Heavy metal

SNK Playmore has announced that it is dropping the "Playmore" from its name and will once again be known as SNK.

Founded in 1978 as Shin Nihon Kikaku, the company produced arcade hits like Ikari Warriors and Alpha Mission before creating its own coin-op standard in the form of the Neo Geo system. Titles like King of Fighters, Fatal Fury and Metal Slug would endear SNK to a whole new generation of players, but by the close of '90s the firm had hit financial troubles, forcing founder Eikichi Kawasaki to leave and form Playmore.

In 2001 SNK went bankrupt, with Kawasaki's Playmore snapping up the firm's intellectual properties and hiring some of its staff. Now named SNK Playmore, the firm would focus on third-party publishing but dabbled (rather unsuccessfully) with licenced hardware. Last year, SNK Playmore was acquired by a group of Chinese investors with the aim of turning it into the "Marvel" of the gaming world.

The recent name change effectively erases Playmore from the picture and reaffirms the SNK branding. The company is currently working on King of Fighters XIV for the PlayStation 4, but has previously supported Nintendo systems with a wide range of Virtual Console releases and collections.