'Professor Layton' and 'Ni no Kuni' maker is working on something, but it might not be what you're hoping for
With E3 less than three weeks away, speculation on new game announcements – particularly for Nintendo Switch – is starting to escalate. Beloved Japanese studio Level 5 has stirred some excitement today by (very vaguely) confirming that it has at least one Switch game in development. The studio – best known for Ni no Kuni, Professor Layton and of course the beloved Dark Cloud RPGs that first appeared on PlayStation 17 years ago – has always had a close relationship with Nintendo, so this is hardly surprising.
Speaking with Japanese publication Nikkei Trendy, Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino expressed his love for the Switch before going on to mention that the company is working on games for the console. "I think Switch is good," he said. "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is extremely fun. It's almost dangerous. (Laughs.) Actually, playing with Switch myself, my impression has changed a lot from when it was still in development. I was hesitant about its 'play inside and outside' style, but I feel like there is a considerable potential there."
After explaining that he likes to play on Switch as often as he can, and admitting that the neon-colored JoyCons made him feel self conscious when playing in public, he noted that the system is particularly good for esports and competitive games. "Switch is a wonderful fit for competitive games," he said. "You can play if you're gathered in real life, as well as online. For example, I think the fact that game lovers within a company can get together and play Mario Kart is really interesting. I can’t say anything about it for now, but we're currently working on software that supports Switch."
Though there's no indication whatsoever on what the studio is working on, given his emphasis on competition it seems likely that some kind of multiplayer experience will be the first thing we see from Level 5. If that does well, perhaps one day we'll all see that Dark Cloud reboot we're hoping for.