Level-5 Considers More Self-Published Titles and American Expansion

By Jeff Mattas, Feb 09, 2010 7:30pm PST Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino recently spoke to college graduates at a recruitment seminar in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward where he revealed some of the company's aspirations. These included an interest in an American expansion, as well as the desire to self-publish more games for consoles.

Japanese gaming news site, andriasing, shared some of Hino's commentary on both matters (via Dengeki Online). When asked about Level-5's future development plans during the seminar's Q&A period, Hino explained the company's affinity for Nintendo DS development but also alluded to plans for future (and potentially self-published) games.

"We're currently producing titles for PS3, Wii and so-forth. (The format, etc.) are unannounced, however (laughs). However, we develop for the DS because we determined that it was the most suitable machine to put out a new title. We've been researching and developing for consoles, but when making a product under our own brand, we must make sure that it is 'a product with a chance of success.' I believe we'll soon be able to announce a new console title."
Level-5 has been very successful self-publishing titles like the Professor Layton series for the Nintendo DS. Level-5's PS3 RPG White Knight Chronicles also just hit North American PS3's at the beginning of this month, though it was published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

andriasang's Anoop Gantayat postulates that the upcoming announcement won't be about Dragon Quest X or White Knight Chronicles 2. Given that those titles will likely not be published by Level-5, Gantayat thinks that Hino could be referring to upcoming (and unannounced) self-published works. Gantayat also notes Japanese gaming site 4gamer's report that Level-5 has plans to form a new company in America. According to 4gamer, Hino informed the crowd that the new company would be meant to facilitate overseas software releases.

Ultimately, Hino would like to see Level-5 branch out into other areas of the entertainment industry. "The staff is working hard to make it so that we become not just a single game company, but a major entertainment brand," Hino said. "I don't know if it will be five or ten years later, but the staff has started to believe that we can really do this."

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