Worrying news on the localization front. It appears that both Level-5 International America and Level-5 Abby, the two branches of Level-5’s operations in North America, have been largely fleeced of staff and are running off the barest minimum of employees – and have been since August 2019, GamesIndustry reports.
Reportedly, around ten members were laid off from Abby, and a similar number from International America. Reasons for the layoffs were unclear, but it appeared that Level-5 was seeking to consolidate international operations between its Japanese offices and Dentsu (an international advertising and branding company). One source even suggested that there are no “concrete plans” for any more Level-5 games to be released outside of Japan.
Level-5 – developer of Professor Layton, Ni no Kuni, Yo-kai Watch, and more – did announce a localization for Yo-kai Watch 4 last year (the same year it released in Japan), but no news of that has come since the initial announcement. It doesn’t help that the last game released in North America was Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold back in February and social media accounts have been nearly silent since then. Efforts to reach out to the branches and their lead officers have gotten no response. We’ll be sure to provide updates if or when we get more clear news from these offices and/or future updates from GamesIndustry.
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