Level 5 opening Santa Monica shop

Developer of Professor Layton series, Dragon Quest IX set to open US branch of operations in September, expansion to Europe set for next year.

37 Comments

The Japanese studio behind Nintendo's popular Professor Layton puzzle franchise and a host of role-playing game hits is setting up shop in North America. Level 5 today announced that it will be branching out, starting with the opening of a new location in Santa Monica, California, this September.

Layton and Luke receive a human finger from an unknown party, sending the pair off on another puzzling adventure.
Layton and Luke receive a human finger from an unknown party, sending the pair off on another puzzling adventure.

The company's announcement didn't make it immediately clear if the new location, dubbed Level 5 International America Inc., will be a development studio or will serve more administrative functions. However, Level 5 did note that the Santa Monica office was just the first of multiple planned expansions. The company also plans to open a European arm next year.

In its 12-year history, Level 5 has produced a number of titles that have become popular outside the studio's homeland. The company has won acclaim for many of its efforts, from PlayStation 2 role-playing games like Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy, and Dragon Quest VIII, to original handheld properties like Jeanne D'arc and Professor Layton. Most recently, Level 5 made its PlayStation 3 debut with White Knight Chronicles and developed the Japanese DS blockbuster Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (set to launch July 11 in the US and July 23 in Europe).

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Drkr_Zen

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Here's hopin' this has an impact on getting the recently released WKC2 stateside at a faster rate than the first... WKC was a very underrated, and great, title and I can't wait for its sequel. Oh, and more Professor Layton in the states, please, Level-5. 'Kay, thanks.

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gbrading

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Professor Layton is so suave and puzzling.

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Rottenwood

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This reminds me of a puzzle...

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AzelKosMos

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coincidentally picked up PL: Curious village today. Been looking for it at a decent price for forever XD

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ejay_kain

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i loved rogue galaxy and dragon quest for ps2. now if only there was a ps3 version....

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benleslie5

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benleslie5  Moderator

I loved Dark Cloud 1, would like to see a Dark Cloud 3 either for the PSP or PS3.

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srdjan311

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santa monica!

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Scianix-Black

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Level 5 + Sony Santa Monica MONSTER GOD OF WAR JRPG.

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blackace

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WKC was terrible. That one blemish on their storybook history. I would love to see another Dark Cloud or Rouge Galaxy. I wish they would finish True Fantasy and release it on the 360. I'd be happy seeing the older games on PSN and XBL actually. It's good that they are coming to America.

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Ubersin

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Setting up for Europe AND north America seems like they might be expanding too rapidly. I mean they are creating great games, but what if they can't keep up the huge momentum required to keep a multi continent group going? I could foresee having to cut down the studios and sell some off in 5-10 years time because they expanded to rapidly to 'cement their foundations' so to speak.

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Ninja-Hippo

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Level 5 are a great studio. They still have a lot of potential.

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accord_of_war

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I WANT ANOTHER DARK CLOUD!!!!!!

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Petch1984

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Dark Cloud 2, Dragon Quest and Rogue Galaxy for the PS2 were all under-appreciated epics. Level 5 always seem to add colourful and unique to their games.

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CarnageScream

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Please Dark Cloud 3

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Darth_Nicolas

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And here I was,hoping for a Rogue Galaxy 2...

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leonichan

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I hope this means more Professor Layton to US and Europe too. I can hardly wait for the next game :)

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ShadowLaguna

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Gah!!! Went to Santa Monica last year!!

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Transparanoia

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I was totally let down by WKC, but I've loved pretty much everything else they've done. I know DQX is in development, but is Level-5 at the helm? They did an awesome job with VIII. Can't wait to play IX.

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cwarburton1

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This is great news!! Level 5 is a great studio, I absolutely love what they've done with the dragon quest series (VIII being one of my favorite games of all time). Rogue galaxy was also fantastic, and although I've never played the professor layton games, I've heard nothing but good things about them. Hopefully this will help expedite translations, or perhaps marketing efforts so that they can make some more money and keep making great games.

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soulless4now

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Maybe this means I'm one step closer to Dark Cloud 3?!

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Raeldor

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These guys have put out some fantastic games. I hope they can keep up the quality overseas. Dragon Quest IX is definitely going to be my summer vacation game! :)

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FallenAngel

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AS long as there's more DQ VIII and IX and less White Knight, I'm game :)

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devilmaycryrulz

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Sounds cool maybe now there will be a darkcloud 3 lol

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OmegaGear

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I just hope it doesn't expand too fast for its own good. Two new territories in a 1.5 year span is a lot to finance.

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Gelugon_baat

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"In its 12-year history, Level 5 has produced a number of titles that have become popular outside the studio's homeland." That's a good enough reason to set up new branches elsewhere. The new jobs generated would be much welcome in California, USA.

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qubeley

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I didn't enjoy Rogue Galaxy that much. The gameplay was good but then too much repetition involved in certain levels. Never played Dark Cloud and White Knight Chronicles. But all the others are my favorite especially Dragon Quest VIII and Professor Layton. I just hope that they will not be doing a Square Enix - expanding overseas and screw up all the reputable franchises.

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bighunt15

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More Dark Cloud and Rogue Galaxy? Yes Please!!

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digitaltiger

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Every Level 5 game I have played, has been great. This is good news.

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Crazyguy105

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Does this mean the US will get the Layton games faster? If so, AWESOME!

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Toysoldier34

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Level 5 makes amazing games. I want another Rogue Galaxy that was one of my favorites.

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Keleboss

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The caption for the picture made me actually laugh out loud. Only Sinclair would write something like that.

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wolfyrabbit

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JRPG fans rejoice!! :D

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Wrecked69

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expanding to my city! woot!

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LoserMike

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Sweet faster translations. Why has Professor Layton series taken 2 years to get here!!!!

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Daavpuke

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Level 5 is probably my favorite developer, since I saw their work on Dark Chronicle. It kind of hit me out of the blue at that time.

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KamuiFei

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Does this mean a better chance for a new Dark Cloud?

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Amnesiac23

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I love Level 5 and I'm happy to see them expanding. Can't wait to get my hands on Dragon Quest!

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