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Monster Hunter Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto Emphasizes the Value of Community and the 3DS for MH4 Ultimate

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"At this time we're focusing on the 3DS version"

Its arrival in "early 2015" may seem rather far away, but we suspect a good number of 3DS owners are rather excited about the upcoming arrival of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. It's a much anticipated localisation, and as with the previous Western release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate it'll be the expanded and improved version that makes its way out of Japan.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate does incorporate some fresh ideas from those that have come before, with greater verticality in levels, new weapons and more. In an interview with Eurogamer, series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto has spoken about the upcoming release and his hopes for success in the West; initially he made clear how the role of the enthusiastic community for the series is vital in driving development ideas.

Game development is often about an output of the ideas we have into game form, and putting it out there into the world. But I also take input very seriously, and what it is you take in from the community in order to make the next game or the next iteration.

We have today a lot of community and fan events for the series. And in Japan in particular we have a lot on a regular basis. We go to these events and observe people playing the game and see how they're taking it in, and how they're playing the latest entry into the series. That direct feedback from the community is really important to me and the team.

We'll take the temperature of the current title as it's being received, and then directly feed that back into our process of what we want to do with the next title in the series. That kind of process and flow we have has been very useful for the series. Whenever we think about what we want to challenge next with the series that's always a key element in how we think about what direction we're going to take it in.

With the franchise now ten years old it's still seeking success outside of Japan to match up to that of its homeland. The release of a new entry in Japan can still prompt enormous interest, with Monster Hunter 4 continuing the trend; modest success in the West has helped establish a core community, and Tsujimoto-san hopes that the inclusion of online play in the upcoming 3DS release will help to grow the audience further.

Monster Hunter 4 has got online play for the first time in a portable entry in the series. That's going to mean we've got a whole new stage we can bring the community to. We have our community members now who love to meet up and play the game on local wireless. We hope they can be ambassadors for the title, so when we get more people into the next one and they want to play online, they've got a whole gang of people waiting there who know the game inside out. If they're newcomers to the series and not sure what to do, or they want to go on a quest but they don't want to go alone, if we can use our built-in community as a way for people who are new to say, don't worry, we're here and we'll give you a helping hand, then that's going to be a great way to expand the size of the community.

And then of course people who join that way, perhaps through online play as a first step, will then hopefully get involved in the game community itself and then they'll be motivated to come and join some of the meet ups and get involved in the whole community spirit. So, the online functionality will be a big step in the west in growing our community size even larger than it is today.

The Ultimate name naturally brought some to consider the dual release of 3 Ultimate on the Wii U and 3DS — the sequel is only confirmed for the portable, however. While acknowledging that the name Monster Hunter 4 U would have a charming ring to it, Tsujimoto-san made it clear that the team is only focused on the 3DS at this time.

Yeah, that title naming would be a lovely coincidence. That would be pretty sweet.

At the moment we're focused on 3DS, purely because with the previous title, the 3DS version couldn't go online on their own. There was a system to bring them online in conjunction with the Wii U console, but they were only local wireless play by themselves.

In 4 Ultimate, it will be online play just on the 3DS. We really want to see how having just a single platform online multiplayer game works out. So at this time we're focusing on the 3DS version. Monster Hunter 4 in Japan was also 3DS only.

Let us know what you think of Tsujimoto-san's comments. Do you think the online play, new features and the sizeable 3DS userbase will help Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate to achieve major success in the West?


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User Comments (43)



erv said:

ah, sounds like I need to start saving up for a 3ds...



rjejr said:

@erv - Yeah, bought a Wii U for my birthday last year, might be time for a 3DS this year. I'm never been a handheld gamer but I like games and I'm waiting a few years for a PS4 redesigned price drop. My birthday is in July so I get to see what E3 has on offer. Maybe there will be some Wii U surprises. Nice avatar.

"We really want to see how having just a single platform online multiplayer game works out."

Sounds like they're preparing for the "Fusion" or whatever the 3DS and Wii U all-in-one replacement will be. Maybe they'll announce a 3DU at E3.

"Monster Hunter 4 in Japan was also 3DS only."

Wait, is this article talking about a Wii U version when Japan is 3DS only, or am I reading all this wrong? Wii U in Japan not getting MH would help explain a few things.



marnelljm said:

3DS is Nintendo's primary console now, it's no sells extremely well. I'm very interested in Mario Kart 8 sales numbers. If MK8 doesn't move Wii Us nothing will.



Mahemoth said:

Let's hope the Wii U will pick up good sales this year, so that there will be more reason to port it to the Wii U.



ACK said:

This needs a Wii U release. Rather that is what the Wii U needs. Still, playing M3U on the 3DS was sweet, but wasn't quite the same as having a large screen to play on, a Pro controller in your hands, and the GamePad next to you.



FritzFrapp said:

Just look at that Tigrex. Imagine that sucker coming towards you in 3D! Can't wait to test the sharpness of my great sword with his tail. 2015 cannot come quickly enough.



Jazzer94 said:

3DS is the best system this gen currently already got 20+ games with no regrets.



nik1470 said:

I have MH3U on both the 3DS and WiiU and do not regret buying it twice. I really hope they bring this to the WiiU too the online community is really welcoming, patient and helpful. Its probably one if the last good team based online games.



Megumi said:

Need more info Capcom....I wanna see the new monster. TwT
(or some English names, lol)



AVahne said:

Please stick to 3DS only for this. I'd rather not have more upscaled ports of 3DS games. Rather than waste money on yet another blocky looking port, I'd rather they put that money towards something built for the home consoles. Capcom's already potentially in financial trouble as it is.



