Level-5, the relatively small start-up that made a big splash with Professor Layton and which has ever since become one of the most successful game developers in Japan, will be the driving force behind the next Gundam series. When it was revealed that they'd be taking part of the new Gundam Age initiative, most naturally assumed that they were simply producing the obligatory game tie-in. Turns out that they'll also be in charge of the new anime, which will be the centerpiece of the oncoming onslaught of new models, toys, manga, and of course, games.

Apparently Sunrise, the folks who control the Gundam license, approached Level 5 to once again just do a RPG, but their CEO saw an opportunity and decided to pitch a lengthy plot summary. Sunrise was clearly impressed enough to okay the project, and the new show premiers this coming October.

There will also be a number of Gundam Age arcade offerings, include a traditional card trading arcade game, and another in which players scans in a chip that's embedded in their models to do battle. Mecha Damashii's Ollie Barder put it best with his description: "It’s like Barcode Battlers high fived with the people behind Gunpla Builders.". Gunpla Builders, by the way, was an earlier series that also aimed at the younger set, which Gunam Age appears to be aiming for as well. No word if Level-5 is involved in either of the aforementioned arcade titles.

Reaction to the news has been decidedly mixed among diehard Gundam fans. Much like Ollie, I agree that something just ain't clicking here, though I mostly just don't dig the designs. But the game will likely be very good at the very least.

[via Andriasang]