POSTED:  Tuesday, August 27th, 2019           (Aug. 28th, 2019)

The King of Fighters Series Celebrates 25th Anniversary


One of SNK's most defining and successful 2D fighting franchises turns 25 years old this year. The King of Fighters established itself in August 1994 by bringing together teams of characters from SNK's other IPs such as Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, Athena, and even SNK sports games into a "dream match" fighting game. While the 3-on-3 team format has stayed true to its roots for 25 years, SNK has experimented with a variety of complex gameplay systems, unique character designs, and beautiful sprite-based visuals. Groundbreaking sequels such as KOF '98, KOF 2002: UM and KOF XIII remain highly competitive titles to this day. Below, enjoy some celebratory SNK illustrations and fun facts on one of the genre's most iconic fighting game franchises.

    Fun Fact #1: The King of Fighters '94 originally released on August 25th, 1994.

The King of Fighters '94 original illustration by Shinkiro.

Fun Fact #2:
  The latest and 14th installment of the series, The King of Fighters XIV, was directed by Yasuyuki Oda, former battle designer for Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Oda stated in an interview that the main goal for KOF14 was to make the game the "easiest to play" of the series.
Oda stated the two major reasons for transitioning to 3D was to adapt to high-end machines and give SNK artists "3D experience" so they can compete in the fighting game & console market once again.

The King of Fighters XIV promo art by Hiroaki.

Fun Fact #3:
  A manga spin-off of KOF XIV titled KOF: A New Beginning was released on January 1st, 2018 and is confirmed to be coming to North America in 2020. The manga is illustrated by Kyoutarou Azuma and published bi-weekly on Pocket Shonen Magazine online.

The King of Fighters XIII promo art by Eisuke Ogura.

Fun Fact #4:  At EVO 2012, The King of Fighters XIII became the second-most-watched game of the series with over 90,000 consecutive viewers.

The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match illustration by Hiroaki. TFG Instagram link.

Fun Fact #5:
  In the mid-late 2000's, The King of Fighters was one of the most popular and most played 2D fighting games in Hong Kong (as well as Japan). A vast collection of KOF comics originated in Hong Kong, spanning the entire saga of the series and adding some unique storylines. KOF2002 remained a popular competitive title in Hong Kong arcades for many years.

King of Fighters Hong Kong style comic illustration (Iori Yagami VS Orochi).


The King of Fighters '97 PlayStation promo artwork by Shinkiro.

Fun Fact #6:  A remake of the first game titled The King of Fighters '94: Re-Bout was released on December 28, 2004 for PS2 in Japan. This title commemorated the 10th anniversary of the franchise. A North America version was originally planned for release on Xbox but was later canceled for unknown reasons on March 23rd, 2006.

The King of Fighters '94 early Kyo Kusanagi concept art.

Fun Fact #7:
  The King of Fantasy is an Isekai Musou visual novel released on July 5th, 2019. The series is drawn by SNK's Eisuke Ogura and the is story written by Nobuhiku Tenkawa. Below is some official artwork from the novel.


The King of Fantasy Iori, Athena, Yuri & Richard Meyer art by Eisuke Ogura (2019). TFG Instagram link.

The King of Fantasy - Athena & Iori Yagami illustration by Eisuke Ogura (2019). TFG Instagram link.

Earlier this month, SNK officially confirmed  The King of Fighters XV is in development and shared the game's official logo (below). Of course, we'll keep you up to date on any news or announcements regarding KOF15!


See TFG's Related Tweet and comment your favorite KOF games, characters, soundtracks, etc. Thanks to SNK for bringing us 25 amazing years of KOF. The Future is Now.

 Stay tuned on for more SNK / King of Fighters news.


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  Related TFG Links:   The King of Fighters '94 KOF 2002: UMKOF XIVKyoIori
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AUG 12th, 2019!