Once a fierce competitor to Capcom’s Street Fighter series in the mid-’90s, SNK’s team-based fighting game franchise The King of Fighters will shift to 3D for its latest sequel launching for the PlayStation 4 in 2016.
Announced at Tokyo Game Show, The King of Fighters XIV will bring its cast of familiar SNK franchise characters to a new console generation, though few details regarding the upcoming series revamp are known at the moment.
Debuting in 1994, the King of Fighters series assembles its cast from a number of 2D fighters released for SNK’s hybrid console and arcade unit, the Neo Geo. Many featured characters hail from SNK’s flagship fighting game franchises Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting. The games also feature cameos and playable characters from lesser-known SNK arcade games like Psycho Soldier and Ikari Warriors, establishing crossover potential that rival developer Capcom later explored in its Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Capcom and SNK traded hits throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s, and eventually teamed up for the 2D fighters Capcom vs. SNK, Capcom vs. SNK 2, and SNK vs. Capcom. The publishers also collaborated in developing a number of crossover titles for SNK’s portable console, the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
SNK halted development of new games for consoles and arcades following its closure in 2001. The company later returned as the rebranded SNK Playmore, releasing several more entries in its popular Metal Slug and The King of Fighters series.
Though it has its roots in 2D gameplay, the King of Fighters franchise briefly shifted to 3D for KOF: Maximum Impact and its sequel on the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox. SNK Playmore then returned to a traditional 2D presentation for 2009’s The King of Fighters XII and its 2011 follow-up The King of Fighters XIII for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
A specific release date for The King of Fighters XIV is not yet known. While the game has been confirmed for the PlayStation 4, it’s not clear whether The King of Fighters XIV is a platform exclusive. Plans for a North American release were not announced.