Level-5 was one of the stronger JRPG developers for years, though recently they have fallen on hard times. Several projects the studio has been involved in over recent years have not faired well. These include the Yokai Watch franchise which fizzled out in the west, no doubt due to its similarities to Pokemon. There have also been many failed attempts to reboot or restart the Professor Layton Franchise including several cancellations.
For a while, it was looking like the company only had a few years left in the tank. There were rumors that the main offices were having trouble paying their employees and their North American branch, Level-5 Abby, being closed earlier this year.
The one bright spot the company has had is the Ni No Kuni mobile game, Ni No Kuni: Crossed Worlds which made 100 million in profit in just 11 days. Perhaps because of this, the studio is now working on a “completely new project”.
The game in question is only referred to as “Level-5 RPG” on their career page. As for the hiring, it looks like most if not all roles need to be filled for the project. This offers some credibility to the dire straights the studio was in at least a year ago. In an effort to streamline the hiring process several of the roles allow for remote employment as a contractor.
The studio was founded in 1998 for the classic RPG series Dark Cloud. From there they went on to develop what was the gold standard for the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest VIII. Their hits after that include Rogue Galaxy, White Knight Chronicles, and of course Ni No Kuni.
When the name Level-5 is combined with RPG, they always deliver. It is great to see the company is on the road to recovery.