A Message From Level 5 President, Akihiro Hino, To Overseas Fans

By Ishaan . July 25, 2011 . 11:24am

A few months back, we reported that Level had opened an office in Santa Monica, and that they would be developing games targeted specifically for the American audience. However, Level 5 president, Akihiro Hino, says that they also plan to bring games over from Japan:



This message is part of Level 5’s newly launched American website. You can view pictures of the office, find links to their Twitter and Facebook pages, and read a little introduction about the history of the company at the link.


In recent times, the only Level 5 games that have been consistently published overseas by the same company are the Professor Layton games, which are published by Nintendo in the U.S. and Europe. Nintendo of Europe also published the very first Inazuma Eleven on Nintendo DS.

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  • Oh boy. This is going to get ugly fast.

    Let me start the proceedings off: It’s my understanding that much of Level-5’s output is already popular in America, so do they really need to diversify now?

  • Yesshua

    This is good.  Now both Capcom and Level 5 have US publishing branches.  Now, now matter how the IP rights break down, somebody has the rights and the ability to publish Layton vs. Phoenix in the US.

    • Layton vs. Phoenix Wright was always more in Level 5’s court than Capcom’s. I remember Capcom USA saying that if the game were to come over, it would likely be L5 who would publish it.

  • Eddie

    Thank you Mr. Hino! Can we have both Ni no Kuni games??? That would be awesome.

  • Let’s hope one of those planned games is Ni no Kuni

  • Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing Ni no Kuni soon. :p

    I don’t see anything wrong with this though. As long as the Japanese games keep on coming then this is just icing on the cake. Opening a Western branch to develop titles that would appeal to that region is a much better approach than trying to have your Japanese studios do it.

    This way, assuming all goes well, we’ll get the best of both worlds.

  • kroufonz

    I really really hope they put priority to release their japanese game here before creating “western targeted” game!

    just please bring ni no kuni PS3 with dual voice option to the west please!

    i am quiet worried with this statement (most of time when japanese company saying they will make game for “western” audience nothing good ever happened if anything chance we will only get this western targeted game while at the same time we ended up never getting their japanese developed/targeted game)

    if siliconera have chance to interview level 5 in near future, i wish siliconera could ask level 5 to explain their stand about this statement and their localization policy.

  • I hope this will help the chances of Layton vs Phoenix to be localized for the US. It already hurts that the 3DS is region locked but it hurts even more that Capcom is never localizing Ace Attorney Investigations 2. But if Capcom continues to think we don’t want Ace Attorney games, they are SADLY mistaken.

    • Not never, just not on the DS. They’ve said there’s a good chance they will publish AAI2 in the future, just not on the DS.

      • Maybe.  But lately, capcom hasn’t given the fanbase much reason to believe them.  Not being salty, just stating what the majority sees.

  • Call of the Professor: Layton Ops 

  • <3 Level 5.  As long as you localize games I don't' care what the western branch develops.  Though I have a feeling the western branch will make interesting stuff anyways.

  • Stopped reading after “targeted American audience”… No hope for Europe.

    • Odd, isn’t it? Considering how well Layton and Inazuma Eleven were received…

      • landlock

        Of course once there already translated into English it will be much easier for someone else to pick them up for Europe like Tecmo Koei does for Nippon Ichi titles.

    • I wouldn’t say there’s “no hope”. Perhaps they’ll set up a European office in the future. There’s no way to tell for sure, but I totally understand why European folks would be concerned about making sure they get L5’s games. 

      Something to keep in mind about Europe is that every PAL territory is like its own sub-market, and there are several of them. U.K., Germany, France…they’re all different in their own way, and perhaps Level 5 aren’t big enough (yet) to enter Europe entirely on their own and deal with the difference in language, culture, marketing, preferences and so on across all the different EU territories. :)

  • Code

    rar, I’d love to see Little Battlers make it to North American shores owo’ I’m hoping Level 5 can help clarify what will and won’t be making the potential jump outside of Japan. Since Little Battlers has high potential of being import opo

    • kupomogli

      I really liked the way the battle system looked for Little Battlers, I really want to see that game come over. 

