Yokai Watch: Level-5 considering western expansion

Akihiro Hino on why the franchise is popular with kids.

Yokai Watch

Level-5 is considering the western expansion of Yokai Watch, its currently Japan-only 3DS game about a young boy or girl and their adventures with ghosts, “in a big way,” company boss Akihiro Hino told this week’s Famitsu.

While Hino didn’t go further into detail, he did discuss a bit about the latest games in the series, Yokai Watch 2: Ganso and Honke.

“When planning the first Yokai Watch, I already thought to release the sequel as 2 different versions.” Hino explained. “Children like having things that other people don’t have, so from a marketing perspective, having 2 versions is a good idea. Also, a lot of people play Yokai Watch with their parents. Where people would have some hesitation about getting 2 copies of the same game, if you have different versions, it’s a lot easier for them to buy both.”

Yokai Watch has become quite the hit in Japan, with the first game selling over one million copies and still going strong in the top 10 of the weekly Media Create sales charts, and with an anime and manga, too. According to Hino, kids like the franchise so much because main character Keita is normal and relatable.

“Keita isn’t a child who always does the right thing, but has his own flaws as well, like trying to watch naughty TV shows late at night or making fun of people,” Hino said. “Keita’s actions are depicting what is ‘normal’ for modern children. He’s not a good boy, but someone who says what he thinks. I believe that character setting made him very relatable to people.”

Yokai Watch 2 is now available for 3DS in Japan.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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