Remember when we mentioned Level-5, creators of Studio Ghibli project Ni no Kuni, was opening an office in Santa Monica? It’s open and currently has five employees, Akiko Hino revealed in an interview with Nikkei’s Trendy Net. The North American office isn’t localizing Level-5 games, though. Level-5 is focusing on developing games there specifically for the North American market.
The heart of the office is Japanese staff, but their style of development is to collaborate with local staff, as well. Hino believes this will lead to a successful title for the North American market. An announcement about specific titles will be mentioned at this year’s Level-5 Vision press event.
Concerning trends in North America, Hino said the market is a little opaque. However, he hears the proportion of downloadable games for iPhone, smartphones, and home game consoles are rising over packaged products.
Later in the interview, Hino says Level-5 will continue to create products for the Japanese, North American, and European markets. In the West, Nintendo handles Level-5’s titles such as the Professor Layton series and Inazuma Eleven in Europe. Sony Computer Entertainment has contracted Level-5 to develop RPGs such as White Knight Chronicles and the Dark Cloud series before that for their consoles.