The King of Fighters (KOF) game franchise was first released in 1994 by SNK Playmore (then known as SNK). It was originally intended to be a spin-off of SNK's Fatal Fury series, but it quickly gained popularity and became a standalone franchise.
The KOF series features a tournament format where players choose a team of three characters and battle against other teams. The characters in the game are mostly derived from SNK's other franchises, such as Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, but there are also original characters created specifically for KOF.
Over the years, the KOF series has undergone several updates and revisions. The most recent iteration, KOF XIV, was released in 2016 and features a roster of 50 characters, including both returning favorites and new characters.
In addition to the main KOF series, there have also been several spin-off games, such as KOF: Maximum Impact and KOF: Sky Stage. These games have slightly different gameplay mechanics, but they still maintain the core elements of the KOF franchise.
KOF has a strong following and has had numerous tournaments and events dedicated to the game, including the KOF World Championship and the KOF World Cup. It has also been featured in various video game magazines and has won numerous awards.
Overall, the KOF franchise has had a long and successful history and continues to be a popular choice for fighting game fans around the world.