King of the ring

SNK Playmore has announced that it is abandoning the manufacture of Pachinko machines in favour of focusing totally on video games and smartphone titles.

The company began making Pachinko units when it was acquired by Aruze in 2000, a company famous for its Pachinko machines. SNK would file for bankruptcy in 2001 but its assets were snapped up by Playmore - a new company founded by SNK founder Eikichi Kawasaki - to form SNK Playmore. Despite the seperation from Aruze, the firm continued to produce Pachinko machines.

However, dwindling sales due to regulatory changes relating to the Pachinko market have forced a rethink, and SNK Playmore is now fully committed to video gaming. Staff that were involved in the production of Pachinko units will be shifted to other parts of the business, it has been reported.

Its recent acquisition by a group of Chinese investors has made SNK Playmore stronger than ever, and the company states it wants to emulate Marvel in terms of leveraging its IP across various media - including games, comics, TV shows and movies.

Interestingly, fellow video game veteran Konami seems to be moving in the opposite direction, and is thought to be ditching AAA game development to focus on other areas of its business - one of which is Pachinko machines. Check out this trailer for the next instalment in the Castlevania series, which offers "Erotic Violence" and - you've guessed it - is Pachinko-based.