The SNK Global official Twitter account announced that the 32bit version of The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match would undergo a Rollback Beta Test on Steam until October 22, 2020. The test is the successor to the 64bit Rollback Beta Test, which an official post on the game’s Steam page called “a massive success.”
Players can sign up for the beta test by selecting the Betas tab after right-clicking the game’s properties on Windows. Users who are running a 64-bit version of Windows can still opt in as well. SNK welcomes participant feedback in the game’s Discussion Forums. Beta versions of the game will only be able to match up against other Beta versions of the game for online multiplayer. Players can opt out of the Beta at anytime if this becomes inconvenient.
Ideally, the beta will help improve the game’s online experience in regards to latency and lag. All online games deal with these issues to some degree, but coming up with solutions for them is especially important when it comes games like The King of Fighters where precise inputs and quick reactions are a core part of the experience. In the middle of a pandemic, where playing in person has become exceedingly complicated, the ability to better simulate the immediacy of an offline environment becomes an even more important goal. Rollback netcode is one way to achieve that goal.
Part of what makes the whole thing interesting is that The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, or KOF2002UM, released on Steam on February 27, 2015. Since then, the game has achieved and maintained a “Very Positive” review status, with its more recent reviews being particularly noteworthy, as they are considered “Overwhelmingly Positive,” by Steam’s metrics. Not bad for a version of game that is over six years old at this point, right? Unlimited Match was also released for the PlayStation 2 in 2009, and via Xbox Live Arcade in 2010.
There’s definitely evidence of continued support for The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match‘s PC by the developers. But the communities willingness and enthusiasm to participate in events like this also signals a continuing support from fans. The 32Bit Rollback Beta s will continue up until October 22nd at 10 AM PDT.