This article or section is currently undergoing a major edit by the Guild of Copy Editors. As a courtesy, please do not edit this page while this message is displayed.
The copy editor who added this notice is listed in the page history. This page was last revised at 02:34, 12 December 2019 (UTC) (1 second ago) by UnnamedUser (talk · contribs) ( ).
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the Guild of Copy Editors' talk page. Thank you for your patience.
|Kabushiki gaisha Esu Enu Kei|
Shin Nihon Kikaku
Original company (US branch)
SNK NeoGeo USA Consumer Corporation (2003–2005)
SNK Playmore USA (2005–2016)
SNK USA Corporation (2016–present)
|Traded as||KRX: 950180|
|Founded||July 22, 1978 (as Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation) |
(defunct on October 22, 2001)
August 1, 2001 (as Playmore Corporation)
|Headquarters||Suita, Osaka, Japan|
|Eikichi Kawasaki (founder)|
Koichi Toyama (president & CEO)
|Products||Video game consoles|
Number of employees
|164 (as of May 2019)|
|Parent||Orient Securities Co., Ltd.|
Neo Geo Comics
Dream Vision Games
SNK Corporation (株式会社SNK Kabushiki-gaisha Esu Enu Kē) is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. It is the successor to the company Shin Nihon Kikaku and presently owns the SNK video game brand and the Neo Geo video game platform. SNK's predecessor Shin Nihon Kikaku was founded in 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki. The corporation was initially named Shin Nihon Kikaku (新日本企画, lit. "New Japan Project"). The name was then informally shortened to SNK Corporation in 1981 before becoming the company's official name in 1986.
SNK is best known for its creation of the Neo Geo family of arcade, home, and handheld game consoles in 1990. The Neo Geo line was halted in 2001 because financial troubles forced SNK Corporation to close in the same year. Anticipating the end of the company, Kawasaki founded Playmore Corporation in 2001, which acquired all of the intellectual property of the former SNK Corporation. In 2003, Playmore Corporation was renamed to SNK Playmore Corporation. In 2016, SNK dropped the name Playmore from its logo and reintroduced its old slogan, "The Future Is Now", officially changing its corporate name back to SNK.
Traditionally, SNK operated primarily as a video game developer, publisher, and hardware manufacturer with a focus on arcade games; however, it has ventured into developing console and PC games. In 2004, SNK started manufacturing pachislot machines, but the company withdrew from the market in 2015. In 2009, the company entered mobile game development. Classic SNK franchises include Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown, and The King of Fighters.
- 1 History
- 2 Subsidiaries and related corporations
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
SNK was founded in 1973 as Shin Nihon Kikaku and reorganized in 1978 as a stock company (kabushiki gaisha) under the name "Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation". When Eikichi Kawasaki noticed rapid growth in the coin-operated video game market, he expanded Shin Nihon Kikaku to include the development and marketing of stand-alone coin-op games.
Around 1980, the company took the initial letters from Shin Nihon Kikaku as its nickname, SNK. The copyright notation of SNK was "SNK CORP." It established itself in Sunnyvale, California, to deliver its own brand of coin-operated games to arcades in North America. SNK chose John Rowe to head its American operation.
The first two titles that SNK released were Ozma Wars (1979), a vertically scrolling space shooter, and Safari Rally (1980), a maze game. Game quality improved over time, most notably with Vanguard (1981), a side-scrolling space shooter. SNK licensed the game to Centuri for distribution in North America. Centuri started manufacturing and distributing the game by itself when profits exceeded projections. In part due to the success of Vanguard, SNK began to gain fame and reputation. An American branch opened on October 20, 1981, named SNK Electronics Corporation.
SNK Corporation (1986–2001)
In April 1986, Shin Nihon Kikaku Corporation officially became SNK Corporation. In November 1986, SNK Electronics Corporation, the US branch, became SNK Corporation of America and moved to Sunnyvale, California. In March 1988, SNK staff moved to a building in Suita, Osaka, Japan.
At this point, the Japanese operations of SNK Corporation had shifted their focus solely toward developing and licensing video games for arcade use and later for early consoles. Between 1979 and 1986, SNK produced 23 stand-alone arcade games. Highlights from this period include Mad Crasher (1984), Alpha Mission (1985), and Athena (1986), a game that gained a large following when it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987. SNK's most successful game from this time was Ikari Warriors, released in 1986. It was so popular that it was licensed and ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, ZX Spectrum, and NES. After Ikari Warriors, SNK released two sequels: Victory Road and Ikari III: The Rescue.
