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Level-5

is a Japanese video game developer and publisher based in Fukuoka, Japan. The company, which employs around 280 individuals, was founded in October 1998 byAkihiro Hino,... read more

Games Dragon Quest VIII: Journe...Lady Layton: The Conspira...Ni No Kuni II: Revenant K...
Founding date
1998
Address
City: Fukuoka
Country: Japan
Number of Employees
100+
Website
Platforms
Genres
Updated
11/3/2016 7:16:51 PM
Level-5

is a Japanese video game developer and publisher based in Fukuoka, Japan. The company, which employs around 280 individuals, was founded in October 1998 byAkihiro Hino, after he departed from the now defunct Japanese developer Riverhillsoft. Hino designs, plans, or produces nearly all of Level-5's games, and is also the CEO and President of the company. It is well known for the Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch series.

Description

Early in its history, Level-5 enjoyed a close relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment, with many of its titles funded by and produced in conjunction with them. Starting in 2007, the company started self-publishing its titles in Japan, whileNintendo took over publishing on their systems internationally. As of 2013, Level-5 was one of the ten largest video game companies in Japan, where it held a 3.2% market share.

History

Level-5 was established in October 1998 by Akihiro Hino and his development team. They had left Riverhillsoft following the release of OverBlood 2 for the PlayStation in 1998, so that they could focus on creating 3D software. Since Hino did not originally believe that his team could become an independent developer, he formed a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment, who would allow him to develop for their upcoming PlayStation 2 under the condition that he set up his own company. The name, "Level-5", was a reference to Japanese school report cards, where "Level-5" is the highest possible mark. Soon after being created, the company had eleven employees.

Level-5's first full-scale production was the action RPG Dark Cloud, developed under contract by Sony Computer Entertainment, originally for the Japanese launch of the PlayStation 2 in March 2000. However, it was delayed before the console's launch to allow further development, and eventually released in Japan on December 14, 2000, and elsewhere in 2001. Work immediately began on a sequel titled Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 in North America). While not as successful as the first game,Dark Chronicle still gained critical acclaim and sold over half a million units worldwide.

Midway through 2002, the company had a substantial boost in recognition as it began development on three high profile titles:

  • True Fantasy Live Online for Microsoft, an MMORPG which was to become one of the premier titles for the Xbox and Xbox Live service in Japan before it was abruptly canceled in 2004.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for Square Enix, who had handpicked Level-5 to develop the title under the supervision of series designer Yuji Horiiand his team at Armor Project.
  • Rogue Galaxy, the studio’s third RPG for Sony Computer Entertainment, with a larger budget and more creative freedom than its previous productions with the publisher.

In just four years, Level-5 went from small startup studio to one of the premier RPG developers in Japan, and have since enjoyed immense critical and commercial success. In early 2007, the company released its first fully self-funded and self-published title in Japan, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, which has since enjoyed incredible commercial success, shipping more than 840,000 copies to retail, and has officially transitioned Level-5 into both a developer and publisher of interactive video game entertainment in Japan.

Yasumi Matsuno, director of Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the Ogre Battle series, briefly joined Level-5 in June 2011, who left the company after completing work on Crimson Shroud for the Nintendo 3DS.

In October 2015, Level-5 founded a spin-off company in Santa Monica, California, in cooperation with Dentsu, called Level-5 abby. Its purpose is to develop multimedia entertainment for the western demographic.

Roid Service

In 2009, Level-5 launched its Roid (Revolutionary Original Ideas Discovery) service, a mobile phone application that serves as a content delivery platform for mobile games. It is only compatible with NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile internet service in Japan. Users pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive games and social game functions. The platform debuted with six titles: Sloan and McHale's Mystery Story, Professor Layton and the Mansion of the Mirror of Death Remix, Chara Jo P,Yuuenchi wo Tsukurō Revolution, Treasure Island, and Elf the Dragon. The first three were developed by Level-5, while the last three were developed by outside companies.

