Ni No Kuni and Layton dev's Yo-Kai Watch headed to UK

Level-5's million-selling RPG series finally heads West.

You've probably never heard of Yo-Kai Watch, but in Japan the series is big business.

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Huge business, in fact. The original Yo-Kai Watch game was released for 3DS in 2013 and sold more than 500,000 copies.

Its sequel launched just a year later in two editions, Pokémon-style, and shifted 3m copies - enough to become Japan's best-selling game of 2014.

A third game and spin-off are already in development.

So it is little surprise that Nintendo, which publishes the series, is keen to replicate this success elsewhere.

Today it confirmed the franchise would finally release in the West, but the UK and North America may still have some time to wait for the games to arrive.

Speaking at this week's Level-5 Vision 2015 event, company boss Akihiro Hino announced a 2016 launch for the series in the US (thanks, Siliconera).

Europe, Latin America, Korea, Australia and New Zealand will also receive the franchise next year, he continued, rolled out on a staggered monthly basis.

The company plans a huge international push for the franchise - again, reminiscent of Pokémon. Yo-Kai Watch's popular anime series will get an English dub, while Hasbro has signed up to distribute merchandise and toys outside of Japan.

But what is a Yo-Kai Watch?

The series began as a manga and role-playing game designed by Level-5, the developer behind Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni.

Its story focuses on a young boy or girl (depending on who you choose) that finds a mysterious watch while playing in the woods.

The time-piece allows the wearer to see Yo-Kai, spirits which can be tamed and then summoned to fight other Yo-Kai.

Watch an extended playthrough of the most recent game's opening below.

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About the author

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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