A new North American-headquartered global entertainment company, Level-5 abby Inc., has been formed to bring the best of Japanese children’s entertainment across all platforms and channels, it was announced today by Mr. Akihiro Hino, the newly formed company’s President and CEO. Level-5 abby will build upon the unique approach to entertainment development pioneered by Hino, as Founder, President and CEO of Level-5 Inc., the renowned Japanese entertainment company with multiple mega-hits now under its belt. Hino’s innovative approach to storytelling evolved first during his years as a game creator, and it has now become the hallmark of his company’s work.
“Level-5 has built its reputation on developing broadly popular, family-oriented and heartwarming titles, including Professor Layton™, Inazuma Eleven™, Ni No Kuni™ and Little Battlers eXperience (LBX), said Hino. “With Yo-Kai Watch the Level-5 team took everything we had learned to date, and used that accumulated knowledge for our deep-dive, immersive exploration into the day-to-day realities of today’s kids. We listened carefully to what they had to say, what they care about, think about, worry about. From this foundation, a multi-media and multi-verse was imagined – a robust world that is so nuanced and authentic, it is highly relatable and and believable. We then carry this richly developed world into multiple touch-points — gaming, TV, toys, publishing, events, the internet and social channels.”
Heading up the day-to-day operations is Ms. Yukari Hayakawa, Chief Operating Officer. Reporting directly to Hino, Hayakawa is spearheading the global roll-out of the company’s mega-hit IPs – Yo-Kai Watch premiering October 5th, Little Battlers eXperience (LBX) and Snack World, a new multi-media franchise currently in production for 2016. The North American roll-out of the Yo-Kai Watch franchise includes:
- In the United States, Yo-Kai Watch premieres on Disney XD on Monday, October 5th, 2015 from 5-5:30 ET/PT, with a new episode premiering each night during the initial week
- In Canada, the program will premiere on Teletoon on October 10th at 2:00 p.m. ET/PT
- VIZ Media launches their manga throughout North America on November 3rd
- The North American video game launches exclusively on Nintendo 3DS™ on November 6th
- In January 2016, Hasbro will launch its highly anticipated toy line in North America.
Commenting on the company launch, Hayakawa said, “It’s exciting to be part of an initiative that values out-of-the-box thinking, and to be part of a company willing to put fresh ideas to the test, working in close, collaborative partnerships with best-in-class partners. Early exposure of the franchise in the North American market has been very well received, and we are looking forward to introducing this beloved production to new audiences.”
Level-5 abby is funded by Japanese entertainment and advertising giants Level-5 Inc. and Dentsu Inc. In addition to his new role at the helm of LEVEL-5 abby, Hino also currently serves as Founder, President and CEO of Level-5, Inc.