Level-5 Allegedly Operating With A “Skeleton Crew” In North America

Release of future games outside of Japan is now in doubt.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/12/2020 15:56 Comment on this     ShareThis

Level-5 is renowned for series like Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch, but the publisher has never quite been able to replicate the success it has in Japan here in the West. Sadly, it seems that the company remains on a downward trend in this region, as Games Industry is reporting that operations in North America are being handled by a veritable “skeleton crew.” This extends to both Level-5 International America and Level-5 Abby.

Level-5 Abby COO Yukari Hayakawa is rumored to have vacated her position earlier this year, but the Games Industry piece notes that this remains unverified. In July of 2019 Level-5 International America shuttered its design department, laying off its two employees, but that has been the only official word from the company about any sort of closure of operations. Yo-Kai Watch 4 was announced as coming to Nintendo Switch in the West last year, but mum has been the word on that project other than that the series would be going multiplatform for the first time.

All of which is to say that this scuttlebutt might prove to be a major disappointment for fans of the studio, as without a dedicated staff in the West to handle localization, it seems unlikely that any new Level-5 games will be hitting our shores in the future. There’s a glimmer of hope in that this is, as of this writing, just conjecture, and furthermore even if Level-5 will no longer have operations in the West that doesn’t mean another publisher couldn’t take on the task of localizing the company’s games down the road.

As we learn more, we’ll be sure to update this story.

Source: Games Industry.biz

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