

  • Metal Slug (Steam available)
  • Metal Slug 3 (Steam available)
  • NeoGeo 25th Anniversary Soundtrack (Art of Fighting 2, Fatal Fury Special, Metal Slug 3, Samurai Shodown II)
  • Neo Turf Masters
  • Pulstar
  • Shock Troopers
  • The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition (Steam only)
  • The Last Blade
  • Twinkle Star Sprites

$10 or more – all of the above plus:

  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • Metal Slug X (Steam available)
  • Samurai Shodown V Special
  • Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad
  • The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match (Steam only)

$40 or more – all of the above plus a Metal Slug t-shirt.



SNK Playmore officially withdraws from Pachislot business


A few weeks ago, we reported that SNK Playmore might be withdrawing from the Pachislot business.  Today, the company has officially released a press statement to announce their withdrawal from the Pachislot industry.

With the Pachislot division shut down, SNK Playmore will focus on their games and licensing business.  For games, the company will leverage their partnership with Ledo to create synergy in the mobile games category.  The company is also focusing on console games, with the PS4 exclusive The King of Fighters XIV being the focus of development right now.  The company is also expanding its games development staff.

For their licensing business, the company will continue to leverage the popular IP titles like The King of Fighters, Metal Slug, and Samurai Spirits.  In particular, their recent partnerships with Ledo on “The King of Fighters 97 OL” and with OurPalm on “The King of Fighters 98 OL” have been highly sucessful.  The company expects many more partnerships in China and the rest of the world in the future.

The company cites the decline of Pachinko players and also regulatory changes have created uncertainties in the Pachislot business.  Due to the difficultly in forecasting the Pachislot business, the company have decided to withdraw from the industry.  All the staff from the Pachislot business will be transferred to the games division.

Source:  SNK Playmore

SNK Playmore possibly shutting down Pachinko Slot division


According to a report by Pachinko industry site Pachislot Village, SNK Playmore will be shutting down their Pachislot business.  They reported that SNK Playmore currently has no new Pachislot machines on file for approval in the new couple months.

Separately, a report on Yugi-Nippon reported that the SNK Playmore will close their Tokyo office at the end of this month.  The Tokyo office handles most of the of SNK Playmore’s Pachislot business.  The Tokyo staff will be given the option to transfer to the games division at the Osaka main office.

The Pachislot business has been in decline in recent years.  Four other companies have left the Pachinko industry due to various reasons.  One of the main reasons to the decline is the possibility of gambling legalization in Japan.  Pachinko makers are set to face immense competition against foreign multinationals and face addition gambling taxes should the gambling legalization bill were to pass next year.

SNK Playmore’s decision to shut down their Pachislot division is a sharp turn from the remarks that president Koichi Sotyama made earlier this summer “… The Pachislot market is currently suffering from a massive decline of users in their 20’s, and it is important that we develop new machines targeted towards the younger range audience. We are a Pachislot maker as well as a Videogame maker. We will do our best to make Pachislot fans out of videogame fans.”


Pachinko Village, Yugi Nippon via Kof Koucha, Professor, Gatoray

Humble Bundle SNK Weekend Sale

For the whole weekend (August 14th to August 17th) save up to 50% off all current SNK titles on Steam! That includes Metal Slug, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug X, with King of Fighters XIII, King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match Final Edition and King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match!

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