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samurai shodown

samurai shodown

The King of Fighters XII - Preview

1y ago
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SNK (now known as SNK Playmore) is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. SNK is an acronym of Shin Nihon Kikaku (新日本企画), Japanese for "New Japan Project". The company's legal and trading name became SNK in 1986. The original SNK was founded in Osaka, Japan, in July 1978 by Eikichi Kawasaki, and existed until October 30, 2001. Anticipating the end of his first company, Kawasaki founded the company Playmore in August 2001, which in 2003 became SNK Playmore. Due to this strong resemblance to the previous company both in name and identity, SNK Playmore is sometimes referred to simply as SNK. SNK is most notable for creating the Neo-Geo arcade system, and several franchises of games including The King of Fighters, Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown and Fatal Fury. SNK also helped publish many games including Rage of the Dragons, World Heroes and Sengoku along with Double Dragon for the Neo Geo. When Eikichi Kawasaki noticed the rapid growth that was occurring in the coin-op video game market, he expanded SNK to include the development and marketing of stand-alone coin-op games. Their first one was Micon Block (April 1978), a ball-and-paddle game similar to Atari's 1972 arcade hit, Breakout. The next two titles out of the new coin-op division were Ozma Wars (1979), a vertically scrolling space shooter and Safari Rally (1980), a maze game. Game quality improved over time, most notably with 1981's Vanguard, a side-scrolling space shooter that many people consider the precursor to modern classics such as Gradius and R-Type. SNK licensed the game to Centuri for distribution in North America, who ultimately started manufacturing and distributing the game themselves when profits exceeded expectations. On October 20, 1981, the North American division (SNK Corporation of America) was opened. They established themselves in Sunnyvale, California with the intent of delivering their own brand of coin-operated games to arcades in North America. The man chosen to run the American operation was John Rowe, the eventual founder of Tradewest and current (2005) president and CEO of High Moon Studios. SNK Corporate in Japan had at this point already shifted its focus solely toward developing and licensing video games for arcade use and (later) for early consoles. Between 1979 and 1986 they produced 23 stand-alone arcade games. Highlights from this period include Mad Crash (1984), Alpha Mission (1985), and Athena (1986), a game that gained a large following when it was ported to the NES in 1987. Their most successful game from this time frame was Ikari Warriors, released in 1986. Ikari Warriors was so popular that it was eventually licensed and ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, ZX Spectrum and NES. They followed up Ikari Warriors with two sequels, Victory Road and Ikari III: The Rescue. Even at this late point, the home market was still suffering from the fallout caused by the video game crash of 1983. Nevertheless, one console manufacturer in particular seemed to weather the crash fairly unscathed: Nintendo. SNK signed up to become a third-party licensee for Nintendo's Family Computer (Famicom) system in 1985 and opened a second branch in the United States, based in Torrance, California and called SNK Home Entertainment that would handle the North American distribution and marketing of the company's products for home consoles. By this time, John Rowe had left the company to form Tradewest, which went on to market SNK's Ikari Warriors series in North America. Subsequently, both halves of SNK America were now being presided over by Paul Jacobs, who is notable primarily 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: 1989's Baseball Stars and 1990s Crystalis (God Sl...