Capcom recounts its successful and daring gamble with Monster Hunter World.
Monster Hunter made another dramatic leap of platforms with Monster Hunter World, which switched from Nintendo to PS4, Xbox One, and PC, making it the first mainline console game in the series in almost a decade. Capcom bet on the game being fundamentally appealing, even in the west, if it would just be on the right platform- and decided to gamble with the core Japanese audience, which is always assured for these games, but expects them on handhelds.
Their gambit was a success- Monster Hunter World won overwhelming acclaim from players and critics around the world, and went on to become Capcom’s highest selling game of all time, with the bulk of its sales coming from the west, exactly as Capcom had wanted.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, Capcom Europe COO Stuart Turner explained some of the reasoning that went behind putting the game on consoles, and attempting to focus on the west.
“In my 12 years of being here, the drum has been banged that Monster Hunter could sell easily in the West if it was on the right platform and if it embraced online gaming,” Turner said. “It was a big risk for the Japanese developers to go and do something that might cut off their own fanbase. They were guaranteed three or four million sales in Japan. For a risk-averse Japanese company, that’s a great big gamble. Having said that, Japan bought the game in its millions.”
EMEA marketing director Antoine Molant added that in large part, the risk was buffered by Sony, who decided to support Capcom’s release of the game on PS4. “The risk was mitigated by Sony’s support, and Sony Japan in particular, who felt Monster Hunter coming to home consoles was going to sell some PS4s… and they were right.”
While Monster Hunter World‘s long term impact on PS4 sales in Japan was minimal, in the end, Capcom profited and benefited handsomely from this arrangement, as Monster Hunter World has firmly established the brand in the west- a brand that Turner noted the company wishes to build upon with future entries.
“It was almost a new IP in some markets,” he said. “Even in some of our more mature European markets, it is still fairly unknown. It has obviously done really well and now the goal is to push on and make it more of a success in the West with the next iterations.”
Monster Hunter World is available now on PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC release coming on August 9.