In an official press release released yesterday by SNK Playmore, the Japanese arcade game veteran announced that it will no longer be producing pachislot (pachinko) machines, and will instead be re-aligning its focus on its classic franchises like King of Fighters, Metal Slug, and Samurai Shodown. In particular, SNKP will be trying to monetize its franchises in the mobile market, as evidenced by the release of Metal Slug Defense for smartphones earlier this year. SNKP also plans to revisit its arcade classics in their natural environment as well as on home consoles, which became apparent with the announcement of King of Fighters XIV last month.
SNKP will be working closely with Ledo Millenium, a subsidiary of a Chinese investment firm named Leyou Technologies that acquired SNKP earlier this August, to develop its mobile apps. They expect to expand their business connections in China in the near future, citing that they left the pachislot business due to a declining playerbase as well as due to a recent surge of regulatory changes in the pachislot business that has bred industry uncertainty.
SNKP has come under fire from longtime fans recently for its interest in the pachislot business, which many fans felt signaled the decline of their once-beloved company. The pachislot machines themselves garnered much derision from fans who felt the company was squandering its most prominent titles, in part thanks to the lavish 3D cutscenes that the pachislot machines often featured, which fans often felt could have been used for actual fighting games. Yet despite SNKP having turned its gaze on video games themselves again, many fans are cautiously optimistic about the company’s potential return to prominence. SNKP’s decision to plumb the fertile mobile gaming market mirrors that of Konami’s recent announcement that it will do the same. How fans will respond in the future to SNKP’s foray into the mobile gaming market, balanced alongside reactions to their arcade and console releases, remains to be seen.
Translation credits for SNKP’s press release go to fighting game publication DreamCancel.