Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Monster Hunter's future up in the air as Capcom maybe changes tack

During Capcom's latest investor relations jabberings, the boss man says something to the equivalent of "Monster Hunter would be bigger in the west if it wasn't on portable." Stabbing furiously at my brown 'no shit, Sherlock' button, that could mean anything.

It does rather suggest the series is likely to arrive next on PS4, perhaps with an Xbox One version in tow, but not in the form on Monster Hunter Frontier G (with the upcoming MHF:Z update).

With a new TV series, Monster Hunter Stories RIDE ON starting in Japan last month and coming west via Funimation, there's a decent opportunity for a big marketing push for a Monster Hunter 5 title and an anime tie-in, covering both ends of the market, ignoring a horde of MH mobile games.

However, that assumes Capcom's exclusivity deal with Nintendo will end after "MH: Generations". Of course, any Monster Hunter 5 could land on the Nintendo Switch too, covering both portable and console bases, but starting from a zero install base, Capcom would have to be very confident of a strong start, if it wants to sell the game in the west, which seems to be the point of his statement.

All of which leaves the Vita, approaching six million units in Japan, and ignored by Capcom apart from Marvel vs Capcom 3. whistling in the wind. Would Capcom produce a PS4/Vita title in the vein of WoFF, SAO and God Eater? That would easily pick up at least 500,000 sales in Japan and would be eagerly lapped up by the small but dedicated band of western owners.

Then again, it is so late in the day for the Vita, I think Sony would be actively against the idea, even if a limited edition Vita model could help boost sales. So, by saying one thing, Capcom does nothing to really help the situation. Already the gaming forums are alive with what it could mean. Something to be resolved in 2017, I guess, assuming Sony has kissed and made up with Capcom over the MH kerfuffle.

His one interesting insight, portable is 10% of the western market, and I'd guess 75% of that 10% is 2DS/3DS (since Nintendo continues to produce for it) leaving the Vita a teeny tiny data point in the market. We are indeed small fry!

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