News Article

Monster Hunter Team Discusses Continuing Evolution and Growth of the Franchise

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Games that ‘expand’ need all kinds of preparations"

Capcom's recent financial results referred to the "explosive popularity" of Monster Hunter 4, with the 3DS title contributing much to the company's profits. The upcoming Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will expand on the original and aim for double-dip success in Japan, but will also arrive in the West next year.

It's a critical franchise for Capcom, then, and despite the impression that its games are fairly infrequent in the West, it's prolific in Japan. Capcom has released MMORPG titles and is now dabbling in mobile, too, as it looks to leverage the brand now celebrating its 10th Birthday. It's a series in a state of constant evolution, then, which is a topic that series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Kaname Fujioka have been discussing with Famitsu magazine.

With the series actually averaging just over one game a year, Fujioka-san and Tsujimoto-san gave an idea of how busy the MH team is, and how important fan feedback and the dedicated community are in driving changes.

Fuijioka-san: And once we’ve finished running, it’s like we’re told ‘one more time!’. However, we’ve always had this fixation upon thinking of ways not to let players forget about the name ‘Monster Hunter’. In order to do this, we are required to continuously release games and offer new ideas.

I’ve realized that, games that ‘expand’ need all kinds of preparations, and it isn’t like [there is] a simple blueprint that ends with making a good game. When it comes to making games that have an ongoing relationship with players, there will always be more and more topics [to cover]. When you improve on those topics, there will always be more afterwards. And that will continue to repeat itself.

Tsujimoto-san: Again, as long as there are those who’ve kept up with the series, there will always be those who are new to it, as well. While we do our best to respond [to the players and their demands], it also feels as though players can naturally talk about the game amongst themselves, kind of like a network, with the players expanding.

There's still a relatively small and dedicated set of fans that regularly indulge in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate hunts in the West, for example — it's the kind of game that can demand dozens of hours of play. With the latest 3DS title on the way — including more "Time Trial"-style arena battles, for example — it'll be an exciting occasion when it arrives.

If you're a fan of the series, long- or short-term, let us know what you think of these comments from the lead developers. What do you hope to see in future entries of the series?

[via siliconera.com]

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User Comments (52)

Warruz

#1

Warruz said:

A better stat system, MH3 I always had to look up what each stat actually did rather then just know off the bat due to the way the game presents it.

Also a better lobby system

Dazran303

#2

Dazran303 said:

MH4U Needs to come to the WiiU! There are LOADS of us that want it on WiiU. Playing games like Monster Hunter in a Park with no plug socket nearby? Does that even exist? You wouldn't get much hunting done on the battery life, if my 12+ hour sessions are anything to go by on WiiU.

It might be better suited to be on handheld in the East for whatever reason, But at least for me, Home Console Gaming is best. Anyone else the same?

Mega719

#3

Mega719 said:

Along with Mega Man Capcon should just sell this series to Nintendo it's obvious this is the perfect audience for it

erv

#4

erv said:

Yep, it needs to be on wii U to truly succeed. Make the online on 3ds and wii u interconnect, so you can get everybody in the same community playing. Talk about a huge opportunity.

A better interface in terms of menu is most desired: the endless a button mashing, connect, yes, a, a, a, select, a and the ability to easily check potential winning, non standard armor combinations could improve loads.

HappyHappyist

#6

HappyHappyist said:

MH3U has lots of problems, and I'd like to see them addressed. The first one I can think of is the way traps work. Once you set one down, you're committed to it, which really sucks because if the monster leaves the area, too bad because you can't take the trap back up and place it somewhere else (this is a major problem because it has failed me many quests for failing to capture). It shouldn't be that hard to fix.

PrincessEevee9

#7

PrincessEevee9 said:

@Mercy_Lost *Months
@Dazran303 This so much
@HappyHappyist Learn monster patterns. Also you should be bringing multiple traps per mission.

Capcom should just sell themselves to Nintendo. So many if there IPs were multi-hitters and they need the cash. I just want more Okami and Viewtiful Joe.

SphericalCrusher

#8

SphericalCrusher said:

It doesn't need to be on the WiiU to succeed at all... it would actually do better on the console that is selling the most... which is the 3DS. I am a huge fan of MH3U and I still play it almost every day. I would absolutely LOVE to see MH4U on WiiU, but I am not going to complain at all. I am happy that we are getting it in a decent time frame.