At the time, Japan was affected by the North American video game crash of 1983. The console manufacturer Nintendo remained in business throughout and after the crash. SNK became a third-party licensee for Nintendo's Famicom (alternative name for the NES) system in 1985. It opened a second branch in the US, called SNK Home Entertainment, based in Torrance, California. The branch handled the North American distribution and marketing of the company's products for home consoles. John Rowe had already left the company to form Tradewest, which went on to market the Ikari Warriors series in North America. Paul Jacobs took over Rowe's position over both halves of SNK America. He is known for having helped launch the company's Neo Geo system outside of Asia.
In response to strong sales of the company's NES ports, SNK began to dabble in the development of original software designed specifically for the NES console. Two games came out of this effort: Baseball Stars (1989) and Crystalis (1990; known as God Slayer in Japan). In 1989, two home video game consoles were released in North America: the Sega Genesis, and NEC and Hudson Soft's TurboGrafx-16. Nintendo followed suit with a new system in 1991, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES, SNES). SNK as a whole did not become involved in the "system wars" of the early 1990s. Instead, it refocused its efforts on arcades. Other third parties, such as Romstar and Takara, were left to license and port SNK's properties to the various home consoles of the time with help from SNK's American home entertainment division. With console ports mainly handled outside the company, it moved on to developing SNK-branded arcade equipment. SNK also licensed Tiger Electronics to market handheld electronic games from some of its brands.
In 1988, SNK created the idea of a modular cabinet for arcades. Up to that point, arcade cabinets typically contained only one game. When an arcade operator wanted to switch or replace that game, it would have to completely remove the internals of the existing cabinet or exchange the entire setup for another game. SNK's new system, called the Neo-Geo MVS (short for Multi-Video System), featured multiple games in a single cabinet and used a cartridge-based storage mechanism. The system debuted in 1990 and could contain one, two, four, or six separate games in a single cabinet. To swap in a new game, all the operator had to do was remove one cartridge and exchange it for another. The MVS was an immediate success. It greatly shortened the setup time needed for each game, minimized floor space for cabinets, and reduced costs for new cartridges to US$500—less than half of what a traditional arcade unit cost at the time.
SNK wanted to bring arcade games to people's homes without making CPU and memory performance compromises that typical home consoles were forced to make. In 1990, the Neo Geo family was created. The company released a home version of the MVS, a single cartridge unit called the Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (Neo Geo AES). Initially, the AES was only available for rent or for use in hotel settings, but SNK quickly began selling the system through stores when customer response indicated that people were willing to spend money on home versions. Several franchises of games derived from it, including Sengoku, The King of Fighters, The Last Blade, Super Sidekicks, Art of Fighting, Metal Slug, Burning Fight, Samurai Shodown, and Fatal Fury. TheKing of Fighters and Metal Slug series were continued on later consoles. SNK also helped publish third-party Neo Geo games such as ADK's World Heroes, Noise Factory's Rage of the Dragons and Sengoku 3, Sunsoft's Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors and Waku Waku 7, and Technōs Japan's Double Dragon and Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer. During this time, SNK also released stand-alone arcade games, some of which were ported to home consoles, including Vanguard, Athena, Ikari Warriors, Psycho Soldier, Touch Down Fever, P.O.W.: Prisoners of War, and Street Smart.
Compared to other consoles at the time, the Neo Geo AES had much better graphics and sound. It debuted at $599, sold with two joystick controllers and a game (either Baseball Stars or NAM-1975). Within a few months of the system's introduction in North America, SNK increased the cost to $649 and changed the pack-in game to Magician Lord. Alternatively, the console could be bought for $399 with one control stick and without an accompanying game. Other games cost at least $200 each. Joystick controllers contained the same four-button layout as the arcade MVS cabinet. The quality of AES games varied. Some, such as the Super Sidekicks series, were all-new creations, while others were updated versions of earlier successes, such as Baseball Stars Professional. SNK games were graphically bold and bright. Games such as Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy and the famous Metal Slug series were distinctive and instantly recognizable, contributing to the system's success in arcades.
