It's likely a bittersweet day for fans of SNK Playmore's long-running King of Fighters series. After a two-year hiatus on the primary line of King of Fighters games, King of Fighters 2003 now has a successor in King of Fighters 2006 for the PlayStation 2. However, the 2006 installment isn't a sequel to the 2D, three-on-three fighting series--it's a sequel to the spin-off 3D game King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, which focused primarily on one-on-one bouts.
Like Maximum Impact, King of Fighters 2006 will bring together a cast of familiar faces under the production of artist and designer Falcoon. The entire Maximum Impact roster will be returning, joined by a number of hidden characters.
This development doesn't necessarily mean the series' 2D fate is sealed. SNK Playmore has King of Fighters NeoWave scheduled to hit American Xboxes next month, and NeoWave already has a sequel in Japan, King of Fighters XI.