Yo-Kai Watch Video Game Launches on Nov. 6
Company: Nintendo
August 19, 2015 02:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s difficult to overstate just how huge Yo-kai is in Japan. Now powerhouses like Nintendo, Disney XD, Hasbro and VIZ Media have teamed up to bring Yo-kai Watch to the U.S., based on an original concept from top Japanese entertainment company LEVEL-5, Inc.

But what is a Yo-kai anyway? Is it a spirit? A monster? A ghost? Nope – a Yo-kai is … well, it’s just a Yo-kai! You might not see them because they’re invisible, but they’re all around you every day. And they’re often mischievous, mysterious pranksters who like to make trouble for you. Lose your homework, can’t keep a secret or find yourself running late to everything? Yo-kai probably made you do it. The Yo-kai are based on common concerns kids have. By confronting those concerns, kids can learn to overcome them.

“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.”

On Nov. 6, Nintendo will launch the YO-KAI WATCH game for its portable Nintendo 3DS system. You explore the world in the game using your Yo-kai Watch to discover more than 200 Yo-kai, then befriend them and turn them into a team to battle other Yo-kai. Each Yo-kai has its own unique skills and strengths, so you must use them to challenge troublemaking Yo-kai and help people in the game solve their daily problems. In Japan, the three YO-KAI WATCH 2 games accounted for three of the six best-selling console and hand-held games in Japan for 2014.

Commenting on the launch, Akihiro Hino, President of LEVEL-5, Inc., said, “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. 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!”

For more information about the YO-KAI WATCH video game, visit http://yo-kai.nintendo.com.

This fall, Disney XD and other Disney XD-branded platforms will debut the animated comedy series based on Yo-kai. The show follows the hilarious misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous Yo-kai all around him. Our young hero obtains a special watch, empowering him to discover and summon Yo-kai, befriend them and then work together to solve everyday problems … problems that are often caused by other troublemaking Yo-kai!

On Nov. 3, VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint will launch the YO-KAI WATCH manga, written and drawn by Noriyuki Konishi. The YO-KAI WATCH manga will be rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will be available exclusively in print on a bi-monthly basis.

“The kinetic artwork and relatable cast of characters will make the YO-KAI WATCH manga series the perfect complement to the growing momentum behind this dynamic property,” says Beth Kawasaki, Perfect Square’s Senior Editorial Director.

For more information about the YO-KAI WATCH manga, visit http://www.viz.com/.

This January, Hasbro will introduce innovative play experiences for the Yo-kai Watch franchise in North America and Australia, expanding to additional global markets by the end of 2016. Hasbro’s line will include toys and games centered around collectible medals, each representing a unique Yo-kai.

“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.

In Japan, the TV program has been the top-rated animated show on TV TOKYO for kids 4-12 years old. The franchise has more than $2 billion in retail merchandise sales, including games, music and publishing. More than 8 million units of Nintendo 3DS video games have been sold.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.3 billion video games and more than 680 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

About LEVEL-5, Inc.: LEVEL-5 Inc. plans, creates, and markets video game software and produces mega-hit IPs targeting kids in Japan. The company specializes in cross-media strategies and oversees corresponding counterparts (anime, toys, manga etc.) for its titles. The company’s flagship PROFESSOR LAYTON™ series has shipped over 15.5 million units worldwide, The Ni no Kuni™ series, featuring animations created the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli, has sold over 1.5 million titles worldwide and received numerous prominent game awards. LEVEL-5’s cross-media titles include INAZUMA EVELEN™, Little Battlers eXperience™, and most recently, YO-KAI WATCH™, which has sold over 8 million copies of its games (including download versions) in Japan alone. All forms of YO-KAI WATCH merchandise, including toys and games, are universally popular among people of all ages. In September 2010, LEVEL-5 Inc. opened an office in Southern California. While maintaining its foundation as a game company, LEVEL-5 Inc. continues to actively explore collaborations with other media as it strives to flourish as a world-class entertainment brand. More information on LEVEL-5 Inc. can be found at http://www.level5ia.com and http://www.level5.co.jp.

About VIZ Media, LLC: Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at http://www.viz.com/.

About Hasbro: Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and lifestyle licensing, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection with children and families around the world. The Company's Hasbro Studios and its film label, ALLSPARK PICTURES, create entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film, digital and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
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