Biography of SNK(Part 1)

Mentioned about arcade games, every arcade players know the Japanese legend brand: SNK. But how many people know the bumpy development history of SNK?

In July 1978, the predecessor of SNK company, New Japan Project, was established in Osaka. At the beginning of its establishment, the company began the development and production of electronic games. The first game “Yamato warship” was listed in Japan. This is a shooting game, which is the first work of the new company, so it should have received strong attention from the video game market at that time. In the early stage of its business, it mainly produced some shooting games and some action level Games. With the rapid development, it launched two shooting games in 1979 and seven in 1980. It was not until 1981 that New Japan Project was slowly noticed by Japanese players and became one of the more popular companies.

In April 1986, New Japan Project officially changed its name to “SNK” company. S, N and K are the initials of the name Shin Nihon kikaku. Since then, the name SNK marks the totem of fighting game lovers. In the same year, SNK launched an arcade game Athena, which shocked Japan at that time, and another is Ikari warriors, which is also a horizontal action game, which tells the story of mercenary organizations defeating evil forces. The protagonist of 1p is Clark, the protagonist of 2p is Ralph, and the mastermind behind the scenes is Heidern.

SNK didn’t really make efforts until 1990. At the AOU (arcade of universal) arcade Expo – that summer, SNK exhibited their “multi video system” (MVS substratecalled for short) “Neo geo”. This is the main arcade CPU board to accompany SNK through the glorious period.

In November 1991, SNK released the first horizontal version of the fighting game ART OF FIGHTING in September 1992 and Fatal Fury in December. With the increasingly enthusiastic response of fighting games, SNK focused on producing fighting games.

In 1993, SNK launched a series of fighting games such as Samurai shodown, ART OF FIGHTING 2, Shin Samurai Shodown:Haohmaru Jigokuhen, Fatal Fury Special and The King Of Fighters 94.

By 1995, SNK had successively launched Fatal Fury 3, SAVAGE REIGN, Samurai Shodown III: Blades of Blood, Real Bout Fatal Fury and The King Of Fighters 95. In the same year, the construction of “Neo geo” Theme Park began.

In March 1996, Art of Fighting Special was on sale with live images, . In July, The King Of Fighters went on sale. In September, Savage Reign SUPER TAG BATTLE was released. In October, Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa’s Revenge went on sale! In The King Of Fighters 96, SNK innovated again, deleted the old mature system in the previous work, and added the emergency avoidance system, body receiving system, multiple jump system, defense collapse system and breaking move system. When the storage is full, it can trigger the max super kill skill. Since then, SNK’s fighting game has embarked on a completely different style of Capcom.

In January 1997, SNK 64 bit board was officially launched, and The King Of Fighters 97 was released in the same month. The popularity of The King Of Fighters 97 made SNK earned a lot of money. This also makes SNK have a decision to continue the king series.



In the 1990s, due to the booming household game consoles, Japan’s Arcade market entered an unprecedented depression and many famous arcade factories either disappeared in the industry or fell into a trough. The emergence of piracy and simulator makes SNK’s life difficult. Due to the lack of support from third-party software providers and the single variety of fighting games, NGP and NGPC have caused great disaster. In addition, the company overestimated its own strength. After only six months, SNK couldn’t wait to launch NGPC after NGP, enter the 3D game industry, run entertainment venues and other industries that have nothing to do with games. SNK was shocked by deficit. However, at this time, KOF 2000 was launched.

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