Yo-Kai Watch Heads West This November, Massive Franchise Launch Planned
Nintendo and Level-5 have announced that the first entry of the immensely popular Yo-Kai Watch series is officially heading West this November. Using the word "popular" is an understatement here, as the Yo-Kai brand is booming in Japan like Pokemon did in the late '90s. Yo-Kai Watch is a monster-collecting RPG that tells the story of a boy who gets a special watch that lets him befriend and rally mischievous spirits, called Yo-Kai, and summon them to fight other Yo-Kai. Yo-Kai are a mix of ghosts, monsters, animals, spirits and other invisible entities that are known for mischievous pranks, such as tearing up your homework or hiding your keys in the couch.
“The strength of the Yo-kai franchise demands strong partners,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Our Nintendo 3DS system is the perfect platform to bring this fun, one-of-a-kind video game experience to life.”
This fall, Disney XD will launch the Yo-Kai anime series, and it's story is similar to that of the game series. As expected, there's a manga series heading West as well.
Just to put things into perspective, over 8 million 3DS Yo-Kai Watch franchise games have been sold in Japan. The franchise has accumulated over $2 billion in merchandise sales from Japan alone. Three different Yo-Kai Watch games accounted for three out of the six best-selling console and handheld games in Japan for 2014. And the franchise is coming here. Hasbro has entire lines of toys and games for the franchise expected out by the end of 2016.
“When we first started exploring concepts for the YO-KAI WATCH universe, we immersed ourselves in learning about situations confronting kids in their everyday lives," said Akihiro Hino, President of Level-5, Inc. "This world – a child’s complicated, scary, confusing, exiting and very funny world – is the foundation of our IP, and the Nintendo game really captures this essence, along with the colorful and often amusing Yo-kai behind it all!”
“We look forward to introducing kids to the amazing Yo-kai Watch franchise through play experiences that give them the fantasy of befriending the Yo-kai characters and participating in their mischievous adventures,” said Jerry Perez, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hasbro.
The floodgates will open on Nov. 6, when Yo-Kai Watch launches for the Nintendo 3DS.
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