SNK Rises From Its Own Ashes

The company behind the NeoGeo is at E3 for the first time in years, and we caught up with the USA division's president to get the scoop on its plans.

Quite some time ago, SNK, the company behind the NeoGeo system and classic games like Ikari Warriors and Samurai Shodown, closed its doors. Or so everyone thought. According to NeoGeo USA Consumer Corp. president Ben Herman, who we caught up with at E3, the head of SNK (fans know him as E. Kawasaki) went on to enjoy success in the pachinko business with his new company, Playmore, and has now revived SNK. So SNK has officially relaunched in the United States, and Herman tells us it will expand into Europe next year. At E3, the company is showing off some of Playmore's latest games, such as The King of Fighters 2001 and Metal Slug 4, as well as the forthcoming SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos.

Herman told us about some of the company's plans for the future, such as the release of a two-game compilation of King of Fighters 2000 and 2001 for the PlayStation 2 before the end of the year. He also confirmed that a Metal Slug game will be headed to the Game Boy Advance SP.

NeoGeo USA is still being established, and Herman explained that the division's permanent headquarters--which will likely be somewhere in New Jersey--is still being decided upon. The company's presence on the show floor is primarily just to reinforce to its fans that SNK is back in business, and indeed, a large number of people can be seen playing SNK's latest offerings, watching the trailer for SVC Chaos that occasionally plays, and mooching posters of King of Fighters 2001 and Metal Slug 4.

A glance at the SVC Chaos trailer confirms that the game has much more in common with the King of Fighters series than with the Capcom-developed Capcom vs. SNK series. The game looks like it's running on NeoGeo hardware, but clearly SNK's plans to become a competitive game company will require it to put its games on other platforms in a timely manner.

At any rate, Herman says that SNK has big plans for the future, so we'll look forward to bringing you more as it develops.

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