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Yo-kai Watch (Japanese: 妖怪ウォッチ Yōkai Wotchi) is a series of role-playing games developed and published by Level-5. Each game has its own unique story, Yo-kai, quests, and characters. The franchise has released games, merchandise, and an animated series worldwide. In Japan, it has managed to become one of the most popular monster-collecting franchises.

History

Yokai Watch Trailer - Level 5 World 2011

Yokai Watch Trailer - Level 5 World 2011

Footage of the first Yo-kai Watch game.

With the success of Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, and Little Battlers Experience, Level-5 decided to create a new IP that would last for a very long time. They used Doraemon as their inspiration[1], resulting in the creation of Yo-kai Watch. Their first step into the development was to make the player explore freely and walk around in an open-world environment.

The franchise was announced at Electronic Gaming Expo at Los Angeles in 2011, where the game was shown running on the PlayStation 3. The game ended up being repurposed for the Nintendo 3DS. The manga adaption of Yo-kai Watch was first released in Japan on December 15, 2012, seven months before the game's release.

Popularity in Japan

When Yo-kai Watch came out in Japan, it sold 53,000 copies in its first week. It sold a total of 1.29 million copies in 2014, becoming one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo 3DS.

The franchise's popularity did not skyrocket until Yo-kai Watch 2's release in July 2014. Yo-kai Watch 2 made the franchise very popular among many demographics, and the Yo-kai Watch anime became one of the most watched animated series in Japan, mostly ending in the top ten of the rates alongside with other popular animation series such as Detective Conan, One Piece, Pokémon and Doraemon.

As a result of the massive boom of popularity, the franchise has made many crossovers in Japan with popular characters from other franchises. Its popularity in Japan led to Yo-kai Watch becoming a phenomenal creation.

As of July 2016, the franchise has sold 10,438,903 copies in Japan alone. This amount excludes digital sales.[2]

Release Outside of Japan

Audiences outside of Japan became interested in the Yo-kai Watch franchise upon seeing Yo-kai Watch 2's massive success in Japan. Thanks to this burst of interest, plans to bring the franchise outside of Japan begun, as announced in April 2015. More information for the localization was shown off at Electronic Entertainment Expo later that year. At New York Comic Con of 2015, details about the game, merchandise and anime were released.

Yo-kai Watch would eventually come out in North America, Australia and South Korea at the end of 2015. Europe got the game a few months later in 2016. It managed to get positive reviews from video game critics for the detailed environment and unique battle system. As of 2017, Yo-kai Watch only managed to sell about 360,000 copies in North America. In Europe and Australia, it sold about 650,000 copies.

The English dub of the anime also aired outside of the west. The English dub had received three seasons. The anime was revealed to be popular. The low sales of the first game led Level-5 to change their plans for North America to make the franchise popular, bringing events in North America ahead of Japan.

The English dub of the anime debuted in the United States of America on October 5, 2015 on Disney XD. To make things more understandable or suitable for western audiences, several themes and lines of dialogue had to be edited. Despite the negative reception from purists, it still managed to be one of Disney XD's most watched television shows. After the anime debuted in the United States, it eventually started airing in other territories throughout 2016.

The games are very popular in France and Spain, which the game even received high demands for a sequel from consumers. The situation in Europe has led for Yo-kai Watch 2 to debut in Russia. The European marketing team for the franchise had different plans than the North American marketing team.

Games

Main Series

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
Yokai-watch-boxart Yo-kai Watch 妖怪ウォッチ JPJuly 11, 2013
NANovember 6, 2015
EUApril 29, 2016
AUDecember 5, 2015
KONovember 26, 2015
Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits coverYo-kai Watch 2 Fleshy Souls cover Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony SpiritsYo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls 妖怪ウォッチ2 元祖
妖怪ウォッチ2 本家
JPJuly 10, 2014
NASeptember 30, 2016
EUApril 7, 2017
AUOctober 15, 2016
KOApril 20, 2017
SpectersNewBoxart Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters 妖怪ウォッチ2 真打 JPDecember 13, 2014
NASeptember 29, 2017
EUSeptember 29, 2017
AUSeptember 30, 2017
KOSeptember 21, 2017
Yo-kai Watch 3 Sushi box artYo-kai Watch 3 Tempura box art Yo-kai Watch 3: SushiYo-kai Watch 3: Tempura 妖怪ウォッチ3 スシ
妖怪ウォッチ3 テンプラ
JPJuly 16, 2016
Yo-kai Watch 3 North American Cover Yo-kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki 妖怪ウォッチ3 スキヤキ JPDecember 15, 2016
NAFebruary 8, 2019
EUDecember 7, 2018
AUDecember 8, 2018
YW4 BOX ART CLEAR IMAGE Yo-kai Watch 4 妖怪ウォッチ4 JPJune 6, 2019
Yo-kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch Box Art Yo-kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch 妖怪ウォッチ1 for Nintendo Switch JPOctober 10, 2019

