Level-5 President Akihiro Hino is appearing quite often lately. Just a few days ago he was present at a Sony broadcast, where he teased a new PS4 game to be announced at the next E3.
Today he appeared during the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn letter from the Producer Live to promote the next Yokai Watch 2 version, Shinuchi. He even showcased some picture of Jibanyan wearing the newly introduced Ironworks gear from Square Enix’s MMORPG, as you can see below.
You’re probably wondering what’s so strange about that, and the answer would be that Square Enix isn’t involved at all with the Yokai Watch franchise, which is published by Level-5 itself. The game isn’t even on the same platforms as Final Fantasy XIV.
The two companies have worked together in the past, namely on Dragon Quest VIII and IX, and the promotional nudge given to Level-5’s game could indicate a new alliance between the developer and Square Enix
Interestingly, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda recently teased a string of announcements for new JRPGs incoming.
Hino-san mentioned that he wants to create something bigger than White Knight Chronicles on PS4, and such a game would probably require a rather powerful publishing structure.
Could Hino-san surprise appearance be a hint of something large in the future? Maybe a publishing contract for Level-5’s upcoming PS4 game? That’s definitely a possibility, even if we won’t be able to know until an official announcement is made.
Of course it could simply be a courtesy call, but it’d be rather peculiar considering that all the games previously showcased during FFXIV‘s broadcasts were by Square Enix.