Professor Layton creator Level-5, one of the biggest game companies in Japan, has begun publishing games in the West, starting with three downloadable titles for Nintendo 3DS's eShop.
Level-5 has developed a number of titles that have released in the West, but they were all published by partners such as Nintendo (Professor Layton) and Sony (White Knight Chronicles). It also worked on the Square Enix's Dragon Quest VIII and IX.
In 2010, though, the company opened Level-5 International America in California with the aim of localizing and self-publishing its games in the West. The publisher has even hinted that it may develop titles at the U.S. office.
The first titles Level-5 is publishing in the West come from Guild01, a Japanese 3DS compilation of titles created by notable Japanese game designers and their respective studios. Though the collection released in Japan on a physical cartridge, the games will debut in Europe and North America as separate downloads.
Releasing in North America before the end of the year, the eShop games include Liberation Maiden by Goichi Suda (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw), Aero Porter by Yoot Saito (SimTower, Seaman), and Crimson Shroud by Yasumi Matsuno (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story). The first of that trio has already relesed in Europe.