BramButterham

#10

BramButterham said:

Apart from my physical disability that makes me incapable of playing 3ds, Monster Hunter is perfect for home consoles. It's a series that sucks you into its own world. On a home console I can walk around for hours, just gathering things. In my opinion, handheld consoles lack this kind of intensity in the experience. Handhelds are perfect for Fire Emblem-like games, easy to play and being able to pause whenever you want. Once you started fighting a Jhen on Monster Hunter, you will be busy for at least 15 minutes straight (non-speedrunning). The playstyle fits home consoles perfectly. Nearly 14 months after release the number of people playing MH3U is still consistent and well above that of Call of Duty Ghosts that came out more recently. This will probably increase when people can get MH3U with Mario Kart 8. It's a success on Wii U, regardless of the fact that a 3DS port has been used. Don't miss out on the revenue streams from the West and upscale MH4U from 3ds to Wii U! Then I can sink another 1300 hours into this brilliant game!!

Genesaur

#11

Genesaur said:

Sheesh, are there ever some weird complaints, here. I won't even respond to the trap one, because any seasoned Hunter knows that's your own mistake, enraging though it is when they limp AWAY from the trap you just set.

@Warruz I used to agree. I think that's part of the point, that it only has a name like "Potential," leaving you to guess until you make enough decorations or a proper armour set that unlocks and reveals that ability. The lack of straightforwardness is, I think, a means of enticing you to forge those sets, and the reward is the reveal. Maybe a cop-out, but my point is, I don't think that's changing, either.

Warruz

#12

Warruz said:

@SphericalCrusher Probably should really say "successful in the west". The Western Marketing easily prefers sitting on the couch. I would say it's almost a requirement for the series to reach anywhere near it does in japan.

SphericalCrusher

#13

SphericalCrusher said:

@Warruz Good point about the West, but it does not have to be a couch game to succeed. Now, if it came out on both, I'm sure the WiiU would sell more, but take a look at all the big 3DS titles that are ONLY on there. Pokemon for example. Very VERY successful and only a handheld game. I don't think it will ever reach the popularity here, as it is in Japan though. Heck, they have Monster Hunter theme parks over there! Haha

SecondServing

#14

SecondServing said:

@Dazran303

"LOADS of us who want it on Wii U!"

Looks at sales numbers

Yeah, that's not true. But anyway, hopefully out of goodwill Capcom brings it to home consoles.

Warruz

#18

Warruz said:

@SphericalCrusher Consider what pokemon is, its essentially an RPG for kids. It's still a fun game and adults can enjoy it to (as I do, but I think its mostly nostalgia reasons) but its target has and is always kids. Now kids make up a large portion of the handheld market in the west, just look around and you see kids playing DS's all the time. Amazing Kids game on a platform dominated by kids = success.

Monster Hunter is on the far other end of the spectrum which is why it does so well in japan. Portable Consoles are the "thing" in japan due to the nature of the culture, it doesnt have a large kids market it just has a large market. So if most people are playing on portable consoles it makes sense that a title like monster hunter will take off so well in japan but thats not the case for the west. The (potential) "people" who would play Monster Hunter in the west is Console Gamers

Samurairu

#19

Samurairu said:

I guess I'm in the minority, but if it's not on the Wii U I won't be playing it, if it's on the Wii U I will buy day 1. Too bad they screwed up the potential of MH3U game on the Wii U with a brutal demo which deterred a lot of day 1 buyers, myself included. I know people who cancelled pre-orders after playing the demo! I got it later and which I had bought it months prior.

MuchoMochi

#20

MuchoMochi said:

Streamline item inventory and the storage bin at home. I always have so much crap it is way to overwhelming.

SphericalCrusher

#21

SphericalCrusher said:

@Warruz Fact is, MH4U will be only on the 3DS. The 3DS itself is not oriented towards kids, but everyone. More people have the 3DS than the WiiU, so facts are, MH4U would sell better being for 3DS. It's not going to help or hinder the game at all. The kind of people that play Monster Hunter and are looking forward to MH4U, will buy it to matter what it's on. And for new people, there's still MH3U. :) Oh and handhelds are a "thing" over here too. It's different, I know, but they are still a LARGE part of gaming.