SNK also produced the Neo Geo CD, the Hyper Neo-Geo 64, and two handheld game consoles, the Neo Geo Pocket and Pocket Color. Several more famous franchise titles, originally created for the MVS and AES systems, have been ported to other consoles such as the Sega Genesis, Saturn and Dreamcast; SNES; PlayStation and PlayStation 2; Xbox; and Wii.
The Neo Geo Pocket was SNK's original handheld system. It was released in Japan in late 1998 and featured a monochrome (one-color) display. Because its sales were fewer than the expected number, it was discontinued in 1999 in favor of the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which was later released in North America and Europe. In 2001, the Neo Geo family ended. It was briefly revived 11 years later with the Neo Geo X.
Bankruptcy and Playmore Corporation (2001–2003)
In January 2000, SNK's poor financial status led to its acquisition by Aruze, a company known for its pachinko machines. Instead of developing video games using SNK's intellectual properties, Aruze manufactured pachinko machines that featured popular series such as King of Fighters. SNK saw little success in the video game market.
The same year, Capcom agreed to create a series of fighting games featuring both companies' fighting game characters. The Capcom vs. SNK games were a success, and most of the profits went to Capcom because it developed and published the games. SNK released SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium and SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Combined, the two games sold around 50,000 copies.
SNK closed all American operations on June 13, 2000. The company sold rights to distribution in North America for MVS arcade systems and Neo Print photo systems. It licensed North American localizations of some console releases to outside companies.
With low morale and an unclear future, many of the company's employees left their jobs. Some joined rival Capcom, and others moved on to found the developer Dimps. Other employees banded together to form BrezzaSoft, which continued to develop Neo Geo games such as The King of Fighters 2001. Eyeing the end of the company, founder Eikichi Kawasaki left SNK along with other executives to found a company named Playmore on August 1, 2001.
On October 22, 2001, SNK filed for bankruptcy and placed the intellectual property rights for its franchises up for auction. Licenses for SNK's game production and development rights to its franchises were sold to several other companies. These included Eolith, which produced The King of Fighters franchise between 2001 and 2002, and Mega Enterprise, which produced Metal Slug 4.
To regain control of SNK, Kawasaki's new company, Playmore, successfully bid for and was awarded SNK's intellectual property rights on October 30, 2001. The company then began to bolster its assets and re-hire former SNK employees.
To re-establish its presence in the gaming market, Playmore acquired BrezzaSoft and its former SNK developers, as well as Japan-based Neo Geo developer Noise Factory. Sun Amusement, a Japanese commercial games distributor, was acquired by SNK to provide the company with an arcade distribution outlet in Japan. International offices were established in South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United States under the name SNK NeoGeo for commercial and, later, consumer gaming distribution. All of the acquired entities were consolidated into SNK Playmore on July 7, 2003 when Playmore regained rights to use the name SNK from Aruze. In the same year, SNK purchased ADK shortly after it filed for bankruptcy. Previously, ADK was a third-party company that had been heavily associated with SNK since the late 1980s. SNK Playmore's operations in Japan already largely resembled the original company: SNK employed many employees who left after its bankruptcy filing and occupied its former building.
In October 2002, Kawasaki sued Aruze for copyright infringement, claiming 6.2 billion Japanese yen ($56147214) in damages. He cited that Aruze had continued to use SNK's intellectual properties after Playmore re-acquired them. A preliminary decision in January 2004 by the Osaka District Court favored SNK Playmore, awarding it 5.64 billion yen ($51075853).
SNK Playmore (2003–2016)
Within the period of fall and winter of 2003, SNK Playmore obtained an injunction against a group of four different companies, which resulted in hundreds of AES cartridges being seized. The following year, however, SNK Playmore struck a compromise with two of the companies as they were allowed to sell the AES cartridges, with the conditions that they could not be modified again and any legitimate materials were to be returned to them.
SNK Playmore would within the same year discontinue the AES system, preferring to publish video games in cooperation with Sammy, using its Atomiswave arcade board, which would provide it a more secure and modern platform for new arcade releases. Also in 2004, SNK Playmore officially became licensed to manufacture pachislot machines (Japanese slot machines that are played in pachinko parlors). The company released its first two machines that year in Metal Slug and Dragon Gal, and pachislots would feature heavily in the company's product lineup for the next decade.