      • darkonezero

        I’ve been waiting for Little Battlers since it was lightly mentioned in a magazine article about Level 5. It was called Cardboard Warmachine at that point.

  • Maximiliano Guerra

    Yeah right. All fine and dandy. But I’m still with my horrible-dubbed WKC US version. Wich they promissed would have jap voice and eng subs.
    Well, it doesn’t, and I could never play more than an hour of that game. 
    Wasted money. :(

    ps: I totally supported this game by paying full price at release, didn’t waited for discounts.

    • landlock

      I guess you don’t play alot of JRPGs then because that was one of the better dubs around. Not great but still one of the better ones.

  • HarryHodd

    All I really want at this point is Ni No Kuni PS3. More JRPGs would be nice too. Not sure I’d be into products made specifically for American gamers from them, but i’ll keep an open mind.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    This man worked on Overblood. He’s already earned my eternal respect. Anything Level 5 does is just icing on the cake.

  • Rarutos

    Pretty excited about this! Really hoping for Ni no Kuni mostly! :3

  • MPHavoc

    Just give us Americans the Inazuma Eleven series, Level-5, and I’ll never ask you for anything else(okay, that’s a blatant lie, but I still want my IE).

  • imaguni

    I’m just gonna say I have mixed feelings about the “targeted American audience” bit. As much as we only have to admit that Japanese games were made were the Japanese audience in mind first, this sort of saying just hasn’t had a very good connotation (putting it lightly). If they continue to bring games over, I am fine, and I don’t want to knock their American-born games before I try them anyway. I’m gonna stay neutral for now before coming up with clever Layton-CoD-Halo name mashups.

  • sandra10

    So… Time Travelers has a chance of being localized, then?

    • I say so.  Just about all the games that Nintendo/Sony doesn’t have interests in.

  • Kaoro

    I really love it when companies post photo tours of their offices/studios like Level 5 America has. What an awesome modern studio they have!

    More companies should do this. I would love to see Atlus, XSEED, Bioware, and Square-Enix’s (morbid curiosity in the case of SE) offices.

  • yeah i’m also kind of unsettled about his reference of the difference between the american and japanese market.like most of you i just hope that they dont go gun happy for overseas titles.oh  yeah bring ninokuni for the ps3 please….

    btw, level-5 japanese offices are just gorgeous.they do look like a 5 star hotel instead of a proper office XD

  • Level 5 did more than just Inazuma 11 and Professor Layton, I am glad more of their games will come here so it will be great.

  • professor layton: FPS edition was the first thing in mind when i saw targeting american audience

    • Perfect picture for this statement.


      • puchinri

        Oh my gosh, that is the best thing ever. (And I will have that Layton one day!)

    • neo_firenze

      OK I was about to come with the “NO DON’T FOCUS ON AMERICAN AUDIENCES YOU FOOLS, make your great games with your personal perspective since you’ve been doing such a good job of that already without trying to pander to the west”…

      Then I saw this reply.  Gotta say, perhaps I was wrong…

  • d19xx

    Looking forward to Little Battlers then or is that an exception?

    Reminds me of Crapcom’s multi platform commitment, then announced several platform exclusives. trolololol

  • Shinji Kazuya

    Great! Hoping to see Inazuma Eleven Strikers in Europe some time in the future!

  • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

    I do like the sound of this, since NoA is a bit… apprehensive in bringing anything other than Layton or DQ over here. As long as it means we’re getting translated versions of IE:1, 2, 3, Go, Strikers, Ni no Kuni (both DS and PS3), Time Travelers, Fantasy Life, Little Battlers, a resurrection of the cancelled “Ushiro”, the new Gundam collaborations, new games from Yasumi Matsuno, new games announced at their Level-5 party later this year, and the eventual “Dark Cloud 3” (fingers and toes crossed). Do this, and I can die a happy man.

