Professor Layton Leaves The Nintendo Stable, Adds iOS To Supported Platforms

One of the biggest Nintendo DS franchises is coming to iOS. Level-5 has announced that Nintendo’s exclusive access to their Professor Layton franchise is ending, and they’ll be releasing a new game called Layton Brothers: Mystery Room for iOS devices.

A developer making the jump from DS to iOS isn’t the biggest news in the world, but Layton is one of the DS’s most successful series, critically and commercially. The three games in the series so far (not counting Professor Layton and the Last Specter, released today in the US) have sold over eleven million copies, and reviewers have embraced the game’s mix of quirky characters and taxing puzzles.

Having played some of the games (the second and third), I can say that they seem a perfectly good match for iOS, and the new one, featuring “crime-scene mystery style gameplay starring the intuitive son of Hershel Layton” likely won’t depart too far from them.

But Nintendo must be fuming. It’s possible they locked in Level-5 to a certain number of titles before anything from the franchise appeared elsewhere, but clearly now they no longer have that hold, if they ever did. The company has always prided itself on taking its own road and more or less ignoring competitors, a strategy that has led to some big wins and catastrophic losses. This independence from trends occasionally gets infected with complacency, and in this case, with the 3DS lagging in sales, they may end up with the iPhone eating their lunch.

No release date has been announced, nor any further information.