Yo-kai Watch (妖怪ウォッチ Yōkai Wotchi) is a mixed-media franchise of role-playing video games and toys, created and developed by Level-5. The first game in the series was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013. 3 main sequels and several spinoffs, on both Nintendo and mobile platforms, have been released.
Six manga adaptations have also been produced; one, a shōnen manga series that began serialization in Shogakukan’s CoroCoro Comic from December 2012, became an award winner. An anime television series produced by OLM, Inc. began airing in Japan from January 2014 and was a ratings success, boosting the franchise in popularity, and began airing in North America from October 2015. An animated film was released in December 2014; with three more films being produced. As of 2016, the game series had shipped 13 million copies worldwide.
Despite not meeting Level-5’s expectations in the United States, the franchise still enjoyed a successful U.S. launch, with the original 3DS game selling 400,000 units, as well as toys and an airing of the TV series on Disney XD. However, interest in the Yo-kai Watch franchise steadily declined as The Pokémon Company built hype for its Pokémon Go smartphone game and the seventh installment in the mainline game series, Pokémon Sun and Moon. Although Hasbro still produces and manufactures the Yo-kai Watch toy line in areas such as France and Italy, the line was discontinued in the United States in 2017. As of 2019, the anime has been dropped from the lineup of Disney XD.