TOKYO, JAPAN (April 7th, 2015) – The press conference introducing LEVEL-5's upcoming game and TV animation line-up, LEVEL5 VISION 2015 in Japan, has concluded. The theme this year was "THE BEGINNING." LEVEL-5 adopted the theme for this year's conference to convey its goal of starting anew, rather than the maintenance of status quo or the pursuit of forward leaps. The announcement of new plans for the YO-KAI WATCH series as well as the brand new, large-scale, cross-media project, SNACK WORLD, ignites the beginning of next-generation entertainment. This recap highlights the newly announced titles and products from the conference. Unless otherwise stated, announced titles are currently planned for release in Japan. All English titles and names are tentative.
Layton 7 is the newest entry to the PROFESSOR LAYTON series, which boasts over 15.5 million units shipped worldwide. While proudly bearing the Layton name, LAYTON 7, a table-talk mystery game, takes the series in a completely new direction. The game allows for up to seven players, who are randomly and discretely assigned a role from: Villager, Knight, Oracle, Traitor, or Vampire. Through the integrated instant messaging system, they will try to determine the identity of the Vampire amongst them. With it, players can easily communicate through messages by choosing and combining preset statements. Characters each have their own unique abilities, such as the ability to see through the Traitor's deceit. These abilities add to the already multi-layered strategies of psychological mind-trickery. LAYTON 7 is being developed for iOS and Android devices for release in summer, 2015.
FANTASY LIFE 2 Futatsu no tsuki to kamisama no mura
In the FANTASY LIFE role-playing game series, players can choose from a wide range of jobs — each known as Life Classes — and set out to explore the beautiful and vast open world of Reveria! With over 1 million units of the initial game for Nintendo 3DS shipped worldwide, the latest installment marks the series' debut on smartphones. Exciting new adventures, countless lifestyles, and epic encounters of Reveria await. FANTASY LIFE 2 is in development for iOS and Android devices and is scheduled to be released summer of 2015.
YO-KAI WATCH International Release
In order for the rest of the world to have the opportunity to enjoy YO-KAI WATCH, the first game in the series, YO-KAI WATCH for Nintendo 3DS, has now been confirmed for an international release. The game is being carefully localized to ensure a positive reception from audiences around the world, with Nintendo as the publisher for the game outside Japan. To expand the franchise further from the game itself, LEVEL-5 is preparing to simultaneously launch a global "cross-media rollout," including the merchandising of anime and toys. In North America, the TV anime series is set to broadcast in 2015, and merchandise is expected to be released in spring of the following year. In Europe, the TV anime series and toys are scheduled to launch in 2016. Preparations are also underway to expand the TV anime series, toys, and publications to a wide range of regions in Asia. Keep an eye out for many more additional YO-KAI WATCH developments for both international and Japanese audiences in the future!
YO-KAI WATCH 3
YO-KAI WATCH 3, the latest installment in the YO-KAI WATCH series, is the follow-up to the YO-KAI WATCH 2 games (Ganso/Honke/Shinuchi), which have shipped over 6 million copies, including digital downloads. The YO-KAI WATCH series is to begin its 2nd season in Japan in July 2015, which spearheads a new stage in the franchise's expansion. New Yo-kai and new protagonists introduced in the 2nd season will also be featured in YO-KAI WATCH 3. Alongside Jibanyan and Komasan, there will be a new primary Yo-kai, named Usa-pyon, and a new protagonist, Inaho. Set in Sakura New Town, a peculiar detective story unfolds as self-proclaimed geek, Inaho, and the alien-like Yo-kai, Usa-pyon, together search for new Yo-kai.
Keita’s world is also in store for a big change. Due to family circumstances, Keita has moved to the USA, opening the doors to all-new adventures. He will be living in St. Peanutberg, a town with many new, hidden Yo-kai. Together with long-time buddies, Jibanyan and Whisper, in addition to the new Yo-kai he encounters, Keita will struggle to resolve a troublesome predicament involving Yo-kai.
A new Yo-kai Watch will also appear in the 2nd season. This new watch, called Yo-kai Watch U Prototype, has the capacity to “evolve.” YO-KAI WATCH 3 is being developed as an update-friendly game, and even after its initial release, several large-scale, free-of-cost updates are planned. More information will be available as release approaches. The game is to go on sale in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS.
