The devs best known for Nintendo DS franchise Professor Layton is planning to set up shop abroad in America outside its own headquarters in Fukuoka, Japan. Previously, for the Layton series, they were developed by Level-5, but as part of a deal with Nintendo, the latter handles all localisation work and sells them overseas outside of Japan. With Level-5 expanding to America it now takes over development of the English version of the series, and thus grabbing some of the money pie Nintendo has been holding from them.
The North American division, Level-5 International America Inc., will be based in Santa Monica, CA and will employ about ten people and is expected to be open by September. A European division will follow sometime in 2011.
What will this mean for us Layton fans? Hopefully, a wait for translation that doesn't take two freaking years to finish. But then again, they have to re-dub, retranslate, and remake half of the puzzles(which means new art and solutions), and that takes a while too. Still, it's not too much to ask for the waiting time to be shortened by at least half. I'm nearly fed up of waiting for Layton 3 in English. I even imported Layton 4 in Japanese just so I can play more puzzles! (don't worry, this language barrier I can handle)
Speaking of Layton 3...Professor Layton and the Unwound Future was recently trademarked by Level 5 too. E3 announcement? Most likely.
The Japanese Layton 3, titled Professor Layton and the Last Time Travel