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Level-5 Inc.
Type Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded October 1998
Headquarters Fukuoka, Japan
Key people Akihiro Hino
(CEO and President)
Yasuhiro Akasaka
(Lead Director)
Products Professor Layton series
Inazuma Eleven series
Little Battlers Experience series
Ni no Kuni
Dark Cloud
Dark Chronicle
Employees 280 (as of December 2012)
Parent Independent
Website http://www.level5.co.jp/

Level-5 Inc. (株式会社レベルファイブ Kabushiki-gaisha Reberu Faibu?) is an independent video game developer and publisher based in Fukuoka, Japan. The company, which employs about 280 individuals, was founded in October 1998 by Akihiro Hino after he departed from the now defunct Japanese developer Riverhillsoft. Hino designs, plans and produces all of Level-5’s games, and is President and CEO of the company.

Since its inception, Level-5 has enjoyed a very close relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment, with many of its titles funded by and produced in conjunction with the publisher. Since the release of Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS in early 2007, however, the company has begun diversifying its product portfolio and focusing more on self-funding and self-publishing its titles in Japan with Nintendo's overseas subsidiaries distributing Level-5's games on the Nintendo DS. In 2010, Level-5 was one of the ten largest video game companies in Japan, where it held a 2.9% market share.[1]

History[edit]

Level-5 was established in October 1998 by Akihiro Hino and his development team.[2] They had left Riverhillsoft following the release of the PlayStation, so that they could focus on creating 3D software. Since Hino did not originally believe that his team could become an independent developer, he formed a connection with Sony Computer Entertainment, who would allow him to develop for their upcoming PlayStation 2 under the condition that he set up his own company.[2] The name, "Level-5", was a reference to Japanese school report cards, where "Level-5" is the highest possible mark. Soon after being created, the company had eleven employees.[2]

Level-5's first full scale production was the action RPG Dark Cloud, developed under contract by Sony Computer Entertainment, originally for the Japanese launch of the PlayStation 2 in March 2000. However, it was delayed before the console's launch to allow further development, and eventually released in Japan on December 14, 2000, and elsewhere in 2001. The game was an immediate success for the company, selling just under a million units worldwide.[citation needed] Work immediately began on a pseudo-sequel titled Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 in North America), that, while not as successful as the first, still gained critical acclaim and sold over half a million units worldwide.[citation needed]

Midway through 2002, the company had a substantial boost in recognition as it began development on three high profile titles:

In just four years, Level-5 went from small startup studio to one of the premier RPG developers in Japan, and have since enjoyed immense critical and commercial success. In early 2007, the company released its first fully self-funded and self-published title in Japan, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, which has since enjoyed incredible commercial success, shipping more than 840,000 copies to retail, and has officially transitioned Level-5 into both a developer and publisher of interactive video game entertainment in Japan.

Yasumi Matsuno, director of Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the Ogre Battle series joined Level-5 in June 2011 [3] who has since left the company as of November 2012 after completing work on Crimson Shroud for the 3DS.[4]

ROID[edit]

In 2009, Level-5 launched its ROID (Revolutionary Original Ideas Discovery) service, a mobile phone application that serves as a content delivery platform for mobile games.[5] It is only compatible with NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile internet service in Japan. Users pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive games and social game functions. The platform debuted with six titles: Sloan and McHale's Mystery Story, Professor Layton and the Mansion of the Mirror of Death Remix, Chara Jo P, Yuuenchi wo Tsukurō Revolution, Treasure Island, and Elf the Dragon. The first three were developed by Level-5, while the last three were developed by outside companies.[5]

Games[edit]

PlayStation 2[edit]

Dark Cloud series

Other games

PlayStation Portable[edit]

Little Battlers Experience series

Other games

PlayStation 3[edit]

White Knight Chronicles series

Other games

PlayStation Vita[edit]

PlayStation 4[edit]

