The next entry in The King of Fighters series may be arriving as soon as next year. During today’s SNK IPO press conference in Seoul, South Korea SNK mentioned that they planned to release the next The King of Fighters game, which would likely be called The King of Fighters 15, in 2020. No other information was given regarding The King of Fighters 15 release date, development or in-game footage.
Also during the IPO press conference, SNK also revealed a release window for the next entry in the Samurai Showdown series, which was first announced back in September. That is set for a Q2 2019 release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The trailer at the time talked of a land plagued by a cloud that “darkens the air with a foreboding sense of dread.”
The press conference also touted the success of the recent Neo Geo mini device, a portable arcade machine that plays classic SNK titles such as Metal Slug, Fatal Fury Special and multiple entries in The King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown series. It has sold around 500,000 units since launch. SNK sales this year are at 6,626 million yen, while operating profit is at 3,731 yen. Profitability is up 61 percent, which SNK credits due to their IP business structure that doesn’t come at a high cost.
The latest game in the series, The King of Fighters 14, was released back on August 23 of 2016 for the PPlayStation4, with a PC and Japanese arcade release arriving nearly a year later in June of 2017. Kevin Schaller wrote in his GameRevolution review at the time that: “King of Fighters is beginning to summon that feel SNK had harnessed generations ago, and it feels damn good. It’s going to have to innovate further to reclaim its crown, but at least it’s back in the court.”
The long running King of Fighters series started in 1994 with the aptly named The King of Fighters 94. The game transitioned to roman numerals starting with The King of Fighters XI in 2005.