Level-5 plans international expansion
Professor Layton creators to open US offices this year, with European HQ by 2011
Professor Layton developer Level-5 has announced plans to establish new offices in Santa Monica, California as the company seeks to expand its international business.
Level-5 International America is to open its doors this September, according to a Japanese news story translated by website Andriasang, although further details of staff and publishing plans have not yet been revealed.
Company CEO Akihiro Hino has long hinted at plans to expand outside of Japan, with a European office also expected to open at some point in 2011.
Initially noted for its work on PlayStation 2 role-playing games such as Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy, Level-5 began self-publishing in Japan with 2007 smash hit Professor Layton and the Curious Village.
Five out of an announced six Professor Layton DS titles have been released in Japan so far. Published outside Japan by Nintendo, only two of these have so far been released in the West - although both have enjoyed significant success in Europe in particular.
The success of the series has also seen the launch of animated movie Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (due for release in the UK in September) and other multimedia projects.
Other self-published titles include football role-playing game series Inazuma Eleven and Studio Ghibli co-production The Another World. Level-5 also continues to produce work for other publishers, including the White Knight Chronicles series for Sony and Dragon Quest IX for Square Enix.
As a result of these high profile titles Level-5 has become one of the best known developers in Japan with a sponsored football stadium in Fukuoka and regular consumer events to promote its brand and products.