Level-5, the Japanese developer and publisher behind the Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni series, have announced the acquisition of Comcept, the studio founded by former Capcom employee and Mega Man artist and producer, Keiji Inafune, in 2010. The Mighty No. 9 developer will be known as Level-5 Comcept going forwards.
The acquisition was revealed in the latest issue of weekly Famitsu and an interview with Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino and Inafune, gave us some more information on what this move means for the studio (find the original Japanese article here. Thanks to Gematsu for the translation).
Firstly, the pair spoke about how the move came about, saying that since the two companies worked together on Guild 02: Bugs vs Tanks on the 3DS in 2013, there have been ongoing talks about working together. Inafune also spoke of his admiration for Hino, saying, "I had the feeling that I wanted to be like Hino since around the time I was at Capcom."
The pair went on to discuss the structure of the new studio, saying that it will utilize the existing staff of Comcept but with the direct involvement of CEO Hino. Level-5 Comcept is designed to combine the philosophies of both companies. The studio will work on games with Hino, rather than taking instructions and working on a title in the background.
Inafune wanted to reassure those looking forward to Comcepts upcoming titles like Red Ash that the move won't stop them from being completed, saying, "Although there are plans to close Comcept as it currently stands in the future, I will take responsibility for the titles I’m working on until the end." It seems the comments on a future closure of the studio may refer more to Level-5 eventually rolling it up into their overall brand, as Inafune also said they are looking to expand from their current fifteen staff in the near future and that, in the long term, he and Hino want the studio to function as Level-5's Osaka studio.
Further information from the same magazine article also confirmed that as well as Comcept's previously in-development titles, Level-5 Comcept are currently working on a mobile RPG for iOS and Android known as Dragon Colonies. The game takes place in a world where humans, demons, monsters, and all kinds of other races live together. Players will recruit various races to something called a "Box Colony" a dice-shaped world where the player decides what goes where, allowing them to create their own nations. The main focus of the gameplay will be online PvP and making the strongest Box Colony will be the aim of the game.
What do you think of Level-5's move to acquire the infamous Mighty No. 9 developer, Comcept? Give us your thoughts down in the comments.