Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Capcom Wants Monster Hunter To Grow

The Monster Hunter franchise never really grabbed a foothold in Japan outside of the MMO -console community and the west just didn't like it, The segmented map and R stick for attacking just alienated console gamers. However releasing MH on the PSP turned the segmented map into an asset, removed the right stick and turned MH into a money printing franchise Japan.

The franchise picked up more steam when the high costs of PS3 development and high Wii sales caused the franchise to switch banner, this lead to the inevitable nexus of Monster Hunter and 3DS. Now Monster Hunter is Capcom's biggest earning, spawning spin-offs and extended media, in a way that Street Fighter struggled to do.

So you can imagine our surprise when Capcom says it's unhappy. In the west handhelds only account for 10% of the market and is taking steps to "adjust" for the western market. Capcom predicts lifetime sales of Xbox One and PS4 as 50 million and 100million respectively. They believe Monster Hunter is limiting it's sales in the west by being handheld exclusive and that it must make games to "appeal to the foreign consumers"

So what does this mean? well, there was an old rumor that MH will see its main entries on PS4 and portable titles on 3DS but this to punish the core Monster Hunter audience in Japan. The Nintendo Switch seems a good fit as it fulfills both roles but its user base is going to start from scratch.

We think it's important (and worrying) that Capcom is only talking about systems sold and market share, they aren't saying the franchise is limited by the power of handhelds or handheld culture, only that there isn't enough of them over here. That creates a large shadow... there is a platform that has a huge install base and easily the ability to run a Monster Hunter game... mobile, last year 135 million iPhones was sold that one platform outsold the Capcom's predicted lifetime console sales of the PS4.

I guess we are just going have to wait to see what moves Capcom makes next.

Abe's Take
This is awfully worrying to me, this news as got the PS4 forums up in a frenzy about the "awesome" Monster Hunter game they are getting. According to them Monster Hunter on PS4 means no more segmented worlds, ditching the current gameplay for 'better' one and more welcoming to new players. Even suggesting things like XP driven level ups and life bars. Which to me and many other Monster Hunter fans doesn't sound like the game we love. Monster Hunter was some odd action game until it hit portable and everything just snapped into place,

For full disclosure: I've been playing Monster Hunter on PS2, PSP, Wii, Wii U and 3DS,

Source (Japanese)

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