Pachislot  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Pachislot  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network SNK Playmore halts pachinko production, becomes the anti-Konami Sun, 08 Nov 2015 04:40:22 -0500 Clint Pereira

It shouldn’t be strange to hear that SNK Playmore has stopped producing pachinko games to return to its video game roots. After all, the company's The King of Fighters and Metal Slug series are still well-known among adult gamers.

And yet, it is strange.

In the wake of Konami's recent business decisions, all we’ve been hearing lately is how pachislot is where the money is; but if SNK Playmore’s loss of pachislot players are any sign, making pachislot games doesn't equal instant success.

It was only last August, however, that president Koichi Toyama stated in October a goal similar to Konami's current pachislot-focused agenda:

Currently, youths in their 20s are losing interest in the market, which has become a big issue, and has led us to believe that it is very important to develop machines that will appeal to this audience . . . We'd like to work hard to make video game fans into Pachinko Slot fans.

So what changed in three months?

The answer lies in SNK Playmore’s newest investors: Oriental Securities and Shunrong Sanqui. After forming a joint venture, the Chinese investors bought majority shares through SNK Playmore's parent company, Ledo Millennium. The CEO of Oriental Securities, Zheng Jianhui, has stated that their goal is to create the Marvel Comics of video games.

Given that Marvel has achieved record sales in theaters and almost singlehandedly revived the comic book industry, Jianhui's statement suggests he wants to use SNK’s IPs to create more games, shows, movies—the whole shebang.

In their decision to focus on an international market, the investors have probably concluded that the pachislot market was not worth pursuing. Gambling in China is also illegal, which may have informed their decision. The production of pachinko games would solely benefit Japan's economy.

Perhaps SNK Playmore's experiences with the pachinko market is a prediction of Konami’s own future. SNK was most popular in the '90s, but their focus on the pachislot sector allowed their IPs to weaken with time. Without strong IPs, pachinko games just aren’t as attractive to consumers. Unless Konami has a plan for keeping their IPs strong with younger generations, they too may find themselves bought out by Chinese investors with lofty goals.

SNK Playmore's future lineup will include The King of Fighters XIV, to be released on the PS4 in 2016. Follow our SNK Playmore tag for more coverage, and let us know in the comments what you think of the company's new direction.

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New Silent Hill pachislot game rubs salt in fans' wounds Wed, 05 Aug 2015 20:20:40 -0400 Ashley Shankle

How the mighty have fallen. Silent Hill, a series once renowned for its atmosphere and ability to strike fear into the hearts of the strongest-willed gamers, has been reduced to a gimmicky Japan-only pachinko slot game.

Silent Hill has had a rough ride ever since the series left the PlayStation 2, with the majority of the original development team being disbanded to let Western developers take the helm and steer the series in a different, ultimately unsuccessful direction. It hasn't been the same ever since.

After a decade of disappointing additions to the Silent Hill name, fans of the series finally saw some light in Silent Hills, the proposed collaboration between film director Guillermo del Toro and game director Hideo Kojima to bring the series back to its rightful place.

If you've been keeping in the loop, you know Silent Hills was unfortunately canned when Kojima left the company. We'll never see what it could have been. Instead Japan gets this atrocious Silent Hill 2-themed pachislot game. Check out the video in the header.

Pachislots are a combination of Japan's traditionally preferred game to gamble on, pachinko, and slot machines. It's not unheard of for a publisher to use its IPs for pachinko and pachislot machines -- SNK has famously stayed afloat due to its pachinko machines (along other companies saving them). Konami has been especially fond of using their IPs for pachinko and pachislot games over the past five years or so. It's easy money.

It's sad that Silent Hill has all but disappeared from the gaming community's collective conscience, and it's even worse that its one glimmer of hope was stamped out. Using Silent Hill 2 for a pachislot in the same year as the Silent Hills cancellation isn't even a surprise, it's just painfully disappointing.