Level-5 is bringing its Yo-kai Watch multimedia franchise to western markets, and is teaming up with Hasbro to introduce an “innovative” toy line in 2016.
Yo-kai Watch‘s western expansion (which spans North America, Latin America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia) includes not only the toy line, but “additional broadcasting, video game, and merchandising relationships” to be announced later this year.
Since its debut in July 2013, the Yo-kai Watch video games have sold over 6.5 million units in Japan. The story centers around a young boy who acquires a special watch allowing him to discover and summon mysterious Yo-kai that help him solve problems in his everyday life, usually caused by other Yo-kai.
The original product has since seen a three-version sequel, TV series, manga and books, toys, music CDs, and more, generating “hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars” in sales.
“The Yo-kai Watch franchise has been hugely successful and we are ready to bring the brand to new markets across multiple platforms,” Level-5 president and CEO Akihiro Hino said in a press release.
Hasbro Brands president John Frascotti added, “We have seen the massive success of the Yo-kai Watch franchise in Japan and are thrilled to be chosen to help expand the property to new markets. We look forward to creating exciting and innovative play experiences with this amazing property for kids to enjoy around the world.”