SNK Playmore returns to the name that made the company semi-famous in the first place: SNK. Starting today, the company has rebranded with its original logo and "The Future Is Now" slogan.
"Following the changes of market trends in recent years, SNK Playmore ended its pachi-slot activities from last autumn," the company said in a press release. "On the eve of its 15th anniversary this August, SNK Playmore has decided to change its corporate logo and slogan in light of the restoration of its principal business as video games, ushering in a new era for the company."
This is part on an ongoing change in SNK after its acquisition by Ledo Millennium, a subsidiary of Chinese firm Leyou Technologies in August of last year. Following the acquisition, SNK Playmore dropped its pachislot business in favor of returning to game development with King of Fighters XIV. Earlier this year, SNK Playmore also established a new subsidiary called SNK Entertainment, focusing primary on licensing the company's intellectual properties into other markets.
"This change marks a return to SNK's rich gaming history," the company added. "Through the huge success of many of its game franchises in the past, SNK is still a brand supported by countless fans from around the world to this day. The new logo and slogan chosen for this turning point, signifies both a return to the origins of SNK, and revival of our pioneer spirit to always offer long-time fans of SNK, as well as newcomers, entertainment of an even higher quality moving forward. Via this change, we will keep creating games and expand on our cherished IPs in the future."
SNK's first major title, The King of Fighters XIV for PlayStation 4, is being published by Atlus. Today, Atlus announced the official North American release date for King of Fighter XIV as August 23, 2016. The title represents SNK's move towards 3D character models, instead of the 2D art that comprised the previous mainline KOF games. (The Maximum Impact series is where KOF experimented with 3D previously.)
The switch to 3D has allowed SNK to quickly create new fighters, so the roster of KOF XIV is 50 characters strong. The game also features new netcode - King of Fighters XIII on PlayStation 3 was hit hard by fans over poor netcode - and a plethora of standard fighting game features like a single-player story, training, and challenge modes. SNK has a a chance to capitalize where former rival Capcom stumbled with Street Fighter V and it looks like the fighting rivalry might be reborn.