Famitsu ran a feature on Level-5 this week for the company’s 20th anniversary, looking back at twenty years of games that have been made since the company’s inception. Apart from the past, company president Akihiro Hino also talked about what’s next for the company.
Hino started off by remarking that even after all this time, he remains an avid gamer with the ability to flip a mental switch to enjoy gaming immediately. What has changed though, is the scale of the company, with Level-5 growing from a company Hino could manage personally to a giant development company over 20 years. At the same time, Hino looks back at the struggles and worries over the years, and can now reminiscence about it as if it were part of his youth.
Speaking on what’s planned for Level-5’s 20th anniversary, apart from Ushiro, which has been changed to be coming to Nintendo Switch, they also have an ace-in-the-hole announcement that has yet to be revealed. The reason why it hasn’t been announced was because of the delay of Inazuma Eleven Ares and Yokai Watch 4. It would be a disservice to the fans waiting for those games if they were to announce it now, said Hino.
Apart from this, Hino also wants to make an online-oriented game with elements that have never been seen before, especially as somebody who is very into online games. He discussed the merits and rise of asynchronous online games as seen in recent releases such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which he finds deeply interesting. Hino raises the point that there are many moment-to-moment experiences that he wouldn’t have experienced if it weren’t for online games like Ultima Online, and he believes this is one of the reasons people get hooked to them. His experiences with online games have not only influenced Level-5’s multimedia project games, but is also why he wants to make a surprisingly online-focused game as the company’s 20th anniversary game. Hino ended off by asking people to look forward to the announcement.