Yo-Kai Watch 3 is at least a year away

Coming to Japan summer 2016

Yo-Kai Watch 3 is on its way to Japan next summer, Level-5 announced today.

Ad interim, the publisher will be trying to take this already insanely popular franchise to the next level. That begins tomorrow with the anime’s Season 2 premiere, which will be followed by the release of Yo-Kai Watch Busters, an action game spin-off, this Saturday, July 11.

Meanwhile, Koei Tecmo is co-developing Yo-Kai Watch: Three Kingdoms, which pairs Level-5’s property with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Koei’s long-running strategy series.

The move recalls a similar crossover between Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition, the 2012 Nintendo DS tactical role-playing game Pokémon Conquest — also made by Koei Tecmo.

Another thing Yo-Kai Watch shares with Pokémon is its western publisher. Nintendo plans to release the first entry in the series in North America this fall. Alongside the 3DS RPG, other Level-5 partners will be rolling out comics, a television show, and various toy lines.

The hope here is to create a phenomenon akin to the one Pokémon started in the late ’90s and the one Japan has been experiencing over the past few years with Yo-Kai Watch itself.

Kyle MacGregor Burleson