Reports

Ni No Kuni Developer Level 5 is Reportedly Shutting Down Its North American Operations

According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, Ni No Kuni developer Level 5 has "virtually halted" plans to release future titles in the west.

Known for titles such as the Ni No Kuni and Yokai Watch series, developer Level 5 has long been known for making acclaimed RPGs for over two decades. While the company has brought its releases to regions around the world, recent developments regarding the company’s international offices suggest that Level 5 may solely release its titles in Japan in the future.

In a report from GamesIndustry.biz, details emerged that the North American division for developer Level 5 has all but ceased operations entirely, with the division of the company running on a “skeleton crew.” According to sources from GamesIndustry.biz familiar with the situation, both Level 5 International America and Level 5 Abby–which oversee its operations in North America–had begun laying off members of their teams starting last year, with the offices running with bare minimum personnel since then for essential functions.

The report noted that at the moment, it’s unknown how many team members currently remain with Level 5’s North American operations, and that sources close to the studio detailed that no specific reasons were given for the layoffs. However, sources with the Abby office explained that they were “given every indication” that the office would be effectively shutting down, while other portions of the company were brought into the Japanese office.

For the most part, this news largely leaves an uncertain fate for Level 5’s upcoming and future projects releasing in the West. GamesIndustry.biz noted that according to one source, the resulting layoffs from the North American offices means that were are “currently no plans” for future Level 5 releases to debut in regions other than Japan. The studio’s most recent western release was Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold in February of this year, but beyond that there are no indications of other titles from the studio coming to the west.

Level 5 has not released any official statement or details regarding the report or the closure of the studios, but the studio’s social media presence in general has been quiet for some time. The official Twitter account for the International America office last tweeted in July of this year regarding a patch for its mobile title Layton Brothers Mystery Room, with the most recent tweet before that coming from October 2018.

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Ryan Meitzler

Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers and has been a lover of games as long as he can remember. He holds a BA in English and Cinema and lives in New York City.

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