Yo-Kai Watch, a video game series that spawned a manga collection, an anime television series, a plethora of merchandise and a Japanese cultural phenomenon, will be arriving to the United States, as well as Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Korea, for the 3DS. The RPG series published by Nintendo has garnered over $1 billion in Japanese sales purely from toys and other merchandise, with over 7 million sales of Yo-Kai Watch itself. Hasbro will join the market for Yo-Kai Watch merchandise in 2016 with a line of innovative toys to introduce the series to new markets.
Yo-Kai Watch centers around a boy and his magical watch that allows him to see the otherwise invisible Yo-Kai and befriend them to later summon to battle against other Yo-kai. If that made you think of Pokemon you wouldn’t be wrong, as Yo-Kai Watch is considered to be Pokemon’s direct competitor.
Yo-Kai Watch is developed by Level-5 Studios, a Japanese studio mostly known in the states for the puzzle-adventure series Professor Layton on Nintendo’s portable platforms. The first game in the series was released in 2013 and a set of sequels similar in style to the Pokemon series were released in 2014 titled Yo-Kai Watch 2: Honke and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Ganso. The next game in the series will be set in the United States, which is an interesting change for the series which has previously been set in Japan. No sign of a release date was mentioned in the press release from Nintendo.
Level-5 Studios has also announced three new additions to the Yo-Kai Watch series to be released in Japan. Coming on July 11 is Yo-Kai Watch Buster an action-adventure title based on a mini-game of the same name featured in Yo-Kai Watch 2. The game will be released in two different versions, Akanekodan and Shiroinutai, and will be told from the perspective of the Yo-kai. Level-5 also announced mobile puzzle game Yo-kai Puni Puni, which could be a way to help bring recognition of the series to the West. This announcement follows the recent news that Nintendo will be entering the mobile game market.
Level-5 also announced a Yo-kai Watch and Romance of the Three Kingdoms crossover game titled Yokai Sangokushi. Nintendo has found success through crossovers — Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors crossover with The Legend of Zelda in Hyrule Warriors is just one example. Level-5 didn’t give any indication of a release date for these titles or whether these would arrive in the states.
Have you heard of the Yo-Kai Watch series? Do you plan on purchasing the game when it is released in the United States? Do you enjoy collectables from your favorite video games?