Yo-kai Watch video game
Before being a video game serie, Yo-kai Watch was first released in Japan as a manga on December 15th 2012. A game trailer named "Ghost Watch" was initialy released during E32011 showing Yo-kai Watch running on PS3, Level-5 plans changed for a first release of the game in Japan on Nintendo 3DS consoles on July 11th 2013.
Yo-kai Watch sellings were good with 500000 copies sold during the first weeks, later reaching in 2014 1 million of copies sold. What really kicked off the licence was the release of the anime with the first episode aired on TV Tokyo on January 8th 2014. This same year on July 10th 2014, the release of the second game has been a true performance in video game selling history with more than 1 million copies sold the first week.
Knowing the correct release timeline of the video games and anime, the first video game of Yo-kai Watch has simply set the bases of the licence up: a teenage boy/girl living in a suburb, goes on an insects hunt when the main character meets with a strange machine gashapon looking in which Yo-kai are imprisoned. The release of Whisper, a "Yo-kai Butler" and personal adviser, is the starting point of the adventure in a world filled with Yo-kai. Yo-kai Watch 1 has a quite simple story, a good writing in which the player can easily identify with the main character.
In Japan and Korea, the game was made with no link whatsoever with the anime. In Western countries, America and Europe, the game and the anime were released almost at the same time and led to a limited adaptation of the game like adding new lines of voices for some Yo-kai. Also, it is unclear at the moment but some French translations were either wrong or "missing". Pork Ramen became Chicken Ramen and reading some technique effects like burn can be found a 4 level of burning while it has only 2 in French, with just a simple copy of 2 levels of burning description.
The marketing is clear: while Yo-kai Watch in Japan is a criticism and parody of the whole society, it is planned, sold and seen as, quoted "The new Pokemon anime". in Europe
In 2017, there were 360000 units sold in the USA and 650000 units in Europe, making Europe the leader of the sales compared to both Japan and the USA.