SNK Playmore – The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Classic Gaming Brand

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SNK Playmore Corporation? There are only some people who know about this classic company. It’s actually a Japanese game software and hardware company (SNK Playmore Japan). They are the owners of many SNK video gaming brands as well as Neo Geo platform. Previously, SNK Corporation was founded in Osaka. SNK is known as the creator of the Neo Geo family of video game consoles and arcades devices that began in 1990. Their most popular product is Neo Geo Pocket Color. It was launched in 1999. It’s in fact the last of the Neo Geo product at that time. Today, SNK operates majorly as a 3rd party game publisher and developer. The corporation expands and gets many affiliates nowadays.

SNK Playmore Corporation

The corporation has some divisions that perform different roles as well. For example, SNK HK handles hardware/software sales as well as character licensing. It’s mainly performed in East Asia (except for South Korea and Japan). SNK Neo Geo USA handles the sales of software in Brazil, from 1993 – 1998. SNK Europe Corporation will handle the software sales in Europe. Also, SNK Philipines Corporation handles software in the region of Southeast Asia. What about the affiliates? There are many names including Capcom, Data East, Visco, ADK, Taito, Sunsoft, Saurus, Nazca, and many more. Those gaming affiliates play important roles of the fame of SNK Playmore recently.

SNK Playmore – The History

Eikichi Kawasaki noticed the improved growth in the coin-operated video game market. Later, he expanded SNK to include the improvement and development of stand-alone games. There were 2 major titles, namely Ozma Wars and Safari Rally. Over time, the quality of arcade games improved. Therefore, the sales improved as well. SNK becomes more enthusiastic to develop better arcade games. Later, SNK leaves the third parties to refocus on their efforts of marketing. Their console ports mainly will be handled outside the corporation. They also moved on to develop better SNK branded consoles.

SNK Playmore – Multi Video System

SNK Playmore created an idea of a multi video system in 1988. At that point, the arcade console usually contains a single game. When the player or operator wanted to replace a game, they should remove the internal cabinet setup for other games completely. Well, SNK has a new system, namely Neo Geo MVS. It has the feature of multiple games within a single console. It used a storage mechanism (cartridge-based storage). This new approach debuted in 1990. Players can have more than one separate game in a single filing cabinet. In fact, it was a great success. Many operators loved the concept because it doesn’t need long time setup.

SNK Playmore – Neo Geo AES (Advanced Entertainment System)

The family of Neo Geo was created in 1990. It’s thoroughly recognized as the Neo Geo AES. It was available in hotel settings as well as for rent. SNK began to sell this system through different stores to achieve better sales. Some franchises of games occurred after this release. There are some famous games such as KOF, Sengoku, Super Sidekicks, and many others. AES had better sound and graphics. It featured fast CPUs, which can work 50% faster than Sega’s Genesis system. This console also had the plus point of better video chipsets and audio. However, the quality of the games differs widely.

SNK Playmore – The Collapse

It was in 2000 that the sign of SNK’s life was diminishing. In January, poor financial conditions led to the acquisition by Aruze. It’s a company, which is famous of its pachinko game machine. Instead of using it for video games, Aruze produced Pachinko machines that had the features of KOF (King of Fighters) and other gaming series. SNK totally collapsed on October 22nd, 2001. It filed for economic failure and most of its employees were disbanded. Eikichi Kawasaki left this company after he saw little bit success on Aruze’s market. Later, he and the other executives established a new company, namely Playmore. It was in 2001.

SNK Playmore – The Rebirth

In 2009, the brand new company published its renowned game The King of Fighters XII for different platforms. Players can play this game on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. However, the game wasn’t getting good acceptances reviews that other fighting games were getting by video game players. It’s related to its structure and graphics. Later in 2010 of SNK Playmore Future Projects, this company made a decision to release the sequel for that game. It had better quality than the previous version. In fact, this game was nominated and won many awards in gaming. In 2012, the new company re-launched Neo Geo (mobile). It can be played on the go. In 2013, there was an event dedicated to this company. It’s rich of history and journey of success.

SNK Playmore – The Acquisition

The company has reportedly been acquired by Leyou Millenium, a Chinese company. They have the majority stake in the company. The major reason is for its characters and IP. They have given announcement about their strategy in business. They want to be like Marvel which has more than just gaming. They promise more games, movies, shows, and others. The real characteristics of SNK wouldn’t be annihilated. There are many gamers who have big hopes for this new acquisition. In fact, there are many games that give much more inspirations to people all over the world.

Leyou Technologies Holdings filed an admission of interest file to the Hong Kong Exchange. It was in March 2015, and highlighting a “possible venture in a famous Japanese game developer”. Later in the month of August, there was an announcement that 2 different companies – Shunrong Sanqi and Oriental Securities – had made a joint investment to Ledo Millenium. Their objective was the acquisition of SNK Playmore. There was a reason for this acquisition. It was to gain the rights to the company’s IP, and more development along with Marvel into different scopes. They wanted to involve in television, film, comics, games, and mass media. Now that’s something gamers can look forward to in the future.

About Dwayne Holloway

I'm Dwayne Holloway and I am the owner of the video gaming website. I am currently living in Albany, New York. My purpose for making this website is to help out the video gaming community as much as I can with all of the latest information articles on video games.

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