Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yo-kai Watch Comes to the USA

Nintendo on Friday is launching a popular Japanese videogame in North America, the next chapter for a franchise that has raked in more than $2 billion in sales of games, toys and more.

The franchise about hunting ghost-like creatures, made by Level-5 Inc., is so popular in Japan that it spawned a television show and movie, a dance craze, and toys that sell out across the country.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s because Nintendo helped generate a similar frenzy on playgrounds nearly two decades ago with “Pok√©mon,” another Japanese game about hunting magical creatures. To date, that franchise has sold about 275 million copies, which Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter pegs at about $8 billion in sales.

“Yo-kai Watch” and a sequel have combined to sell 8 million copies. Based on their success in Japan, the new version for Nintendo’s 3DS hand-held machine could bring in “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue if it takes off in the U.S., said Sartori Bernbeck, an analyst for industry tracker EEDAR.

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