In September 2006, at the Tokyo Game Show, SNK Playmore announced that it has ceased production of games on the Atomiswave, favoring Taito's Type X2 arcade platform. To counter the decline in the commercial gaming industry, the company also shifted some of its development focus to consumer games, including original games for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, mobile phones, and more. Games continue to be ported to the PlayStation 2 (mostly in Europe, since most of the games did not get approval from SCEA) and, in some cases, Microsoft's Xbox. In Japan, SNK Playmore released the NeoGeo Online Collection for the PS2 containing some of its older games, featuring emulations with the ability to play online via the KDDI matching service, in addition to original titles based on its existing properties, such as Metal Slug 3D and the KOF: Maximum Impact series.
In 2007, SNK Playmore USA released its first game on Xbox Live Arcade, titled Fatal Fury Special. SNK also began supporting Nintendo's Virtual Console service on the Wii in the U.S. with Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and World Heroes. The King of Fighters XI, and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum also came out in 2007. SNK Playmore also released its first adult-themed game franchise, Doki Doki Majo Shinpan!, the first so far for any handheld console. In 2009, the company released The King of Fighters XII which was not well received by public and critics alike due to some polemic changes in the game's graphics and structure. In 2010, SNK Playmore decided to release a sequel, The King of Fighters XIII, which was considered a much better game than KOF XII and either won or was nominated to multiple Game of the Year awards.
In December 2012, SNK Playmore released the Neo Geo X, a re-launched mobile Neo Geo console playing games on the go. On October 2, 2013, SNK Playmore terminated its licensing agreement with the console's manufacturer Tommo, effectively ending production of the Neo Geo X less than a year after its release. Tommo disputes this termination and has stated its contract is extended into 2016 and that they have performed all obligations under the licensing agreement.
In June 2013, the Vigamus, a museum of videogames sponsored by the municipality of Rome, hosted an event dedicated to the history of SNK, tracing back the origins of the company and explaining the evolution of its games. Yamamoto Kei, Kiyoji Tomita and Ogura Eisuke participated at the event and were interviewed; Ogura also drew two original illustrations to exhibit at the museum.
Foreign acquisition and brand restoration (2016–present)
In March 2015, Leyou Technologies Holdings submitted a disclosure of interest document to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, highlighting a "possible investment in a renowned Japanese video game developer". Later in August, it was announced that Chinese web and mobile games giant 37Games, along with an asset management firm, Orient Securities, had formed a joint venture to invest in Ledo Millennium, a subsidiary of Leyou Technologies. Through Ledo, the venture acquired Kawasaki's 81.25% stake in SNK Playmore for $63.5 million. The reason given for the acquisition was to gain rights to SNK Playmore's IP, and further develop them by following Marvel's approach to mass media, with games, comics, film, and television.
With the purchase completed, SNK soon signaled a shift in the company's strategy, which had been focused more on the production of pachislot and mobile games than its traditional console and arcade games. In 2015, the company announced that it would be withdrawing from the pachislot market later that year, choosing instead to focus on console and mobile gaming, as well as the character licensing business using their ever-popular classic characters such as Mai Shiranui, Nakoruru and Haomaru.
On April 25, 2016, SNK officially dropped the "Playmore" name from its corporate logo and reintroduced its old slogan, "The Future Is Now", as a means to signify "a return to SNK's rich gaming history". A legal name change from SNK Playmore Corporation to SNK Corporation followed on December 1, 2016, to more firmly establish itself as the successor to the SNK brand and legacy. The King of Fighters XIV, the first entry in the series in more than half a decade, was released in 2016. In July 2018, SNK released the NEOGEO mini, a miniature console based on the design of the company's Japanese arcade machines, pre-loaded with forty classic Neo Geo games.
In June of 2019, the 12th entry in the Samurai Shodown series was released for PS4 and Xbox One, followed by an arcade version in October and a Nintendo Switch version later in the year.
On September 4, 2019, Nintendo announced that Fatal Fury protagonist and The King of Fighters character Terry Bogard would be added as a downloadable playable character to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with a planned release in November 2019. Terry was made available on November 6, alongside a The King of Fighters-based stage and 50 songs from various SNK series.
- SNK Entertainment – founded in February 2016 to contract and develop new digital entertainment including video games. It ramps up activity that surrounds SNK's library of intellectual properties with "new and exciting sublicensing opportunities and collaborations".
