As many of you are likely aware, Yo-Kai Watch is now out in North America. A massive hit in Japan, the fascinating Yo-kai adventure game has drawn many parallels to Pokémon and other similar monster catching series. Nonetheless, Level-5 is hoping that it'll achieve similar success in the West, and is launching a full multimedia blitz with a toy line and TV show alongside the game itself. Akihiro Hino – the CEO of Level-5 – recently took part in an interview with Game Informer to spread more awareness in advance of the game's launch, and naturally had many interesting things to share regarding the franchise.
When asked how the series will set itself apart, Hino explained how each Yo-kai has its own distinct personality that contributes to the story and that the whole thing happens within the "real world".
Firstly, Yo-kai are different from monsters – they each have different personalities and thus bring depth to the story. Secondly, it is set in the real world. There is much more, but you will have to discover those differences once you start playing.
Later on, a question emerged regarding why the series has become so successful in Japan, where it reportedly is a strong competitor to Pokémon. Hino explained that the synergy shared by the multiple prongs of the franchise was the biggest factor.
The reason behind the success of Yo-kai Watch, not only as the game title but as the entire franchise, I would say is the strong link between the different pieces of our franchise, centered around what we call Yo-kai Medals [which] contributed a lot. Kids in Japan ran to the store after seeing the Yo-kai Medals used in the TV series, which can not only be enjoyed as collectible toys, but are also interactive with the video game, the arcade game, and can be utilized in many more ways.
What do you think? Will you be picking up Yo-Kai Watch? Do you think it'll achieve similar levels of success in the West? Drop us a comment in the section below.