Level-5 president and CEO Akihiro Hino spoke with Nikkei Trendy about some of the company’s struggles in 2017, their focus on Switch going forward, and looking into esports for the future. [Thanks, Hachima.]
- 2017 was a year of problems relieved from the company. As a company that handles IPs, Level-5 felt some growing pains as it had its hands full in the IP business, which included trouble in managing game development.
- When a game gets delayed when dealing with other businesses for cross-media titles, it not only affects the profits for your own company but everyone all together, which leads to a loss of opportunities.
- Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was Level-5’s first worldwide simultaneous release on PS4 and PC, but its work was trouble. While carrying out rearrangements for cross-media projects for the company’s IP, they were short-staffed. As a result, they went over the cap and had to delay the release of Ni no Kuni II to this year.
- Currently they are taking measure to promote a sense of reform within the company. Hino is thinking about making it into an organization that can precisely manage its schedule better.
- The must-release timing for The Snack World’s game release was slightly off. Hino also felt that they needed another year to prepare for the anime. The Switch version that releases in April and it is well made, so he hopes to give it a another shot.
- Basically all of Level-5’s main titles that are coming up will release on Nintendo Switch. It’s safe to think everything that the company made for 3DS will be headed to Switch.
- The smartphone business is really growing. Smartphone games may be what’s carrying Level-5 at the moment.
- Hino wants to properly announce the brand-new 20th anniversary commemorative title in 2018.
- He also wants to make sure the company jumps on the esports bandwagon. He wants titles that will release from this point on to have modes that focus on versus and more.
- He believes that they can certainly can have something spread out and become a home to esports.
- With the “Level-5 Vision 2018” taking place this fall, Hino hopes to take the opportunity to let everyone know where the company stands in the industry.