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A game developer and game publisher


Level-5 is a game developer and game publisher best known for the Professor Layton series, White Knight Chronicles series and Inazuma Eleven series (in Japan). Named after the highest mark on a Japanese school report card, the developer began with high aims and is now is wholly independent.

Company Profile

Trading Name
株式会社レベルファイブ / Level-5 Inc.
October, 1998
Akihiro Hino
Fukuoka, Japan
280 (as of June 2012)
Key people
Akihiro Hino (Founder, President & CEO)
Yasuhiro Akasaka (Technical/Battle Director)
Yasumi Matsuno (Game Director)
Akira Tago (Puzzle Master for Professor Layton)
Major Franchises
White Knight Chronicles series
Professor Layton series
Dark Cloud series
Inazuma Eleven series
Official Site


Level-5 had its humble beginning in October of 1998 when formed by Akihiro Hino and a small number of staff left Riverhillsoft. Sceptical his new company would be able to become an indepdendent developer despite his desire for success, Hino therefore formed an alliance with Sony Computer Entertainment to develop titles for the PlayStation 2.

First Releases

The company's first major title was released to Japan in 2000; Dark Cloud received critical and commercial success. Two years later a sequel Dark Chronicle was similarly well-received. 2004 saw the studio release Dragon Quest VIII, and a year later Rogue Galaxy. These releases cemented Level-5 as a force to be reckoned with.

Professor Layton

2007 saw the first fully self-funded release under Professor Layton and the Curious Village which has since spawned a series including four games which have all collectively sold over 13 million copies1 and also had one animated film created for it.

Inazuma Eleven and White Knight Chronicles

The company released their first entry in the Inazuma Eleven series in August 2008, a soccer RPG which has five subsequent titles. The series has also spawned a manga, as well as an anime series and film. December 2008 saw the release of White Knight Chronicles, a fantasy RPG which began a series of titles; two more have been released.

Collaboration with Studio Ghibli

Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi was relesed on December 9 2010 for the Nintendo DS. The RPG was created alongside animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli (Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke) and was released along with a magic book (to represent the one in the game) which contained spells that needed to be replicated with the DS stylus. November 2011 saw a re-release of the title under Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PlayStation 3.

Yasumi Matsuno Joins The Team

On June 2011 it was announced Yasumi Matsuno had joined Level-5. Guild01, a compilation title of four distinct games was released in Japan on May 31, 2012, which contained the first game Matsuno has directed since his departure from Final Fantasy XII.

Categories & Concepts
  1. Gree and Level-5 Announce a Comprehensive Global Partnership (Press Release)



Related Pages




News & Blogs

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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch demo impressions

Ni no Kuni world

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a game I've been excited about since I learnt about its cousin Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoshi on the Nintendo DS years ago. It's nearly out in America and Europe (and Australia, whoo!) and I've got my Wizard's Edition on pre-order. So Namco Bandai Games released a demo on the PlayStation 3 this week. It has one gigantic flaw: it's not out until next month and I'm extremely frustrated by this. Read on

I'd like to formally announce my departure from Level-5, effective last month. With my work done on the domestic and overseas version of my latest 3DSWare game, it was good timing for me to step down and take a short break in order to recharge for my next project. My deepest thanks to everyone at Level-5 and everyone playing our games for your continued support.

  1. Tweet #1

  2. Tweet #2

  3. Tweet #3

Two Guild01 titles trademarked in the United States

Level-5 has filed trademarks for Yasumi Matsuno's Crimson Shroud and Goichi Suda's Liberation Maiden - both titles from their Nintendo 3DS compilation title Guild011. Crimson Shroud is Matsuno's first directed title since falling ill due to stress while helming Final Fantasy XII. Read on

  1. Look’s Like Level-5′s Guild 01 Is Heading Overseas - Siliconera

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