Level-5, the developer and publisher behind many popular franchises such as Professor Layton, Yo-Kai Watch, and Inazuma Eleven, has apparently been grinding to a standstill in the US.
According to a new investigative report by Gameindustry.Biz, multiple sources have cited that both Level-5 International America and Level-5 Abby (a spin-off office) have been scaling back their operations and laying off a majority of staff since mid-2019. Apparently, only a skeleton crew of around 1-2 employees have remained at Level-5 Abby to help carry out essential functions.
One source from the report even suggested that the company currently had “no concrete plans” to release any more of its games outside Japan.
While some may be skeptical about this situation, it does explain the relative drought of activity from the company in the west. So far, there has not been any further news about Yo-Kai Watch 4 heading to the west – despite Yo-kai Watch 4++ already releasing in Japan nearly a year ago. The report also notes that Level-5 International America’s official Twitter (@LEVEL5_IA) has been almost completely silent since Late 2018.
For now, it remains to be seen if Level-5 will pop back into the western-publishing scene in the future – or if the company’s US branches will fade silently. We’ll report back if this situation develops further.