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SNK says Goodbye

by Max Lake - October 30, 2001, 12:14 pm EST
Source: SNK

SNK was a 2D champion, hardware pioneer and an arcade mainstay. Sadly, the company has now closed up shop and has a final message for the fans.

The developer SNK should be a familiar name to any self-respecting were the creators of popular game series such as Ikari Warriors, Samurai Showdow (Samurai Spirits), Metal Slug and most notorious of all, King of Fighters. It also produced a variety of Neo-Geo hardware systems for both home and arcade. Although there was no denying SNK’s ability to produce quality software, the first Neo-Geo home console and its games were priced far out of reach for the average consumer. In recent years, SNK released a promising new handheld system, the Neo Geo Pocket but it failed to take off.

Despite ongoing financial troubles, SNK has continued in the face of adversity. It received sponsorship from the Azure Group, a company specializing in pachinko and pachi-slot machines. This assistance was not enough to help stave off bankruptcy, which was filed earlier in the year. With bankruptcy proceedings just finalized, it seems SNK is now finished. Yesterday, SNK updated its official webpage one last time with a message in Japanese and in English:

Dear All NEOGEO fans/customers, It is with deepest grief that In the Autumn of 2001, SNK will close the company history in its business. It was all of your favor and encouragement which made our passion running to make better games for SNK fans. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank and everyone of you for your continuous help and assistance rendered to SNK since its incorporation in Japan July in 1978. Without your support, SNK Corporaton would not have been possible throughout 23 yers of operation. With all our heart-felt gratitude, thank you once again !

As a parting gift, SNK produced a wallpaper of many of its characters from over the years. The wallpaper is available in a variety of screen resolutions.

There are two games on PGC’s game list that involve SNK. The GBA game King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood and the rumored Capcom vs SNK 2 for GameCube.

Because of the closure of operations, distribution of SNK’s final game "The King Of Fighters 2001" will be handled by Sun Amusement. Distribution by Sun Amusement's will be effective within domestic Japan. The GBA version of the game, KOF EX: Neo Blood is being handled by Marvelous Entertainment and is still underway.

There are rumors that Capcom vs. SNK 2 might come to GameCube and/or X-Box. The game was never confirmed and it is unknown how the closing of SNK affects the prospects of it appearing on other systems.

Another mystery is if/when/how the numerous intellectual properties of SNK will continue and where the talented creators of the company end up. Fortunately, there is some resolution on this front that fans can take comfort in... The Korean firm Eolith has mentioned that they will develop The King of Fighters 2002 for next year and a new Metal Slug game, Metal Slug 3 is being developed by another Korean developer, MegaKing for the Neo Geo MVS system.

For a more thorough eulogy on SNK, check out what GameSpot had to say. Go see SNK’s message and grab the wallpaper for yourself here.

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