Level-5 CEO Wants All of Its Future Games to Run on Smartphones
posted on by Karen Ressler
Level-5 president and CEO Akihiro Hino said in an interview with Nikkei Trendy on Friday that he hopes that all Level-5 titles will be compatible with smartphones in the future. The company's Yōkai Watch PuniPuni smartphone game was a big success, and Hino feels there has been a shift in the market where kids are playing more games on smartphones.
Hino also mentioned the company plans to release a Yōkai Watch film every year. The third film, after 2014's Yōkai Watch: Tanjō no Himitsu da Nyan! and 2015's Eiga Yo-kai Watch: Enma Daioh to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan!, will have both animated and live-action parts, though the staff initially wanted to make a full CGI film. Hino said that a CGI film would have taken two years to produce. The film will open in Japan this December.
A 3D-CG anime film Level-5's new Snack World cross-media project will open alongside the Yōkai Watch film. Aside from the 3D CG anime film, the project will feature a Nintendo 3DS/Android/iOS game by Level-5, a full-CG television animation airing on TV Tokyo, a manga series running in Shogakukan's Monthly Corocoro Comic magazine, and a toy line from Takara Tomy.
According to Hino, production on the Snack World anime is taking a while, so there is a chance the game and the anime will be released next year. More information will be revealed at the company's Level-5 Vision 2016 event.
Hino discussed the company's North American releases. The Yōkai Watch television series has earned good ratings in North America according to Hino, but the game has underperformed by Yōkai Watch standards, not selling much more than 400,000 copies. Hino said that Level-5 is planning to start releasing some content in North America simultaneously or before it is released in Japan.
Finally, Hino mentioned the company is opening a voice recording and streaming video studio in Tokyo. The studio will handle in-house voice recording and editing, and also create videos for Level-5 to share information with fans.
The company will release Yōkai Watch 3 in Japan on July 16 for Nintendo 3DS. Yōkai Watch 2 will debut on 3DS in the United States on September 30.