Is 2017 the End of the 'Yo-kai Watch' Craze as 'Pokémon' Takes Back Crown?

By Jazz Rosin / 2017.05.13

It was previously regarded as the franchise who killed "Pokémon" in Japan, but it looks like the "Yo-Kai Watch" craze is finally coming to an end.

According to Destructoid, the "Yo-Kai Watch" franchise saw a huge drop in sales this year, bringing in only 10.4 billion yen. This was a measly amount compared to its peak year in 2014, which saw the franchise bring in over 55.2 million yen.

Speaking of 2014, Japan went crazy over these cute little yokais, and it was during that point in time where "Yo-Kai Watch" merchandise were practically everywhere, thanks to the populatiry of "Yo-Kai Watch 2" and "Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie." Plus, the irritatingly catchy "Gera Gera Po" theme song was stuck on everyone's head for quite some time.

The popularity of "Yo-Kai Watch," however, has started waning, if sales figures are anything to go by. Some fans, and even analysts, attributed it to Level-5 practically milking the franchise to death.

Level-5 has released a "Yo-kai Watch" spinoff title "Yo-Kai Watch Busters," in different versions in 2015, "Yo-Kai Watch" and "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" crossover "Yo-kai Sangokushi," and a special "Yo-Kai Watch" version of Ubisoft's "Just Dance," all within a span of a year.

With the "Pokémon" series gaining its momentum back in Japan with "Pokémon GO" and "Pokémon Sun and Moon," some fans have commented that "Yo-Kai Watch"'s reign is finally coming to an end.

Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino once told Nikkei Trendy (via Siliconera) that they will be putting the "Yo-Kai Watch" series on break, and will probably be focusing on their other upcoming titles like "Ni No Kuni 2," "The Snack World," "Layton's Mystery Journey" and more.

Hino mentioned, however, that 2017 will be "the start of many new things" for "Yo-Kai Watch." Judging from its recent decline in sales, however, Level-5 needs to do more to get the franchise back on track.

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