Japanese smash hit 3DS game Yo-Kai Watch will take the UK by storm, predicts Viz Media Europe.
The firm – which is handling the release of the recent TV show in Europe – expects the franchise to have the same effect on the West that Pokmon had in the late 1990s.
This will be the next big boys' brand, essentially the next Pokmon,” said Waell Oueslati, EMEA associate brand manager at Viz Media Europe. We have very high expectations for the European market and for the UK. We are certainly bigger than Pokmon in Japan.”
Yo-Kai Watch is a franchise by Professor Layton creator Level-5. The various games in the series shifted over six million copies in Japan alone in just 18 months.
Rob Corney (pictured), group MD for licensingagent Bulldog Licensing, added: The last major anime-esque property to really hit the big time in Europe was probably Ben 10 – though that was not a Japanese brand.
It's been a few years since this was at its peak and a new generation of fans is ready for the next major success story in the genre.”
UPDATE: This story previously contained a quote claiming thatYo-Kai Watch has "a 95 per cent market share in [Japan]". This statistic cannot be verified and has been removed. The company name Viz Media Europe has also been clarified to distinguish the company from its US arm, Viz Media.