Level-5 Confirms More Ni No Kuni On The Way
During an interview with Nikkei magazine, Level-5 President Hino Akihiro has revealed big plans in store for the Ni No Kuni franchise in the near future, with a new entry in the series coming sometime after the Japanese release of the Ni No Kuni feature film on August 23rd.
While Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom sold around 1 million copies worldwide, there had been no guarantee Level-5 would continue to pursue the series, especially taking into account the number of long dormant titles like Dark Cloud, White Knight Chronicles and Rogue Galaxy gathering dust in their stable. With the first Ni No Kuni title also receiving a PS4/PC Remaster and Switch port in September this year, it appears Level-5 are confident they can work the same multi-platform, multimedia magic on Ni No Kuni that brought them phenomenal success with the Yo-Kai Watch series.
What remains to be seen is the direction a third Ni No Kuni title will take, as the first and second games had differing approaches to a number of core gameplay elements which saw audiences split in terms of their preference. While I felt the original game had a stronger story, I much preferred the battle system of its sequel which did away with ‘Pokemon-esque’ monster raising in favour of more straightforward ARPG mechanics, whereas other players will disagree with my latter point vehemently.
As Hino did not specify a timeframe, it’s reasonable to assume that a ‘Ni No Kuni 3‘ release date could be years away at this point. Personally, I’m inclined to think we see something before the release of next-gen consoles as the high install base of the PlayStation 4 system is hard to ignore for any developer. However, until a new Ni No Kuni is confirmed to be coming to a specific system, the upcoming Switch port could heavily influence where Level-5 steers the future of the franchise.
Lastly, if you’re reading this Level-5; I will totally understand if you need to rename Dark Cloud 3 to Ni No Kuni 3 for marketing purposes.
It was whilst toiling away in the bowels of the now mythical Australian Gamer forums that Stephen del Prados attempts at writing were recognised by then up-and-coming Matt ‘Hewso’ Hewson as “not terrible”. Since then Stephen has contributed to such sites as The Age’s now defunct Screen Play, the recently retired Black Panel and currently serves under Editor-in-Chief Hewso for Player2.net.au, at least until the pattern of decline obvious in his previous engagements is picked up by Hewso and he is exiled from games journalism forever