Maggots

#22

Maggots said:

"it's the kind of game that can demand dozens of hours of play. With the latest 3DS title on the way "

TRY DOZENS OF HUNDREDS

Hy8ogen

#23

Hy8ogen said:

Every time I see a article about MH4U, I secretly hope they will announce a Wii U version....Guess I do not deserved to be happy.

Funny_Moblin

#25

Funny_Moblin said:

I love Monster Hunter (even though I have no real life friends that play this with me), and I know the main focus is the terrific gameplay. From game to game, there are some changes here and there, but not as big as the gameplay itself. For the next Wii U Monster Hunter game, I want Capcom to make another big change and make the best graphics they can make. NO PORTS. It will make a huge difference.

Dazran303

#27

Dazran303 said:

@SecondServing did you see the amount of people here alone, who have requested a WiiU version? There is usually 2000+ people on MH3U on the WiiU every day.

You said look at the sales figures.. do you think that might tie-in to a poorly advertised console?

I am not saying WiiU only, I am simply saying both consoles should get MH4U love.

Capcom would be better off ignoring the Mobile Market and start putting out some serious games for both Nintendo Consoles.

MH3U sales could potentially skyrocket after sales of Mario Kart 8 if people choose MH3U as their free game. (Best Choice)

Funny_Moblin

#28

Funny_Moblin said:

@HappyHappyist You are saying that this is a problem that isn't hard to fix. Yeah, I suppose you would be right...IF this was a problem. But what if I told you that this is probably intentional. I believe that not being able to pick up the trap was purposely implemented in order to have people think and plan things out with good timing.

After all, this is a hardcore game that is heavily influenced on strategy. Your desire to have traps picked back up is just taking away from part of what makes this game a unique action/ strategy game.

BEASTMODE

#29

BEASTMODE said:

WIIU port is a must with cross play with the 3ds l will buy both take my money these games have a huge amount of gameplay worth every penny!

Iggly

#31

Iggly said:

Monster Hunter is definitely a series enjoy playing, but if they had to improve something. It would be nice if they atleast had an armor skill that increases the chances of getting rare rewards(like gems) as that is the only thing my friend doesn't really enjoy about Monster Hunter. But other than that, it's pretty good as most of its "faults" are usually the player's fault.

HappyHappyist

#32

HappyHappyist said:

@PrincessEevee9 it doesn't matter how many traps i bring (i always have 2 and combines for more) because the traps don't go away for i think 5-10 minutes. That's time wasted, and depending on how much time is remaining, it may or may not ruin the mission for you if it's a capture quest.
@Funny_Moblin i've considered that, and I've decided that explanation does not work.
exhibit A: The pitfall mask allows you to signal the shakalaka to place a pitfall trap. however, if you signal it again, you can take the trap up and reuse it later. If strategy were in mind, you probably wouldn't be able to take the trap up just like the regular ones.

exhibit B: If strategy is the idea, then using dung bombs is the most logical thing to do if you need to get a monster to a certain area, right? That idea goes so far. I placed a trap for my Rathian, then she leaves the area. So I then try to hit her with bombs to make her leave to the right area. I throw every single bomb at her (all 10), and not a single one made her go to the right area. If the monster leaves the area and you don't have enough time to wait for the trap to disappear before time clears, you're screwed.

exhibit C: If you have an extra trap, you should be able to lay it down, but you can't if another is already on the field. You aren't allowed to have 2 traps out at once, which REALLY blows. If a monster leaves the area, I should NOT be condemned to failure because I can only place one at a time and time is almost run out. What's the point of carrying multiple traps if you can't have more than one out?

AVahne

#33

AVahne said:

Can't wait for MH4U to release here. Also hoping that they bring the mobile version of MHFU over here as well as porting it to Android. Not fair that Apple people get all the games.

Iggly

#34

Iggly said:

@HappyHappyist By the looks of your statements, you have troubles with capping. As for the general concept of capture quests, there isn't much of them so you usually could just kill the monster. I agree that it's dumb you can't just get your trap, however it's not too difficult to get the monster back to the area with a dung bomb. Though the waiting time for the dung bomb to activate takes a little while.

Lasermaster123

#35

Lasermaster123 said:

I want the developers to keep making Monster Hunter awesome!!! Heck the main reason I bought a 3DS was so that I could play Monster Hunter for long periods without having to share a 3DS with my sister! Although if an exclusive Monster Hunter ever happened to come on the Wii U, I would have no choice but to get a Wii U ASAP!

