New KOF, Sammy vs. Capcom announced in Tokyo

Sammy and SNK will tap the Atomswave system to support just-announced King of Fighters title. Also announced is Sammy vs. Capcom.

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TOKYO--Sammy revealed in a press event at the Amusement Machine Show, that it will join forces with publisher SNK Playmore to develop a new King of Fighters for the arcade. The new game will use Sammy's Atomiswave system.

The new title is scheduled for release in the spring of 2004.

After a short video presentation using footage of King of Fighters 2002 to promote its next title, SNK Playmore representative Akihito Kadowaki appeared on the Sammy stage and commented that the game's development has already begun.

"It [KOF] has long been the strongest series that we have. It is probably [our] most well-recognized franchise in the world." said Kadowaki. "Up to now, it has been running on the Neo Geo platform; one that had limited capabilities. This is the first time that we will be working with another company's platform--the Atomiswave system. We hope to make this an opportunity to get motivated and do some good work."

Kadowaki did not release any details on the game but supported statements from Sammy that the game will make use of the AW-NET, a network service connected to the Atomiswave that allows players to receive a variety of bonuses--similar to what gamers enjoy by playing Guilty Gear Isuka (the ability to customize a character's color, join in an Internet score ranking, and download wallpapers for cell phones).

Kadowaki closed his presentation by stating, "We hope to create a King of Fighters that is cool to watch--and one that takes full advantage of Atomiswave's capabilities."

After the King of Fighters presentation, Sammy then announced they had acquired a license from Capcom and would soon begin work on "Sammy vs. Capcom," again, using the Atomiswave system.

Arc System Works' Ishiwatari Daisuke (of the Guilty Gear series) and Capcom's Funamizu Noritaka (of the Street Fighter series) will be working as lead staff members on the development team. The two then appeared on stage and commented briefly on the project and stated that development had already begun.

Ishiwatari addressed attendees from the stage saying that he cannot imagine what Sammy vs. Capcom will be like if the strengths of the two companies are combined, given that the systems each company has worked on differ so vastly.

Funamizu expressed that while many details of the new title still needed to be addressed, he hinted that the game will likely be developed in a style similar to the recent Guilty Gear games.

"To be honest, [we] haven't thought of anything at all yet. But the users probably want Capcom characters moving in Guilty Gear's graphics, so it would be good if we can create it with that kind of a touch. Personally, I'd like to see Vampire (known as Darkstalkers in the US) characters moving in that art style."

When asked if, due to the collaborative nature of the project, he sensed increased enthusiasm on the part of the teams (from each of the two companies), Funamizu replied: "[I'm] not sure" and laughed. He ended his comments by saying "[We] will work hard."

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