Professor Layton series ships 11.5 million

Combined sales of four DS puzzle-fests hit major milestone, reports developer Level-5; launch of first 3DS title to be marked with live webcast.

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Japanese developer Level-5 celebrated a milestone today, thanks to its popular line of Professor Layton games. Just how popular are they? According to an announcement by the Fukuoka, Japan-based shop (translated by gaming blog Andriasang), the four games in the series have now shipped 11.47 million units worldwide. That lineup includes Professor Layton and the Curious Village (2008), Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (2009), Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (2010), and the currently Japan-only Professor Layton and The Devil Flute (release TBD).

"Professor, do we get residuals on those 11 million copies?"

One game the near-11.5-million figure doesn't count is Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, the series' debut on the upcoming 3DS. However, just because the game hasn't been released yet doesn't mean that Level-5 doesn't have big plans for it. The company plans on having a ceremony to mark the game's release on Thursday, February 24--two days before the 3DS hits the Japanese market. (The 3DS arrives in the US March 27.) The ceremony will feature a chat with Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino and Miracle Mask's voice cast, as well as an introduction to the new game. Japanese-language details will be available on the game's official website soon.

The latest addition to the series, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, was well received by critics upon its Western release. The game sees the titular top-hatted academic and his faithful boy sidekick Luke investigate another puzzle-packed mystery. This particular caper begins when Luke receives a letter from his future self and the pair head off to London to see the unveiling of a time machine. Naturally, the presentation goes horribly wrong, and the pair must follow a trail of clues left by Luke's future incarnation to see where it all leads.

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