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Capcom’s Monster Hunter will be the next hit series to get the Niantic treatment, with location-based game Monster Hunter Now launching for mobile later this year.

The game is developed and published by Niantic and will be available on the iOS App Store and Google Play in September. Registration is now open for the beta test, which starts on Tuesday, April 25th.

Monster Hunter now builds on the formula of previous Niantic titles like Pokemon Go, where the series’ monsters are placed in the real world via an in-game map. During the press conference, Niantic Chief Product Officer Kay Kawai said Monster Hunter was “a perfect natural fit” for the company’s style of play.

“The series is about getting together with friends, playing as a family and making new friends. That’s really been the most important part of the IP for almost two decades. The idea of ​​majestic monsters roaming around neighborhoods and cities is very compelling. A new real-world game.”

Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto added: “We are very excited to work with Niantic, who has the best AR technology in the world, to bring you the all-new Monster Hunter game. I still remember when Niantic told me about this project. I immediately said ‘let’s do it’ without a second thought.”

Monster hunter now

After Niantic visited Capcom in March 2019 to propose a Monster Hunter game together, the game has been in development for under four years.

Niantic has taken steps to try and differentiate the new title from Pokémon Go; For example, while players can still fight beasts in AR mode – which superimposes their opponents on their real-world environment – the map is split into different eco-zones, showing the background if you’re not using AR mode.

Players can use a new paintball item to tag the monsters they encounter and fight them from the comfort of their home. The player’s palico buddy can be set to mark any monsters they pass with Paintball to give them more enemies to fight at home.

As with all Monster Hunter series, multiplayer is a big focus of Niantic where players will team up with other people in the area as they take down monsters.

The game is designed to be as accessible as possible with “tap and flip” combat controls instead of virtual buttons.

There will be in-game purchases, but these will be discussed in detail later.

While Pokémon Go is still going strong, Niantic shut down the similar Harry Potter: Wizards Unite last year. Despite the continued popularity of the boy wizard franchise, the game struggles to find the same traction as Pokemon Go; For example, it made $1.7 million less than Critter Hunter on its first day and closed two years later.

Niantic has also reportedly laid off up to 90 people last year, abandoning the soft-spoken Catan: World Explorers and canceling four projects.

CD Projekt was one of many studios that tried to get in on the action with The Witcher: Monster Slayer, which was also shut down. With so many titles struggling to match up to Pokémon Go, Niantic and Capcom asked what to expect from Monster Hunter Now.

“Games are a hit-and-run business…I firmly believe we need a hit on our hands.”

Kay Kawai, Niantic

“Games are a hit business,” he told us during a Q&A session at the press conference. “I don’t want to overestimate how big this is going to be. All we can focus on and control is making fun games with the greatest talent and greatest hit makers at Capcom.”

“I firmly believe we have a big hit on our hands, that the world is going to love it and enjoy it there, so we’re going to focus on that. And we want this game to last a very long time.”

While Monster Hunter may not be on the scale of Pokemon or Harry Potter, the franchise has moved to new levels of popularity in recent years. Historically a huge hit in Japan, 2018’s Monster Hunter World and 2021’s Monster Hunter Rise finally broke through in the West.

As of today, Monster Hunter is the second biggest selling series in Capcom history with 90 million units, only beaten by Resident Evil’s 135 million. Monster Hunter World is the publisher’s best seller of all time with 18.6 million units, followed by Rice’s 11.7 million.

This gives Kawai confidence that Monster Hunter Now will have strong international appeal “The Monster Hunter series has been around for a long time – this is the nineteenth year – and the recent success of World and Rice has increased the audience worldwide. The title has been a huge hit in Japan and has become the world. Play as well.”

“I’m very happy to see that people around the world know the game and that more players are playing it, because it gives us and this monster hunter a chance to be successful on a global scale now.”