The name of this franchise simply comes from the fact that the games involved use characters from both Capcom and SNK franchises. Each company gives their take on the others characters by pitting them against one another in various styles of games, generally the fighting genre.
The creation of this franchise is the result of a misunderstanding of the masses when Arcadia Magazine did a cover story on The King of Fighters ´98 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 in the same issue, which where both released in the second quarter of 1998. The idea was to compare the two games against one another, but people misunderstood the phrase 'KOF vs. SF' for a game that included both franchises.
Because there was such a positive outcry from fans, Capcom and SNK decided to work mutually on a series of games using the concept.
Conflicting interviews from both companies add confusion to the possibility of further games under the versus banner, in interviews both have stated that they would not do any further collaboration with one another. However in an interview during January of 2009, Yoshinori Ono, the producer of Street Fighter IV, expressed interest in doing another game in the series if fan demand was high enough.
In 2000, SNK was about to file for bankruptcy when it was acquired by Aruze creator of popular pachinko machines. Aruze also acquired the SNK vs Capcom license, and used to it to create two games for the Neo Geo Pocket, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium and SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash and which all turned out to be commercial disasters selling a combined total of only fifty thousand units total.
A contributing factor to the demise of SNK was the two Capcom produced Vs.games that turned out to be financial successes. Because the games were produced by Capcom, most of the profit from the two games went to Capcom rather than SNK.
SNK filed for bankruptcy on October 22nd 2001, putting their intellectual properties up for bid. Most of the employees then left the company to create the hardware and software company Brezzasoft.
In 2001 Eikichi Kawasaki, the original founder of SNK who had left the company under Aruze's command and founded Playmore, bid on the intellectual property rights and won. Kawasaki began rehiring past SNK employees and eventually purchased Brezzasoft which was then renamed to SNK Neo Geo Corp. The SNK of today resembles the company of old in many ways, and through tight partnerships with companies in many countries keeps their brand coming to their fans across the globe.
Capcom Produced Games
Released in 2000 for the Sega NAOMI arcade hardware and ported to the Dreamcast later that year. The game features 28 characters, 14 each for each company. Millennium Fight 2000 featured two selectable fighting styles, called 'Grooves'. These fighting styles were based on the fighting systems used in The King of Fighters and the Street Fighter Alpha franchises. The game had an updated and expanded version released titled Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 Pro for the arcade and Playstation 2 platforms.
Titled Capcom vs. SNK 2: Millionaire Fighting 2001 in Japan, this follow up was released for the Sega NAOMI. It was later released for the Dreamcast and Playstation 2. The game featured all of the characters from Millennium Fight 2000 and Millennium Fight 2000 Pro as well as twelve new fighters. Mark of the Millennium 2001 expanded the 'Groove' fighting system bringing the total of styles up to six. The game was later released for the Gamecube and Xbox under the name Capcom vs. SNK 2: EO.
SNK Produced Games
This Dimps developed game was released in 1999 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Featuring 26 fighters, eight of which are hidden. Each character has a rival character whom they fight in the fourth bout. The Match of the Millennium features three play modes which are one on one, two fighter tag team and three fighter queue team. The game also features an 'Olympic' mode in which players are tasked with themed mini games as well as time-attack, first strike and survival fights. These mini games award 'Vs. Points' which are used to unlock special attacks for each character. The Match of the Millennium is also noted for using the largest cartridge in terms of storage for either the Neo Geo Pocket or Neo Geo Pocket Color, due in part to the expansive use of character themes and stages.
Released in 1999 this Neo Geo Pocket Color game had two versions the SNK Supporter's Version and the Capcom Supporter's Version. The game features over one hundred characters from both companies histories and each version features exclusive cards unique to their respective company. Using rules much simpler than other collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh, the game pits characters against each other in 3-on-3 card combat. Cards are broken into two types 'Character' cards and 'Action' cards.
This game was a Japan release only sequel to Card Fighters Clash released in 2001 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. The game includes all of the cards from the first game while adding 124 new cards, new characters and a new card type 'Reaction' cards. A face lift was given to the character cards in the original game featuring new super deformed character illustrations by a new artist. In addition, new special edition cards featuring non-super deformed art were added. A fan translation patch was later released to translate the game text to English.
Released in 2003 for Neo Geo arcade and home platforms, later ported to the Playstation 2 and Xbox in Japan and the PAL Regions, only the Xbox version was released to the North American market. This is the only competitive arcade fighting game produced by SNK that featured both SNK and Capcom characters. Based on King of Fighters style game play but forgoing the team battle format for a more traditional one on one match up. SVC Chaos features 36 characters evenly divided between the two companies, boss characters were only selectable in the Neo Geo AES home console, Playstation 2 and Xbox consoles.
Released in 2006 in Japan and 2007 in the United States, this game was less a port of the original games than a complete remake. ADK characters were added to the SNK side of the game as well as many new Capcom characters. The original release of the United States version of the game was shipped with a game breaking bug in which the game crashes after speaking to an opponent whom has to be defeated in order to progress. SNK recalled the defective cartridges replacing them with fixed copies featuring a different black and white label.