Yo-Kai Watch

Level-5 is a company that has become increasingly more relevant and prolific over the years, as it's procedurally added more and more successful franchises to its portfolio. If you notice, most of the company's current projects exist in multiple forms, with cartoons, games, toys, and more all contributing to the success of each brand.

Akihiro Hino -- Level-5's CEO -- recently talked a bit with Forbes on the company's planning strategies and how properties like Yo-Kai Watch and Professor Layton get off the ground. It seems like each IP is initially beugn from a simple story idea, which is then iterated upon and improved by staff members as they see how it could work in varying formats:

I design a draft scenario and create the story, usually around 40 A4-size pages. I then share it with the Level-5 staff, and create a cross-media model incorporating all of our company's feedback. For the main titles in the Yo-Kai Watch and Layton series, I put a great deal of effort in creating the drafts and then handed the project off to roughly 50 staff members to take to completion but I stay involved throughout the creative process and am continually giving feedback and instructions.

It sounds like staff are given a pretty loose leash as to what they can do; they're effectively allowed to do what they deem best, and then present this in later project updates.

As I am quite busy fulfilling the roles of both CEO and Creative Director. Since it is impossible for me to look at all the details of each individual project, there are many supporting staff members that manage portions of the projects and routinely present updates for my approval. Things are functioning well because each individual staff member is proactive and independent in their work and takes ownership of the titles we develop and their own work/performance. Therefore, the structure of the organization enables the company to function well.

It sounds like a pretty cool place to work, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of content the company puts out in the future. Check out the full interview here, it's a fascinating read.

What do you think? What's your favorite Level-5 franchise? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[source forbes.com]