Dragon Quest and Ni No Kuni developer Level 5 has acquired Keiji Inafune's studio Comcept.
Inafune, who is famed for his work on the Mega Man and Onimusha series throughout his years at Capcom, founded Comcept when he left the Japanese publisher in 2010. Comcept is probably recognisable to most as the developer of Kickstarted Mega Man successor Mighty No.9, which enjoyed a rough critical reception when it was finally released last year.
The studios first worked together on 3DS title Guild02.
Gematsu reports that Comcept will now officially go by the name 'Level 5 Comcept', supposedly since which talks of closer ties have been ongoing. Level 5 Comcept will retain the current workforce, which numbers around 15, with Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino taking an active role. It will function as a subsidiary of its parent. Expansion has already been mooted.
The first title to emerge from the partnership will be iOS and Android release Dragon Colonies, which has a release date of 2018 in Japan. It's a real-time PvP title in which players attempt to build the strongest minature garden 'Hacolony'. As the name suggests, dragojns will play a large part.
I had the feeling that I wanted to be like Hino since around the time I was at Capcom,” Inafune said. Although there are plans to close Comcept as it currently stands in the future, I will take responsibility for the titles I'm working on until the end.”
Relations between Inafune and his loyal fan base became strained when he last year tried to downplay Mighty No.9's critical mauling by saying that its long-delayed release was "better than nothing”.