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The classic crossover fighting game, which sees characters from The King of Fighters duke with familiar Street Fighter combatants, hasn’t seen a proper instalment since 2003, partly due to SNK’s bankruptcy in the early 00s and pivot to pachislot machines.
Capcom released two arcade and console fighting games featuring its one-time genre rival in 2000 and 2001, while SNK released portable games, card game spin offs, and one arcade fighter during the same era.
New Fatal Fury / Garou - teaser trailer
Speaking to VGC, Yasuyuki Oda, the producer and designer who has spearheaded SNK’s fighting game revival in recent years (he directed King of Fighters XIV and produced Samurai Showdown, plus this year’s KoF XV), has now suggested that a new instalment in the crossover series could finally be feasible.
Oda referenced collaborative promotional posters which were released at this month’s 2022 Evo fighting game tournament, featuring artwork from both SNK and Capcom games. Unsurprisingly, the nostalgic merch was well received by fans, and Oda told VGC it ‘reconfirmed’ the public’s huge interest in a potential SNK vs. Capcom revival.
Asked if he was interested in creating a new SNK vs. Capcom game, Oda said: “Definitely in the future, that’s something that I think everybody on all sides, in both parties, are interested in making a reality.
“Especially after we saw the reaction to the [Evo posters]… it helped us reconfirm that that is probably one of the most wanted things from the fighting game community across the entire world.”
Asked if there were specific plans in place, Oda replied: “We haven’t really talked in detail with anybody at Capcom about it. It might have come up as a vague comment. However, we have a lot of experience [in crossovers] with things like Akuma and Geese in Tekken, Terry [Bogard] in Fighting EX Layer, Terry in Smash Bros., and Baiken in Samurai Showdown…
“But recently, we haven’t actually done anything with Capcom, even on character collaboration stuff. So that poster [at Evo], in our sense, was the first step towards maybe something like that happening in the future.”
Asked if fans might have to wait another 20 years to see a full-blown new SNK vs. Capcom game become reality, Oda-san repied: “20 years is definitely too long for me. We’ll try and get it done in 10!”
Although Oda claimed no serious conversations have taken place, there have been noises from Capcom’s side suggesting that interest in a new collaboration exists. Last year Capcom vs. SNK 2 director Hideaki Itsuno told Polygon he would “love” to one day make a third game.
However, Itsuno is currently occupied with the Devil May Cry series and the upcoming Dragon’s Dogma 2.
“I actually have two ideas for one-on-one fighting games still lingering in my mind,” he said at the time. “It’s more of just a matter of having the opportunity to do so, so if there’s anyone that’s willing to give me a development team and a nice budget, I’m more than willing to listen.”
‘A Unique Genre’
SNK’s Oda is a veteran employee of SNK, having helped design Fatal Fury Special (1993), The King of Fighters ’95 (1995) and Garou: Mark of the Wolves (2000). After the company’s bankruptcy and acquisition, Oda joined Dimps where he actually got to work on Capcom games such as Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken.
Having returned to SNK around a decade ago, Oda has spearheaded many of the company’s recent fighting games, including directing The King of Fighters XIV (2016), and producing SNK Heroines (2018), Samurai Showdown (2019) and King of Fighters XV (2022).
Having worked on many of Japan’s biggest fighting game series, Oda is well positioned to discuss the genre and its uniquely collaborative environment between rival creators.
“We have a really good relationship with [other fighting game companies],” he told VGC. “We meet very often and have dinner together. A lot of the time, it’s not [about] very specific things, but we do talk about the community and the genre in general.”
“There are other genres where you would have a lot of butting heads between IPs and such, but there’s more overlap in the FGC I would say and everyone is happy when a new game comes out.”
He added: “A lot of the decisions are not made by the developers, but by the marketing teams. But to a certain extent, even without any internal info, we know that Street Fighter 6 is the big thing right now, and if we go head-to-head with them, everybody is going to be at a disadvantage.
“Especially for something like Evo, even though there are so many different game communities coming together, we are all on great terms with each other and there’s a lot of overlapping. We just think we want to build that up and grow it even more.
“It’s a very unique genre in that sense, I would say. There are other genres where you would have a lot of butting heads between IPs and such, but there’s more overlap in the FGC, I would say, and everyone is happy when a new game comes out.”