There are many things about the video game industry that are stated, understood, but hope to never come to pass. A key one being that no one wants to see a studio shut down for any reason, let alone because of bankruptcy or other means. And yet, according to GameIndustry.Biz, Level-5, the team behind Yokai Watch, the Professor Layton series, and more, has shut down all of their North American studios, leaving only their Japanese studios up and running.
In the report, multiple sources were cited and stated that the North American offices were “all but shuttered”, leaving many questions as to what is going to happen next for them and their games. Because, also stated in the report, it appears that all games they make from now on are NOT going to be released outside of Japan, which is not good for those who have been wanting the next Yokai Watch title that was revealed back in 2019, or have been hoping for a new entry of Professor Layton to come out on the Nintendo Switch.
What’s really curious about this news is the fact that Level-5 themselves have been eerily quiet about what is going on and why things are going on like this. Because at first, it was noted that this was just going to be a small set of layoffs via letting go of 2 employees in their design department but “not a large-scale restructuring” and yet, here we are now. What’s more, the company didn’t tell their employees why the layoffs in the grand scale were happening, though it should be noted that they WERE given appropriate notice that it was going to happen.
Social media for the company isn’t giving answers either as it’s basically been dead since 2018.
So what exactly happened to this beloved studio? Until they speak out, we may never know.