Level-5 â??plans to break Nintendo dealâ??

Level-5 â??plans to break Nintendo dealâ??

By Rob Crossley

June 3rd 2010 at 3:01PM

Independent studio set to take advantage of owning its IP â?? by self-publishing

Japanese studio Level-5 will look to publish the Professor Layton series – in a move that could remove Nintendo from the lucrative equation.

Level-5 owns the IP to Professor Layton, though a snug partnership with Nintendo has meant that the puzzle games have been exclusive to the DS. The series in question has sold tens of millions of units globally.

Now Level-5 is exhibiting how owning IP can keep any studio in charge of their own destiny – with even the Nintendo empire powerless to dictate where the developer can go.

“In a previous interview with Nikkei Trendy, Level 5 president Akihiro Hino said that the US office would be around ten people, made up of staff from Japan and those hired locally,” GamesBusiness.jp reports.

“He also said that he eventually wanted to handle the publishing internally for the Professor Layton series, which is currently handled outside of Japan by Nintendo.”

It is believed Level-5 will expand operations beyond its native country and open a new studio in North America. And the Fukuoka-based outfit is purportedly planning to open a European office in 2011.