- SNK Beijing
- SNK H.K., Ltd. – handles character licensing, as well as hardware and software sales in East Asia (except for Japan)
- SNK USA Corporation – publisher of software and animation in America
- ADK – former game developer for the Neo Geo. SNK purchased its IP[clarification needed] assets when the company became bankrupt in 2003.
- Noise Factory – game developer, formerly owned by SNK
- Nazca Corporation – former game developer for the Neo Geo, later acquired by SNK
- Neo Geo do Brasil – handled hardware and software sales in Brazil from 1993 to 1998
- SNK Playmore Europe Corporation – handled software sales in Europe
- "SNK Corporate Information". SNK. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
- "SNK HISTORY – 株式会社SNK". web.archive.org. 2 December 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-12-02.
- "Corporate Information". SNK. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
- 14th Fiscal Period Publication, "Official Gazette (官報)" (Extra Edition No. 250), 2015 November 5, Page 62.(in Japanese)
- "Chinese Company Buys Majority Stake in Japanese Game Developer SNK Playmore". Anime News Network. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "PROFILE｜SNK USA". www.snk-corp.co.jp.
- "Announcement regarding SNK Corporation's name change". SNK. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- "Original SNK Corporation (Shin Nihon Kikaku)". www.neogeo.co.jp. 2016-06-16. Archived from the original on June 3, 2001.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
- "The History of SNK". GameSpot.com. 2004-02-14. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- "Le premier succès". Neo Geo Spirit. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
- "Original site Shin Nihon Kikaku". neogeo.freeplaytech.com. 2017-01-03.
- "SNK devient un acteur majeur de l'arcade". Neo-Geo Spirit. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- "Photos of SNK's headquarters in Esaka (Suita, Ōsaka)" (PDF). Neo-Geo.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "Press Release – SNK Playmore". www.snkplaymore.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
- "A Sign Of The Times: Game Over For SNK". IGN. 2001-11-02.
- "Neo Geo Group Company Info". Archived from the original on 2002-10-06. Retrieved 2016-05-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Change of our Company Name". Archived from the original on 2003-08-04. Retrieved 2016-05-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "SNK to Atomiswave: Company puts an end to the Neo Geo". IGN. 2004-02-20. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- "パチスロ – 株式会社SNKプレイモア". slot.snkplaymore.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-03-26.
-  Archived September 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "ＳＮＫプレイモア、iPhone/iPod touch向けゲームアプリ第一弾『メタルスラッグ タッチ』を配信開始！" (in Japanese). 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
- "Termination of the License Agreement between Tommo and SNK Playmore USA Corp". Snk Playmore Usa. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "SNK Orders NeoGeo X Maker to End Production and Stop Selling It". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- "Tommo Responds to the Wrongful Termination Claim by SNK Playmore USA Corp". Tommo Inc. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Partner & Sponsor | Vigamus, Museo del videogioco di Roma". Vigamus.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Eleonora L. (July 1, 2013). "SNK Legends at Italian Museum of Videogames, Vigamus!". EIirgames.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- "Rumor: SNK Playmore acquired by Chinese Company – Dream Cancel". dreamcancel.com. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
- "SNK Playmore acquired by Chinese Company – Dream Cancel". dreamcancel.com. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
- "SNK Playmore Drops Slot Machines, Focuses on Smartphone/Consumer Games". AnimeNewsNetwork. 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
- "SNK创纪录IPO背后：政策暖风拂热游戏行业，君创基金回报可观 _股票频道_华讯财经_华讯投资". stock.591hx.com. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
- "Announcement regarding SNK Playmore's Corporate Logo & Slogan changes" (PDF). www.snkplaymore.co.jp. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Announcement regarding SNK Playmore's company name change". SNK Playmore. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
- "NEOGEO Mini". snk-corp.co.jp. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
- "Review: Samurai Shodown". IGN Brasil (in Portuguese). 2019-07-01. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
- D'Anastasio, Cecilia. "Fatal Fury's Terry Is Coming To Super Smash Bros". Kotaku. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- Martinez, Phillip. "'Smash Ultimate' Terry Bogard Release Date and Specials Revealed". NewsWeek. Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "SNK Playmore establishes SNK Entertainment". GamesIndustry.biz.
- "Sina Visitor System". Weibo.com. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SNK.|