Level-5‘s Yokai Watch, which first launched as a 3DS game last July in Japan, has grown to become one of the country’s biggest mixed media franchises. But Level-5 has a new franchise in the works due out next year that will be even bigger, according to studio boss Akihiro Hino.
“It takes a lot of time to craft new installments of Yokai Watch, but on some weeks, we’re actually spending more time on our ‘new title,'” Hino told Wedge Infinity. “Around this time next year, I think we’ll have something out that’s different not just from Yokai Watch, but anything else we’ve ever done before. 2015 is going to be yet another big year of change for us.”
He added, “2015 will be a year where we usher in a hit bigger than Yokai Watch.”
Hino says that he wants it to resemble the things he enjoyed as a kid, but more modernized. Of course, like Yokai Watch, it will consist of not only games, but anime and manga, too.
And speaking of Yokai Watch, at the launch of the franchise’s first anime movie Yokai Watch the Movie: Tanjou no Himitsu da Nyan!, Hino confirmed the anime is headed westward. While some of the character names are changing for the western release, popular names like Whisper and Jibanyan will remain the same. Confirmed regions for the anime include the United States, Europe, and various other areas.
Outside of Yokai Watch and the new franchise, Hino also talks a bit about Level-5 as a studio, saying he has no plans of moving the company to Tokyo, as he wants to foster its current location of Fukuoka to be the ‘Hollywood’ of games.