YO-KAI WATCH Busters Aka neko dan/Shiro inu tai
The action game YO-KAI WATCH Busters, which was originally a bonus mode in the YO-KAI WATCH 2 games (Ganso/Honke/Shinuchi), is back by popular demand, and has been transformed into a standalone Nintendo 3DS game. YO-KAI WATCH Busters features multiplayer action for up to four players who command Yo-kai to cooperate against bosses.
The game will allow players to control nearly all friendly Yo-kai. Over 25 bosses are set to appear in the game, in addition to new Yo-kai. All Yo-kai have unique fighting styles and ability effects. Players are encouraged to strategize with their friends before challenging a boss to a battle. Two versions of the game will be released, with various mechanisms implemented to divide players into two teams and compete against each other. YO-KAI WATCH Busters is planned to be released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.
YO-KAI WATCH Sangokushi
YO-KAI WATCH Sangokushi, a simulation game, is a collaboration title between YO-KAI WATCH and KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.'s popular Sangokushi series. Familiar Yo-kai, including Jibanyan, are split into three factions, and the story is sparked as a turf war between factions ensues. In addition to the core strategy and battle elements, content that appeals to YO-KAI WATCH fans, such as the Sakura New Town setting and intuitive controls, will be featured in the game. YO-KAI WATCH Sangokushi is currently being developed for the Nintendo 3DS and planned for release in Japan.
YO-KAI WATCH PuNiPuNi
YO-KAI WATCH PuNiPuNi is a puzzle game in which players defeat enemy Yo-kai by connecting together falling Yo-kai PuNi, combining them to create bigger Yo-kai PuNi, and tapping them to make them disappear. The game is being co-developed by LEVEL-5 and NHN PlayArt for iOS and Android devices with a release date planned for summer, 2015 in Japan
In YO-KAI Daijiten, players work to complete its pages while gathering information about Yo-kai. Since YO-KAI WATCH is already widely popular among children, YO-KAI Daijiten is a great opportunity for the entire family to be engaged in the joint effort of its completion while collectively gaining knowledge of the series. It is currently being developed for iOS and Android devices for release in Japan.
YO-KAI WATCH Gerapo Rhythm
YO-KAI WATCH Gerapo Rhythm, the first rhythm-based game in the YO-KAI WATCH series, boasts numerous award-winning songs featured throughout the YO-KAI WATCH series. The game is currently being developed for iOS and Android devices in Japan.
The new LEVEL5 ID service, which is currently in development, allows games to combine registration and game information, such as status and levels, throughout multiple LEVEL-5 titles. As players play games linked through LEVEL5 ID, their collective progress is shared and can receive rewards based on the cumulative completion of LEVEL-5 games. This innovative, new approach to enjoy LEVEL-5 titles will be released in Japan in the near future.
Following the success of YO-KAI WATCH, development has been confirmed on this brand-new title which heralds the 4th wave of LEVEL-5's cross-media projects. SNACK WORLD is a strange world in which modern elements exist, such as convenience stores and smart phones, but is set in an RPG-like fantasy world. Transcending era and culture, SNACK WORLD can be described as a crossover of well-known folktales, resulting in a unique setting. In addition, LEVEL-5 is pushing a cross-media rollout on all fronts, with adaptations for a TV anime, manga, and film, already in the works.
LEVEL-5 Inc. plans, creates, and markets video game software in Japan. The company specializes in cross-media strategies and oversees corresponding counterparts (anime, toys, manga etc.) for its titles. The company’s flagship PROFESSOR LAYTON series has shipped over 15.5 million units worldwide.
The Ni no Kuni series, featuring animations created the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli, has sold over 1.5 million titles worldwide and received numerous prominent game awards.
LEVEL-5’s cross-media titles include INAZUMA EVELEN, Little Battlers eXperience, and most recently, YO-KAI WATCH, which has sold over 7.4 million copies of its games (including DL versions) in Japan alone. All forms of YO-KAI WATCH merchandise, including toys and games, are universally popular among people of all ages.
In September 2010, LEVEL-5 Inc. opened an office in Southern California. While maintaining its foundation as a game company, LEVEL-5 Inc. continues to actively explore collaborations with other media as it strives to flourish as a world-class entertainment brand. More information on LEVEL-5 Inc. can be found at http://www.level5ia.com and http://www.level5.co.jp.