For years, Monster Hunter has been a colossal title in the eatern hemisphere. If you take a shinkansen, or high speed rail in Japan, to go anywhere, chances are you probably see a handful of individuals playing an interaction of Monster Hunter on their Switch. In fact, there are literal after-school classes dedicated to educating and improving a player’s hunting craft in order to ensure their success in their virtual hunting career.
The Monster Hunter franchise as a whole experienced various levels of success as it evolved from one title to the next. However, it was not until the recent iteration of the franchise, Monster Hunter World, did it propel the franchise into super stardom globally. It is arguably one of the first and only Monster Hunter titles that experience success in both Eastern and Western markets. In fact, it became the most profitable title in Capcom history. In my humble opinion, Capcom made a few notable sound decisions in Monster Hunter World that contribute to its accomplishments.
First and foremost, the game mechanic is simplified. In comparison to the previous titles, Monster Hunter World has arguably the least amount of mechanics. By reducing the overwhelming information dump that exists in the tutorial, newcomers to the franchise will be less likely to be intimidated and ultimately drop the title without fully enjoying the glory of the hunts.
Secondly, the game is accessible on popular platforms. Whichever side of the fence in the master race war you are on, the game is accessible on PS4, Xbox, and steam. Traditionally speaking, Xbox has always done way better in the Western market compared to the Eastern market. By expanding to the Xbox crowd, the franchise obtained tremendous exposure and boosted their sales numbers.
Last but not least, the free updates and content which Capcom has done for Monster Hunter World is nothing short of a feat of its own. Outside of the Iceborne expansion, all the DLC monsters and content has been free. To make it even more impressive, the last DLC was introduced in December of 2020. In other words, outside of Iceborne expansion itself, the team has produced free content for a period of three years. In my opinion, the team has every right to charge every DLC, considering the amount of work and time that went into the development. But they made the bold business decision to make such downloadable content free of charge.
With all that being said, Monster Hunter World in its entirety is one big flagship title that has established itself to be one of the colossal mainstays in the Western market. With Monster Hunter: Rise just released this week, I look forward to seeing the sells numbers and how much fun and frustrations that new and old hunters will experience on various social media platforms.