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King of Fighters 15 first look reveals 5 returning characters

SNK teases the next KOF, promises more detail in January

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

SNK offered a sneak peek at The King of Fighters 15, the next entry in its 26-year-old fighting game franchise, on Thursday, revealing five characters from the game’s roster. Officially, that includes King of Fighters veterans Kyo and Benimaru, as well as relative newcomer Shun’ei, who debuted in The King of Fighters 14.

Two more characters also appear in SNK’s teaser trailer, but were not confirmed by producer Yasuyuki Oda and creative director Eisuke Ogura: Leona and K’.

Oda and Ogura did not show footage of KOF15 in action; instead, the producer and director showed early artwork featuring new designs for Kyo, Benimaru, and Shun’ei. Ogura also confirmed that Shun’ei will be the protagonist of the next King of Fighters game. The duo did not announce platforms for KOF15.

Artwork of K’ for The King of Fighters 15
K’ from KOF15
Image: SNK
Artwork of Leona from The King of Fighters 15
Image: SNK

Ogura said that the way teams are composed in KOF15 “will differ greatly” from the previous game, and that the next entry will be SNK’s “most ambitious KOF yet.”

SNK plans to reveal first footage of The King of Fighters 15 on Jan. 7, 2021. The same reveal will also offer a peek at Samurai Shodown’s season pass 3 characters, which will include one character from SNK’s The Last Blade and a brand-new fighter.

The most recent game in the KOF franchise was released in 2016. The King of Fighters 14 was available in arcades, and on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. That game featured 16 teams, with a total of 58 fighters including downloadable content.

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