List of games

Title
System
Original release date
JP
NA
EU
AUS
Dark Cloud
PlayStation 2
December 14, 2000
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Dark Chronicle
PlayStation 2
November 28, 2002
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
PlayStation 2
November 27, 2004
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Rogue Galaxy
PlayStation 2
December 8, 2005
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Jeanne d'Arc
PlayStation Portable
November 22, 2006
Yes
Yes
No
No
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Nintendo DS
February 15, 2007
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Nintendo DS
November 29, 2007
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Inazuma Eleven
Nintendo DS
August 22, 2008
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Nintendo 3DS
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Nintendo DS
November 27, 2008
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
White Knight Chronicles
PlayStation 3
December 25, 2008
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Paul Sloane & Des MacHale's Intriguing Tales
Nintendo DS
May 21, 2009
Yes
No
No
No
Professor Tago's Mental Gymnastics #1 and #2
Nintendo DS
June 18, 2009
Yes
No
No
No
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
Nintendo DS
July 11, 2009
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Paul Sloane & Des MacHale's Intriguing Tales 2
Nintendo DS
September 3, 2009
Yes
No
No
No
Inazuma Eleven 2
Nintendo DS
October 1, 2009
Yes
No
Yes
No
Nintendo 3DS
Professor Tago's Mental Gymnastics #3 and #4
Nintendo DS
October 8, 2009
Yes
No
No
No
Professor Layton and the Last Specter
Nintendo DS
November 26, 2009
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Inazuma Eleven 3
Nintendo DS
July 1, 2010
Yes
No
Yes
No
Nintendo 3DS
White Knight Chronicles II
PlayStation 3
July 8, 2010
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn
Nintendo DS
December 9, 2010
Yes
No
No
No
Ni no Kuni: Hotroit Stories
Mobile phone
December 9, 2010
Yes
No
No
No
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Nintendo 3DS
February 26, 2011
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Danball Senki
PlayStation Portable
June 16, 2011
Yes
No
No
No
Inazuma Eleven Strikers
Wii
July 16, 2011
Yes
No
Yes
No
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
PlayStation 3
November 17, 2011
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Little Battlers eXperience Boost
PlayStation Portable
November 23, 2011
Yes
No
No
No
Inazuma Eleven GO
Nintendo 3DS
December 15, 2011
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 Xtreme
Wii
December 22, 2011
Yes
No
No
No
Girls RPG: Cinderellife
Nintendo 3DS
March 8, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
Ni no Kuni: Daibouken Monsters
Mobile phone
May 11, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
Guild01
Nintendo 3DS
May 31, 2012
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
iOS
Little Battlers eXperience
Nintendo 3DS
July 5, 2012
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Time Travelers
Nintendo 3DS
July 12, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
PlayStation Vita
PlayStation Portable
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
iOS
September 21, 2012
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Android
Little Battlers eXperience W
PlayStation Portable
October 18, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
PlayStation Vita
Layton Kyouju to Seiki no Nana Kaitou
iOS
November 14, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Nintendo 3DS
November 29, 2012
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Inazuma Eleven GO 2: Chrono Stone
Nintendo 3DS
December 13, 2012
Yes
No
Yes
No
Inazuma Eleven GO Strikers 2013
Wii
December 20, 2012
Yes
No
No
No
Fantasy Life
Nintendo 3DS
December 27, 2012
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Nintendo 3DS
February 28, 2013
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Guild02
Nintendo 3DS
March 13, 2013
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Earth Devastating B-Grade Girlfriend Z: Space War
iOS
June 25, 2013
Yes
No
No
No
Android
August 12, 2013
Yo-kai Watch
Nintendo 3DS
July 11, 2013
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Little Battlers eXperience: W Super Custom
Nintendo 3DS
July 18, 2013
Yes
No
No
No
Fantasy Life Link!
Nintendo 3DS
July 25, 2013
Yes
No
No
No
Little Battlers eXperience: Wars
Nintendo 3DS
October 31, 2013
Yes
No
No
No
Inazuma Eleven GO 3: Galaxy
Nintendo 3DS
December 5, 2013
Yes
No
No
No
Yo-kai Watch 2
Nintendo 3DS
July 10, 2014
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yo-kai Watch 2: Shinuchi
Nintendo 3DS
December 12, 2014
Yes
No
No
No
Yo-kai Watch Busters
Nintendo 3DS
July 11, 2015
Yes
No
No
No
Yo-kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version[a]
Wii U
December 5, 2015
Yes
No
No
No
Yo-kai Sangokushi[b]
Nintendo 3DS
April 2, 2016
Yes
No
No
No
Yo-kai Watch 3: Sushi & Tempura
Nintendo 3DS
July 16, 2016
Yes
No
No
No
Fantasy Life 2
iOS
2016
Yes
No
No
No
Android
The Snack World
Nintendo 3DS
April 2017
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
iOS
Android
Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy
Nintendo 3DS
2017
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
iOS
Android
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
PlayStation 4
TBA
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
True Fantasy Live Online
Xbox
Canceled
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Ushiro
PlayStation Portable
Canceled
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Level-5 (company), which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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