Nakoruru Samurai Shodown
--The website dedicated to all Samurai Spirits fans--~ver5.0~

December Editorial

How popular is SNK games?
by C.K.Gan

Being a maintainer of this site, I've received a lot of friendly mails from Samurai Shodown/Spirits fans telling me how much they love the game. If I didn't make this homepage, I wouldn't have known Samurai Shodown is really 'worldwide'. Yes, SS fans are just everywhere in the world. I'm serious, they are from Europe, Asia, Middle east, North and South America, just everywhere.

But my primary focus is on how popular SNK games really are. Usually, when I receive a friendly mail from someone, I will reply them back by asking how popular the SS series is in their place(arcade). Asking this question have somehow become one of my long term survey.

Undoubtedly, SS is less popular than other games. What has caused this to happen could have been the lack of commercial. When was the last time you saw a SS advertisement on a game magazine?(Or do you remember ever seeing one?) The last one I remember was the SS2 one, the one they said something like, "Samurai fights for honor and dignity"(since then I often say to my friend, I fight for honor and dignity^_^). In fact, I think SNK is making wrong moves by cutting down their expenses on advertsement. Nowadays, with the huge competition from Capcom, Namco and other games' developer. SNK is futile agianst Capcom and Namco. I'm not saying that SNK fighting games stand no chance against other games. But, it is quite obvious that more people are playing Capcom games. Even though less people are playing SNK games, they shouldn't just abondon their chance to advertise, I believe by cutting down their budget on commercial, they are performing a deadly suicide move. Because people might think that SNK or Neo Geo games are not good since they are not popular, and hence they might just go and play more popular games.

As for their development in consoles. SNK have always thought they have their little territory for their fans. They thought their very few fans they have will keep them alive. Oh yeah, 32000 yen for a cartridge. I personally wouldn't say either the Neo Geo Cartridge or CD are the 'dying system'(although the 1998 Video Games Buyer Guide said they are the 'honored dead'), but they are certainly not getting more people to buy their system and their games. Do you really think 1 Fatal Fury, 1 Samurai Shodown(it seems there is no SS for year 1997) and 1 KOF are enough for every year? What I'm saying is they are making less game and having less comercial every year.(back, forward, down and start button)

My point is they could have sell better if they advertise more in countries in North America (do something please, SNK of America.). I'm sure Neo Geo games are a lot more popular in Japan and in a lot of other Asian countries as well. Well, they somehow have this little advertising event call "Asian SNK Tour", which is a very good advertising strategy for Asian countries. But as for North America or Europe, they just don't have such thing call "North America SNK Tour". Lately, we might have been talking about the controversial issue regarding Sega's problem in America. But I do believe that SNK of America is in a worse situation than SOA.

The bottom line is SNK games could have been more popular because of the quality of the games they made. They deserve better than this. Nevertheless, due to the lack of advertisement or promotion in certain areas, their games have then become unpopular. I understand that this piece of writing merely have some points. But all I really wanted to say is SNK of America should pay more attention to the North America gamers. I hope they will do better in North America next year and in the future.(Actually, all I wanted is a SNK North&South America, Europe Tour!!!)

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