Call SNK the anti-Konami. Rather than back away from video games, the legendary Japanese studio has announced that it's dropping its pachinko slot machine business to concentrate its efforts on both conventional video games (like the upcoming King of Fighters XIV, above) and mobile titles. There just isn't as much money in those machines as there is consoles and smartphones, SNK says. To that end, it's hiring more staff and planning more titles.
It's potentially a very smart bet. One of SNK's premier mobile games, the free-to-play Metal Slug Defense, has over 2.6 million downloads. That's a lot of in-app purchases for relatively little work, folks. And while King of Fighters has never really been as big as the likes of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, it has a loyal following that might grow thanks to the added effort. In other words, the Japanese game industry isn't dying just because Konami is backing out. If anything, it's evolving.