Level-5 bounces back
Level-5 hasn’t really been in great shape these past few years, and it’s a shame.
The company that was built on Dark Cloud has been pumping out banger JRPGs for nearly two decades, but fell upon some tough times after a few projects didn’t really pan out as well as they’d hoped. Yokai Watch fizzled in the west, the Professor Layton well mostly dried up (with a few cancellations to boot), and Level-5 Abby, their North American arm, was shuttered last year. There were even rumors that Level-5 was allegedly having issues paying their staff. Company head Akihiro Hino even addressed some of the concerns vaguely earlier this year.
The good news is that the publisher has seemingly recovered, and is planning a “completely new project” that is being billed right now as a “Level-5 RPG” on their career site. Nearly every major role from game director to producer is looking to be filled for the project, with some roles working completely from home remotely as a contractor. Part of the recovery is no doubt chalked up to Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds, which made $100 million in revenue in just 11 days.
Now, who knows if this new project will ever be localized, or see a series of delays, as is customary with Level-5. But for now, I’m mainly just happy that they still exist.