Forgive us this moment of subjective praise in a news story, but Level-5 really is one of the best studios out there. They brought us our beloved, behatted mystery-solver, Professor Layton, as well as the underrated gem that is Fantasy Life, and somehow they also managed to develop Ni No Kuni, Yo-Kai Watch, and the Inazuma Eleven series all in the span of their 22-year career. That's a lot of great games for one studio!
However, the Japanese studio began to scale back its American offices back in 2019, and shut them down completely in 2020, with a source confirming that this meant "no future plans" for Level-5's games coming to the West any time soon. The last Level-5 game to make it over was the 2018 title Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl, which came to the West earlier this year, and a localised Yo-Kai Watch 4 has been announced for Switch, but no release date has been given.
Speaking to Japanese gaming site, 4Gamer, Level-5 president Akihiro Hino spoke of the company's plans for 2021. In a translation provided by The Gamer, Hino says that Level-5 is "preparing an unreleased new work,” as well as speaking about his positive experience with CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077. He's spent 60 hours with CD Projekt's game so far and hasn't fallen foul of any serious bugs, but he acknowledges that hasn't been the case for everyone.
However, they're not ready to say any more about the new game. "I can't talk about the details yet," Hino says, "but we are steadily proceeding, so please look forward to it."
Since it's unlikely that the new game - whatever it is - is going to be localised into English, we might as well use that headstart to start learning Japanese. Can't be that hard, right?
What would you like to see next from Level-5? Drop your favourite title in the comments, or tell us what new concept you think Level-5 might try next!