Though the Yo-Kai Watch series has been unable to reach the same level of popularity in North America as it has in Japan, the series has a respectable following. Soon, the series will have a chance to find a bigger audience when Yo-Kai Watch 4 arrives on Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4, marking the very first time the franchise has appeared on a Sony platform. While North American fans patiently wait for the game's localization, developer Level-5 has already let slip that a brand-new spin-off is also in the works, based on Yo-Kai Academy Y. The Yo-Kai Academy Y anime reimagines the game's creatures as humans in a school setting. In the below tweet from Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, players can get their first glimpse at the upcoming game, and its human take on series mascot Jibanyan!
テレビアニメ妖怪学園Yいかがでしたか！これを見た後に映画に行くと大惨事になりそうですがwそれはそれで大いに楽しめると思います！そして開発中のゲーム画面を少々。妖怪学園は妖怪ウォッチはとはまた違うタイプのシステムになります！お楽しみに！ pic.twitter.com/7OtI3AeU2P— 日野晃博 (@AkihiroHino) December 27, 2019
According to Hino, the game will play differently from other games in the Yo-Kai Watch franchise, which follow somewhat traditional JRPG mechanics. Yo-Kai Watch Academy Y is not the first spin-off the series has seen. The gameplay in the Yo-Kai Watch Blasters games similarly diverged from the core series, offering up a more action-based approach inspired by the Ghostbusters franchise.
The first game in Level-5's Yo-Kai Watch franchise debuted in Japan on Nintendo 3DS in 2013. The game was localized two years later, with Nintendo taking on publishing chores. The series follows a boy named Nate Adams who finds a watch that allows him to see ghost-like creatures called Yo-Kai. As many Yo-Kai are based on Japanese folklore, kids in the country embraced the series, where it became a massive pop culture hit.
As of this writing, no further details have been revealed regarding Yo-Kai Watch Academy Y. Are you a fan of the Yo-Kai Watch franchise? Do you hope to see Academy Y reach North America? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!