    And when I said “translated”, I mean “translated” versions of IE. The localized names for the characters are horrible, in my opinion and I well never, ever, refer to them as such. I mean “Mark Evans”, “Axel Blaze”, and “Jude Sharp”? *Vomits*

  • HistorysGreatestMonster

    All I want is the PS3 Ni No Kuni. That’s all. Don’t even mind if you Westernize the title. Just want that. Give it dual voice to make everyone happy and call it a day.

  • LezardValeth

    Glad to see the literal “Berlin Wall” of gaming is crumbling. Alot more titles are being shared between continents now than ever before, and it seems like several companies have been taking the initiative to bring more stuff over, not just games either. Things are moving in the right direction.

    • kroufonz

      well in jrpg case the berlin wall isn’t crumbling instead it is getting stronger, taller than ever!

    • SirRichard

      It’s seen a few scratches, if anything. Note “American audiences” and “original content for the US” – apparently there’s only America and Japan for these guys.

  • As silly as it may seem, I hope this means that 3DS hostess life sim girly game gets localized. It looks so adorable!

    • puchinri

      I’m hoping for the same!

  • AzureNova

    Nice.! More PS3 games though please ^_^

  • Well, that put me at ease just a little bit. I won’t be satisfied completely until Time Travelers, Fantasy Life, Little Battlers, Ninokuni DS and PS3, and Layton vs Phoenix Wright are brought over though. 

  • Yes, PLEASE, Ni No Kuni for PS3 ;;-;; !!!

  • Oh yes

    You better localize the Ni No Kunis and Inazuma Eleven.

  • Finalstar2007

    Ni No Kuni for PS3!

  • and please japanese games =) nothing more

  • puchinri

    I’m kind of hopeful that they’ll release Inazuma Eleven here themselves (and keep the names of everything and everyone), but I’m really hoping we’ll see Ni no Kuni and Danball Senki from them too.

    Very interested in what L5- IA will be developing too. 

    That office is pretty nice too~. (But little can beat the one in Japan, probably.)

    Also, he has a point about the difference in markets, but that comment doesn’t need to be read as bad as it sounds. Consider this; DQ is more popular in Japan than it is here and FF is more popular here than it is in Japan. MonHun is way more popular in Japan than it is here. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these games don’t get support here though. For all we know, they could be taking these kind of differences into consideration and working with them, but also maybe not minding them and they may try to bridge that gap in differences at some time.

  • Sounds like he’s giving in to this isolated way of thinking that other companies are all giving in to, such as Capcom and Nintendo.  Not sure how I feel about this.

  • landlock

    “In recent times, the only Level 5 games that have been consistently published overseas by the same company are the Professor Layton games”

    Well Sony did Dark Cloud, Dark Chronicles and Rogue Galaxy (plays very similar to DC) and White Knight Chronicles, White Knight Chronicles 2 and White Knight Chronicles Portable. That’s pretty consistent.

  • SirRichard

    I’m seriously beginning to believe that Japanese developers think that only Japan and the US buy games. Maybe Nintendo of Europe ate all the Layton money or something, who knows.

    • Setsu Oh

      i think they include in US europe and the world. basically it is japan: asia, US: west.

  • Setsu Oh

    you don’t have to do a lot to please me, level5, none of your games, like itagaki’s, i liked but at what you do still i know you are really good . so, just ni no kuni ps3 no aliazing, jp dub (move? for the spells) option and i’m glad already.
    justdon’t forget that most people who buy your games LOVE anime and jp dub. dont u forget that. oh and could u buy and polish in hd double cast  please? people love branching paths and it is sad noone has heard of this game.

  • blah blah

    Level 5 finally has a US branch?
    I had a feeling it would happen soon.
    Hopefully Ni No Kuni has a chance to be localized now.

  • PrinceHeir

    interesting :)

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