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Yo-Kai Watch logo

Yo-kai Watch (Japanese: 妖怪ウォッチ Yōkai Wotchi, literally meaning; "Spirit Watch") is a series of role-playing games developed and published by Level-5. Each game has its own unique story, Yo-kai, quests, and characters. The franchise has released games and merchandise worldwide as well the animated series based on the franchise.

History

Yokai Watch Trailer - Level 5 World 201103:44

Yokai Watch Trailer - Level 5 World 2011

Footage of the first Yo-kai Watch game.

The success of their three major IPs, Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, and Danball Senki let Level-5 to create a new IP that is meant to stay for a very long time. They took a popular anime and manga series Doraemon as their influence and decided to create the IP Yo-kai Watch. Their first step into the development was to make the player explore freely and walking around in an open-world environment.

Before the franchise was released as a video game, the series was first released as a manga on December 15, 2012. Afterwards, Level-5 released a game trailer that was released on the E3 in 2011, which first shown the game running on the Playstation 3. The Playstation 3 version showed a much larger world, but Level-5 changed the platform from Playstation 3 to Nintendo 3DS.

Popularity in Japan

Their first video game released in Japan and became a major success. It debuted with 53,000 sold copies in its first week and sold in total 1.29 million in 2014, which became one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo 3DS.

The sequels of the game became extremely popular and the demands in other countries than Japan were extremely high. The animation series that is based on the game became one of the most-watched animated series in Japan, mostly ending in the top ten of the rates alongside with other popular animation series such as: Detective Conan, One Piece, Pokémon and Doraemon.

The franchise gained as well numerous of cross-overs in Japan with popular characters from popular series or franchises. The popularity in Japan leads Yo-kai Watch to become a phenomenal creation, as it became quickly a multi-billion franchise.

The franchise sold exact 10,438,903 copies in Japan alone, which excludes digital sales.[1]

Release in the west

The western audience were interested in the game, which plannings were revealed to release the first game worldwide. However, the game was released seperately in the west.

In 2015, the first game was released in North America, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. In 2016, Europe received the first game during the Spring. The animation of the series aired as well in west, with only one season and as well a second season. The anime is revealed to be very popular in the west.

The game has proven, not to be so popular in the west other than Japan and Europe. The first Yo-kai Watch game sold in North America very low, with 360,000 copies since 2017. This led Level-5 to change their plans for North America to make the franchise popular, brining events in North America ahead of Japan. The first Yo-kai Watch game, sold much better in Europe than North America and even Japan with ony 650,000 copies. The game are very popular in France and Spain, which the game even received high demands from the customers. The situation in Europe has led that Yo-kai Watch 2, will be debuting in Russia, which also the European marketing of the franchise has different plans than the North American markets and promoting the franchise in different countries.

Games

Main series

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
Yo-Kai Watch Japanese cover art Yo-kai Watch 妖怪ウォッチ NANovember 6, 2015
JPJuly 11, 2013
EUApril 29, 2016
AUDecember 5, 2015
KONovember 26, 2015
Yo-kai Watch Ganso coverYo-kai Watch Honke cover Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls 妖怪ウォッチ2 元祖
妖怪ウォッチ2 本家
NASeptember 30, 2016
JPJuly 10, 2014
EUApril 7, 2017
AUOctober 15, 2016
KOApril 20, 2017
Yo-kai Watch Shin-uchi cover Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters 妖怪ウォッチ2 真打 NASeptember 29, 2017
JPDecember 13, 2014
EUSeptember 29, 2017
AUSeptember 30, 2017
KOSeptember 21, 2017
Yo-kai Watch 3 Sushi box artYo-kai Watch 3 Tempura box art Yo-kai Watch 3: Sushi and Tempura 妖怪ウォッチ3 スシ
妖怪ウォッチ3 テンプラ
JPJuly 16, 2016

Side series

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
Yo-kai Watch Red CatYo-kai Watch White Dog Yo-kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Troupe and White Dog Corps 妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 赤猫団
妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 白犬隊
JPJuly 11, 2015
None Yo-kai Watch Busters: Moon Rabbit Team 妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 月兎組 JPDecember 12, 2015

Collaboration series

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
YWD JP Cover Yo-kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version 妖怪ウォッチダンス:ジャストダンス特別版 JPDecember 5, 2015
Yo-kai Sangokushi Japanese boxart Yo-kai Sangokushi 妖怪三国志 JPApril 2, 2016

Mobile series

Icon Title Japanese title Release date
Icon175x175 Yo-Kai Taiso Dai-ichi Puzzle da nyan 妖怪ウォッチダンス:ジャストダンス特別版 JPJuly 16, 2013
Yo-kai Watch Wibble Wobble icon Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble 妖怪ウォッチ ぷにぷに Android:
NAMarch 24, 2016
JPOctober 21, 2015
EUMarch 30, 2017
KOJune 23, 2016

iOS:
NAMarch 24, 2016
JPOctober 28, 2015
EUMarch 30, 2017
KOJune 23, 2016

Yo-kai Watch Land icon Yo-kai Watch Land NAJanuary 3, 2016
None Yo-kai Daijiten 妖怪大辞典 JP2017
None Yo-kai Watch: Gerapo Rhythm 妖怪ウォッチ ゲラポリズム JP2017

Regional box art differences

North America box arts
Yokai-watch-boxart
Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits cover Yo-kai Watch 2 Fleshy Souls cover SpectersNewBoxart
European box arts
Yo-kai Watch EU cover
YW2BSEURBoxart YW2FSEURBoxart YW2PSEUBoxart

References

  1. Yo-Kai Watch Sells More Than 10 Million Copies in Japan

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