Spin-offs

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
Yo-kai Watch Blasters (Red Cat Corps) NA CoverYo-kai Watch Blasters (White Dog Squad) NA Cover Yo-kai Watch Blasters: Red Cat CorpsYo-kai Watch Blasters: White Dog Squad 妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 赤猫団
妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 白犬隊
JPJuly 11, 2015
KOApril 19, 2018
WWSeptember 7, 2018
Busters gettogumi boxart Yo-kai Watch Blasters: Moon Rabbit Crew 妖怪ウォッチバスターズ 月兎組 JPDecember 12, 2015

WWSeptember 27, 2018

YWBustersSwordYWBustersMagnum Yo-kai Watch Busters 2: SwordYo-kai Watch Busters 2: Magnum 妖怪ウォッチバスターズ2 ソード
妖怪ウォッチバスターズ2 グナム
JPDecember 16, 2017

Collaborations

Boxart Title Japanese title Release date
YWD JP Cover Yo-kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version 妖怪ウォッチダンス:ジャストダンス特別版 JPDecember 5, 2015
Yo-kai Sangokushi Japanese boxart Yo-kai Sangokushi 妖怪三国志 JPApril 2, 2016

Mobile Games

Icon Title Japanese title Release date
Icon175x175 Yo-kai Taiso Dai-ichi Puzzle da nyan ようかい体操第一パズルだニャン JPJuly 16, 2013
Yo-kai Watch Wibble Wobble icon Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble 妖怪ウォッチ ぷにぷに Android:
JPOctober 21, 2015
NAMarch 24, 2016
EUMarch 30, 2017
KOJune 23, 2016

iOS:
JPOctober 28, 2015
NAMarch 24, 2016
EUMarch 30, 2017
KOJune 23, 2016

Yo-kai Watch Land icon Yo-kai Watch Land NAJanuary 3, 2016
Yo-kai Sangokushi Kunitori Wars app Yo-kai Sangokushi: Kunitori Wars 妖怪三国志 国盗りウォーズ JPJanuary 11, 2018
Yo-kai Watch Gerapo Rhythm icon Yo-kai Watch: Gerapo Rhythm 妖怪ウォッチ ゲラポリズム JPMay 11, 2018
Yw world icon Yo-kai Watch World 妖怪ウォッチワールド JPJune 27, 2018
Medal wars icon Yo-kai Watch: Medal Wars 妖怪ウォッチ メダルウォーズ JPMarch 28, 2019 (Beta)
July 30, 2019
None Yo-kai Daijiten 妖怪大辞典 JP2019

Regional Box Art Differences

Main Series

Title Japan America Europe South Korea
Yo-kai Watch Yo-Kai Watch Japanese cover art Yokai-watch-boxart Yo-kai Watch EU cover Yo-kai Watch (South Korea) cover
Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits Yo-kai Watch Honke cover Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits cover YW2BSEURBoxart YokaiWatch2KRGanso
Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls Yo-kai Watch Ganso cover Yo-kai Watch 2 Fleshy Souls cover YW2FSEURBoxart YokaiWatch2KRHonke
Yo-kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters Yo-kai Watch Shin-uchi cover SpectersNewBoxart YW2PSEUBoxart Yo-kai Watch 2 Shin-uchi (South Korea) cover
Yo-kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki Yo-kai Watch 3 Sukiyaki cover Yo-kai Watch 3 North American Cover Yo-kai Watch 3 European cover

Spin-offs

Title Japan America Europe South Korea
Yo-kai Watch Blasters: Red Cat Corps Yo-kai Watch Red Cat Yo-kai Watch Blasters (Red Cat Corps) NA Cover YWBlastersRCCEuropeanEnglishBoxart YWBustersRedCatKoreanBoxart
Yo-kai Watch Blasters: White Dog Squad Yo-kai Watch White Dog Yo-kai Watch Blasters (White Dog Squad) NA Cover YWBlastersWDSEuropeanEnglishBoxart YWBustersWhiteDogKoreanBoxart

References

  1. https://www.famitsu.com/news/201404/21051460.html
  2. Yo-Kai Watch Sells More Than 10 Million Copies in Japan

Start a Discussion Discussions about Yo-kai Watch (franchise)

  • The Yo-Kai Watch What if Scenario Official Thread

    48 messages
    • Norman Fong Ochoa wrote:Little Jiba3 wrote:OhJay wrote:What if Bear, Eddie, Jessica and Isabel also got Yo-kai Watches and their own part...
    • 1. What if Nate was put into an orphanage and never get adopted? 2. What if the priest that imprisoned Whispser was actually a Sith Lord? ...
  • Message from Slatch12

    5 messages
    • Slatch12 wrote:thumbWhy? I think Yo-Kai Watch is very stup...
    • Yo-kai Watch isn't about ghosts, it's about Yo-kai. Things (like objects and living things) can be reborn as Yo-kai (they even ment...
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