The surprise Nintendo Switch port of SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash in January 2022 was a welcome one for many longtime fans. Siliconera asked SNK producer Adam Laatz and NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection project director Lionel Ackah about what it took to re-release Card Fighters’ Clash in 2022 and whether further titles (like a Card Fighters 2 English release) are on the way.
Graham Russell, Siliconera: What do you think is it about SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash that has allowed it to develop such a devoted following over the years? What makes it special?
Adam Laatz, Producer, SNK: The strong reception for Card Fighters’ Clash from all the way back in the late ’90s has carried over many devout fans of this title and series still to this day. In my opinion, its simplicity and addictive gameplay, many cards, iconic characters, and lots of nostalgia from the era are what makes it special in the hearts and minds of many gamers.
What challenges were there to re-releasing Card Fighters’ Clash? How did you get past them?
Laatz: Thanks to all of Code Mystics’ and the teams in Osaka & Tokyo’s hard work on Match of the Millennium, it definitely ensured the development and re-release of this title went rather smooth as well. I would say one of the challenges from the dev side was including both Capcom and SNK Supporters versions of the game in one game application. That said, I should also mention the many requests received from our fans for this title and encouragement from [Street Fighter V director Takayuki] Nakayama over at Capcom definitely helped the teams!
The Card Fighters’ Clash re-release includes link functionality for battling and trading, as well as a connection to Match of the Millennium. How tough was that to implement? Why was that so important to the team?
Lionel Ackah, Project Director, SNK: This was an extremely tough challenge for our collaborators at Code Mystics, involving a lot of reverse engineering. And we can proudly say that Code Mystics has answered the call with the best we could expect. CM and us always want to provide the best experience possible to our fans, and being able to experience Card Fighters’ Clash as close as possible to the original version was one of our objectives.
The first NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection release was just that, the first! Volume 1. Is this release the beginning of a wave of Volume 2 titles?
Ackah: As for any compilation, it always depends on fans interest and support. All we can say for now is that we are more than pleased by the feedback we have received.
With Match of the Millennium and Card Fighters’ Clash, the NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection effort has expanded into third-party licenses. How has it been to work with Capcom on these?
Laatz: It’s definitely thanks to the staunch support we have received from Mr. Nakayama, Mr. Tsuchiya, and their licensing team based in Tokyo. It has been a real pleasure working with everyone over at Capcom.
Will we see other non-SNK companies involved in the future, blue and speedy or otherwise?
Ackah: We cannot promise anything, as it is always a challenge to work on franchises outside of our own. But we are doing our best to get our past collaborators companies involved again to help us bring back gems of this era.
What’s the process like for selecting which NGPC games to revive? What are your criteria?
Ackah: We have several criteria. The first and most important one is to read our fans’ feedback and requests on our official social media channels. Other criteria would be gameplay, rarity, and feasibility.
Is there any chance we’ll see an official English release of Card Fighters 2, the fan-favorite sequel to this game, as part of this series?
Laatz: Please don’t rule this out, as we are currently looking into the matter! Thank you again for your support of SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash on Nintendo Switch and other NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection titles.
Responses were lightly edited for clarity. For more on SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters’ Clash, check out our look at the game.