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!
[source 4gamer.net, via thegamer.com]
Stop being so biased Nintendolife.
So... You say they are awesome while also pointing out they don't want to give us anything anymore?
I don't understand.
Why ask for what we want to see next after telling us they basically aren't giving us anything?
Tbh with how bad Layton’s Mystery Journey was, and rereleasing that instead of a classic Layton collection (literally already developed on smartphone), they only have themselves to blame for lack of sales.
Nintendo or SquareEnix could publish again, it’s just that Level-5 seemingly can’t afford the translation. So it is possible.
Their best work remains on PlayStation with Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicle in Europe) and Rogue Galaxy, in my opinion. Dragon Quest VIII was fantastic as well.
I do love the Layton series, and Ni No Kuni was a great game. I would love to see a return to their PS2 style though. Rogue Galaxy remains a timeless classic and easily in my top 3 RPGs of all time.
They should just partner with Nintendo for Western localization and publishing.
I would definitely like to see them bring some kind of Fantasy Life game to Switch, even if it's just an enhanced port of the first game.
@Onion Fantasy Life might be one of my top 15 games of the decade, and I wish more people had played it!
@Onion Fantasy Life 2 would be my wife's dream, was so disappointed with Snack World!
I love their old catalogue. Got tons of hours on Fantasy Life too.
But lately I can't care for them if they won't care for us
Cyberpunk on PC is not as bad as the consoles. Issues I see with the game is the emptiness of the world and lack of interactivity. They nailed aesthetic, but little else in regards of world building.
It’s a shame about them.
I would have liked a new Inazuma 11 game on switch.
In a language I can read.
I'm sure Nintendo won't hestitate to publish any title they might make, especially if they gain switch exclusivity from it. I would love a Switch version of fantasy life, man that was a good game.
That reminds me, I should get yokai watch 4. Oh and megaton musashi to look out for!
Here is hoping for white knight chronicles 3!
Even as a kid I wasn’t a fan of anything Level 5 made except for Professor Layton
Maybe some kind of new IP they don't expect other publishers to readily latch on to? Otherwise, they already have quite a localization history with Nintendo in the west. Time will tell.
So he doesn't want anymore money? Good luck during the pandemic then. You don't localize, I won't buy simple as that.
I’m still waiting for the Professor Layton games to come to switch as it was said years ago
Dropping the english market seems like a very strange move.
Yokai Watch 3 on Switch.
The 3DS physical copies are nowhere to be founded now. 😫
It’s not a game for the Switch or Nintendo would of published it.
Or Nintendo is starting to realize that Level-5 is losing “it” like Rare and they are moving away from a sinking ship?
I say this as someone who really enjoyed Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest 9, Fantasy Life, and some of the Layton games.
"But teh bugs" waaaah....
I say it in that manner because i have noticed a concerted effort by tech media to bash CDPR/Cyberpunk 2077 & only highlight glitches, whereas there has never been this type of coverage on Skyrim that purposefully looked to damage the devs. I held off since i have an original xbox one. I have talked to 24 people personally who have played this mostly on xbox one S's but a couple w one X's or og fats like mine. Not one person was unsatisfied. At worst they say it was akin to a bethesda open world game on launch, but still a 8 or 9/10. At best, they say it's goty 10/10. Sadly, if i had bought this, i would've returned it because of the press it was getting, so i don't think the number of returns can be held against it. Sony may be a different issue because i haven't talked to anyone personally who played there, but to lump all the console versions in together seems to be intentional smears. This has opened my eyes to see that tech media i just like other media, these people all fellowship together & are a hive mind, rarely with a different take. So, once it's the "industry standard" to blast a game or dev, everyone is on the runaway train (what's "cool", & has to be the adopted pov, else the outlying "journalists" won't be included in the company picnics, etc). It's sad, but it's the state of media these days. I can't afford the game now, but i will be buying it as my next game purchase & supporting CDPR because of the unfairness they've had to endure. Sadly, i was duped by these "journalists" with ulterior motives.
Obviously not saying this site participated because they're a nintendo site & it's not on a nintendo system...just to be clear.
I'd love to get more excited about anything Level-5 is working on since I've enjoyed many of their past games. However, no localization, no buy.
Already learning Japanese, so I've got a head start.
I would've loved Rogue Galaxy on Switch. Hope this isn't the last we see of Level 5, without me having to employ a translator.
@ecco6t9 - To be fair, there's nothing in the article that states that Nintendo is definitely not publishing it (the only mention is the article writer stating it's unlikely given prior statements) so they could still be publishing a Switch version of this new title, we'll just have to wait and see to find out if that's the case or not.
As for what I'd like to see, a follow-up to the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover would be pretty much ideal, but since that's probably just a pipe dream at this stage, a new IP could be interesting. They've already proven themselves with Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni, so another new IP could be a nice chance of pace.
If any other publisher takes over, that's actually goos news. Maybe we won't have to wait a decade for localizations anymore.
I'd have liked to live in a reality where I wouldn't need to worry about the next Yo-Kai game being released in English soon, and not in 10 years or whenever it's simple and easy to make and run translation patches on Switches.
Did I read this correctly? It's because of the cost of translating the games? Really? That's ridiculous even if this was 20 years ago before the crazy tech we have now. I would rather have a poorly translated game than none at all, and I can gurantee that pretty much everyone agrees with that...so fix it LEVEL 5!
Lol remember old NES Castlevania Simon's quest translations? Hilarious and despite being impossible to decipher we loved and played them. Pre internet days. Yes this is irrelevant and just shows my age but I stand by whatever point I meant to make.
@Jhomesjones Yeah, I fondly remember poorly translated lines such as, "I feel asleep!!"
We already knew they had no real future plans for Western releases at all. Hoh well.
Ugh. Are they trying to go under now?
Well, now that that's over, I guess he may have been telling the Truth. Ninu Kuni's sequel was ported to the Switch just last month...
Tap here to load 33 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...