Nintendo DS[edit]

Professor Layton series

Inazuma Eleven series

Atamania series

Other games

Wii[edit]

Nintendo 3DS[edit]

Professor Layton series

Inazuma Eleven series

Little Battlers Experience series

Yo-Kai Watch series

Other games

Wii U[edit]

Xbox One[edit]

Arcade[edit]

iOS[edit]

Android[edit]

Microsoft Windows[edit]

ROID[edit]

Cancelled games[edit]

TV series[edit]

Films[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

A Japanese Kid's Dream Come True: Level-5 Shows off Ni no Kuni at Tokyo Press Conference

  1. ^ "Market Data". Capcom. October 14, 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Hino, Akihiro & Iwata, Satoru (2010). "Iwata Asks: Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracles, page 2". Iwata Asks. Nintendo of America Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  3. ^ How Yasumi Matsuno Ended Up at Level-5
  4. ^ Yasumi Matsuno leaves Level 5
  5. ^ a b Level-5's ROID Service Kicks Off Today
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Level-5 International America History & Products 2010". 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  7. ^ "TGS 2009: White Knight Chronicles 2 Revealed". Kotaku. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Level-5 International America History & Products 2009". 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  9. ^ a b "In shops now: Inazuma Eleven 2: Firestorm and Inazuma Eleven 2: Blizzard". 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  10. ^ "今度の敵は未来から!? 『イナズマイレブン』感謝祭で映画版・Wii版・第4弾を発表 - 電撃オンライン". News.dengeki.com. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  11. ^ a b GUEST. "Level-5 Vision 2010 Live Blog (andriasang.com, 10.19.2010)". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  12. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2011). "First Professor Layton Crosses One Million". Adriasang. Archived from the original on 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  13. ^ a b 3DS Inazuma Eleven Due This Winter
  14. ^ Level-5 Bringing Mobile Hostess Sim to 3DS
  15. ^ "Girl's RPG Cinderelife - In Development". Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  16. ^ "Level-5 International America History and Products - 2008". Retrieved 2011-07-25. 

External links[edit]


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Siliconera
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:02:06 -0700

That effectively means both versions of the game were virtually sold out shortly after Yo-kai Watch 2 was released. Hopefully, Level 5 have been able to ship more copies to meet demand, considering that pre-orders alone should have indicated the need ...

The Fuse Joplin

The Fuse Joplin
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:35:11 -0700

When your Town Hall reaches level 5, you will want to stay at a range of 500-1000 Trophies. Now, you will be able to build the third Army Camp and upgrade it to level 5, which will let you keep 45 supplies. In total, you will have 3 army camps at level ...

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Gamasutra
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:15:00 -0700

In a 2009 GDC talk which you can read about here, Level-5 president and CEO Akihiro Hino described how he turned franchises such as Inazuma Eleven into hits by embedding carefully chosen elements into his games to extend player interest in them.

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Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:01:08 -0700

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SYS-CON Media (press release)
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:07:30 -0700

HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 07/10/14 -- Level 5 Beverage Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Minerco Resources, Inc. (OTCQB: MINE), has selected Spelling Communications as its public relations agency to support the upcoming market introduction of Level ...
 
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Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:54:18 -0700

Seven students with different levels of special education needs also scored three or more than three level 5** marks in this year's DSE exam. Results are graded from levels 1 to 5. The top-scoring students at level 5 receive a 5**. Each level ...
 
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HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Jun 25, 2014) - Level 5 Beverage Company, Inc., a Minerco Resources, Inc. ( OTCQB : MINE) company (the "Company"), a specialty beverage company which develops, produces, markets and distributes a diversified portfolio ...
 
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Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:32:50 -0700

The dry weather has forced Danvers to move to Level 5 drought conditions. This means that outdoor lawn and garden watering is restricted to hand-held hoses and cans only, from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.. No sprinklers or irrigation systems will be allowed. In ...
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