Level-5 Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社レベルファイブ Kabushiki-gaisha Reberu Faibu) is an independent video game development and publishing company founded by Akihiro Hino. The company is known for their hit games such as: Inazuma Eleven, Professor Layton, Ni no Kuni and Yo-kai Watch who have all been successful in Japan and some outside of Japan. Their games are mainly focused for children, however, they want to reach their games for all ages in different categories.
Level-5 has been founded by Akihiro Hino since October 1998 after he left Riverhillsoft as he took his development team and friends with him from the same company.
Akihiro Hino established Level-5 to create games that would bring the children of today the same excitement he felt as a child.
Success in the game industry
For a small company, Level-5 manage to sell games over one million copies, if it is in Japan or worldwide in total. This managed to get them a name in the game industry.
As a child, I was always playing games. Even after I grew up, I never forgot how fun and elating those experiences were. The Game & Watch series were games that stood out most in my memory. They were low-tech by today’s standards, but I remember being in awe at the fact that I could hold a “world” in the palm of my hand. Perhaps it was then that I saw a true future and potential in games.
When establishing LEVEL-5, I was set on creating games that would bring the children of today the same excitement I felt as a child. This single desire is what inspired us to start this company.
With a corporate stance that left no room for compromise, we have grown today to set even more ambitious goals. During phase 1, our entire team succeeded in working together to gain trust in an industry where we were still considered a start-up developer. In phase 2, we were recognized by players through the success of prominent titles such as DRAGON QUEST VIII. In 2007, our company entered phase 3 with the release of Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Professor Layton was the first game we handled from development through to its release. With this game, LEVEL-5 transitioned from a developer to a publisher in Japan. This transformation exponentially increased our interest in all facets of the game industry. Once we pass phase 3, we will most likely be competing with the top brands of the industry in phase 4.
Making Fukuoka the “Hollywood of the gaming industry” through the Game Factory Friendship, as well as expanding our efforts into movie and anime production are just a few of the challenges we are pursuing. However, LEVEL-5′s main arena will remain games. That is why my fellow staff and I are going to continue the path my heart has followed since day one: the journey to becoming the “number one game brand”. I want us to be known as “the world’s best,” not for the company’s capital or scale, but for the entertainment value of our products.