Dpishere said:

Seeing as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is my favorite game on the 3ds, it easily places Monster Hunter 4 at the top of my most anticpated games list of 2015! The fact that it includes both local and online sweetens the deal.



Leonn said:

Online will definitely help, I myself didn't buy it because it lacked that. And my cousin was really disappointed it didn't have it either. I've played monster hunter tri on the Wii, and I'll tell you what, online makes the game what it truly is. I can't wait for this, its going to be amazing!



noctowl said:

@rjejr it sounds just like he said, single platform, meaning all the players on 3DS. Not some hybrid console/handheld thing that we wouldn't be seeing for 5-6 years anyway.



Dark-Link73 said:

"At the moment we're focused on 3DS..." I understand that, right now, the 3DS is where money can be made, but showing some love to the Wii U wouldn't hurt much.

Just saying.



lamco said:

As a massive monster hunter fan, i really can't wait for this game to be released!



SphericalCrusher said:

Been following Monster Hunter 4 since before it's JPN launch and super stoked to finally get it here! Can't wait!



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@rjejr I wouldn't put much thought into those rumours. What makes it especially telling is somehow they have "specs" for those two devices at this point. Nintendo is generally very good at keeping a secret. Wii and Wii U specs took a while to show up in any accurate form.

It's more like speculation combined with getting one's hopes up.

I just hope they didn't make the game too easy due to those move set changes to some of the weapons. That back riding/knife stabbing is especially worrying.



ACK said:

@AVahne How much does it cost to upscale a handheld port? Can't be much. And considering the popularity of the MH series, a console version seems like an attractive investment. Hardly likely to lose Capcom money or restrict them from developing other console titles...



Porky said:

Everyone seems to like tthis franchise but me.. I bought both MH3 on each system when they were discounted for 19.99. Even played the demo and thought it had potential, but I found it really not what the hype and praise it was getting. Boring tasks, repetitive combos, many useless item junk, and people online are not so kind to newbies; much like snobs comparing their high tier gear to yours, and etc. It has however, helped m eunderstand that this isn't my type if game and future installments I shall pass.



BertoFlyingFox said:

I think MH4U will do great when it releases out west. Personally, I'm skipping it because I dont like the feel of MH on 3DS, would much rather prefer a WiiU version.



Blast said:

Monster Hunter... one of the very few series thats keeping Capcom alive... and please put this game for Wii U, too.



Hy8ogen said:

damn. This pretty much confirms that MH4U is not coming to Wii U. I really hope they have a console version in the works......



Kiokothepirate said:

Since this game apparently doesn't have any under water battles I'm fine with it being only on the 3DS. With MH3U I played it mostly on the 3DS except for water battles, I had to play those on the Wii U because fighting under water on the 3DS without a second analog stick is infuriating.



Quirky said:

@WillhamBoyGeniu I hate online too, but offline single player or offline local multiplayer is good. I've beaten most of MH3U solo and it is one of my all time fave games. I hope MH4U isn't entirely focused on multiplayer - a bit of balance when played solo would be good too (G Rank Jhen springs to mind, or some of the 4-hunter max arena quests)



vattodev said:

"We really want to see how having just a single platform online multiplayer game works out." No HD release this time. But wasn't that how they did it with MH4?
@Quirky: Try Super Brachy. That's a lot tougher than G Rank Jhen. And Super Ala is really hard to complete in time too.



JaxonH said:


I agree. This is one game Nintendo should pony up for and absorb development costs to port the game to Wii U. In any case, I'm glad the 3DS version will be online. That was the downfall of MH3U on 3DS imo. There is nothing like Monster Hunter on the Wii U- it's an amazing experience, and totally worth buying the console for ten times over. But, if I have to, I'll adjust to playing on 3DS. Like I said, as long as the online component is there, I can deal with it...



LJay said:

Yeah id much rather play this on the wiiu than 3ds,guess the Japanese prefer it portable :/



Zombie_Barioth said:

Probably not, but I think its probably still expensive enough to put out for the heck of it. The main issue is the game looking like a home console game, thats part of why the Wii got MH3 in the first place.

Networking would be a big part too since people would expect a console experience out of it, not a handheld one. Disputes over networking is the other reason Nintendo got MH back then.



Metal_Slugger said:

I hope they add water fights ( not tons just some). I heard there weren't none. I wish it would come to the wiiu I just can't be bothered with a 3 ds. Just to small for gaming. Give me a drive in theater screen for this game.



uximal said:

Still enjoying MH3U on 3DS, Saving up for MH4U and I think this will be the year I buy a WiiU...esp with Mario kart 8 ..



Everly said:

It is always said that MH is searching to match the Japanese following in the West, but gamers in the West prefer consoles. Even when we play handheld games it is at home on the sofa. Adding online play for the 3ds is smart but putting a Wii U version on the market would improve the odds of getting that Western user base.

I also agree that this is a game the Wii U needs. Nintendo should put up the money for the development. They should have plenty as they haven't spent a dime on promoting the Wii U. For a company that partnered with Nintendo it is sad to see them provide only one Monster Hunter title on the new console.



Smug43 said:

oic Capcom being Capcom again? They should notice the Wii U ver. of MH3 U did pretty decent sales considering.. no U version, no buy... I own the 3ds and U ver. of MH3 and I just can't do much more than basic farming on the 3ds.. it just doesn't feel the same as on a huge screen.

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