WolfManZylo

#36

WolfManZylo said:

Can't wait for 4U, just got off skype with a buddy after playing a 5 hour session of 3U on the Wii U (just finished my silver los World's Demise gunlance).

I'd also like to mention that EVERY monster hunter generation has been released on a home console (MH1, MH2, MH3, MHP3HD, MH3U, Frontier). So I'm not worried about 4, as we'll probably see an HD version sooner or later. Regardless, I'll buy Monster Hunter on whatever console it comes out on. I started the series with Freedom 1 on psp, and have followed it faithfully haha.

HappyHappyist

#37

HappyHappyist said:

@Iggly like I said, I use dung bombs, and I always have 10 in my pouch. I'm in High Rank and I'm not an idiot either (they're pretty much required if you want to go anywhere in High Rank without being assaulted by Jho). Like I said before though, I've had it happen where I wasted all 10 on one Rathian and she didn't even go to the right area in time for me to cap her. Dung Bombs aren't %100 full-proof.

ollietaro

#39

ollietaro said:

@HappyHappyist That's not a game glitch. I strongly think that was intentional by the developers. It just adds the extra challenge of making sure to trap the monster before it leaves. And if it does, you can still try to dung bomb it back into the area. I keep hunting until a monster limps away to their sleep area and then set the trap as close as possible to them while they're asleep. You have to wait until their tracking spot on the map stops moving before you enter their sleep area otherwise you will startle them. I use the MH3U Helper app for android it tells you the start and sleep areas of every monster.

ollietaro

#40

ollietaro said:

@Funny_Moblin If they release MH4U on Wii U, it most likely will be a port since MH3U was however they also had Wii's MHTri to work with so there might also have been some porting of that version as well.

ollietaro

#41

ollietaro said:

@Iggly The armor skill "Great Luck" (15 Fate pts.) increases chances for rare rewards. It can be found in the Gold Rathian set. Also "Capture Master" (15 Tranquilzr pts.) increases rewards for captures which can be found on the Plesioth X set.

ted-k

#43

ted-k said:

@HappyHappyist As others have already said, not being able to pick up a trap once it's placed is definitely intentional and part of the challenge of the game. Capture missions require a different kind of strategy than the hunt missions (although you can also end a hunt mission by capturing the monster). When the monster starts limping you have to wait for it to go to another area, then go to that area and place your trap and lure the monster to the trap by standing with the trap between you and the monster. Or as others have already said, wait till it goes to sleep and put the trap right under it. Forget about the dung bomb method. I don't think it's an effective solution. Capture missions just require more patience, and anyway, there aren't that many of them, and later on you'll be glad you learned how to trap a monster because it's usually faster than killing it. Some of the G rank monsters don't limp at all or go to sleep and they can be pretty hard to capture, but all of the monsters in the capture missions will go to sleep.

ted-k

#44

ted-k said:

@Warruz @Genesaur I think some of the menus could be streamlined a bit, like removing and placing items in the box could both be presented in one menu with items in the pouch and box visible at the same time (that's a very minor complaint though). I agree with Genesaur though that part of the fun is doing a bit of investigating to figure out what all the items, gems, talismans, armor sets, weapons etc. actually do.

One thing I hope MH4U does have is more of a storyline. anyway, can't wait for MH4U!!!

Excep7ional

#45

Excep7ional said:

@Dazran303 No. It really isn't anywhere near the numbers of any recent Call of Duty game when it comes to online population. Why did you even bring Ghost up anyway? Or are you talking about Ghost for the Wii-U?

@PrincessEevee9 Meh. I still think Capcom being exclusive to one game system is a bad idea. They just need to make some better decisions and keep coming up with quality games like Monster Hunter, as well as listen to some of their fans. I firmly believe they can get out of this rut that they are in if they just play it smart. I will admit though, they really do need to stop coming out with these HD collections of old games nobody ever plays after the first week. The only game they did that with that is still getting some play is 3rd strike, but that's it.

HappyHappyist

#46

HappyHappyist said:

@ollietaro
"That's not a game glitch."
Did I ever say that? You can't control the enemy AI, nor where the enemy AI goes either, and that's okay. HOWEVER, if my chances of winning a mission are completely out of my control when I set a trap down, that isn't okay.

"It just adds the extra challenge of making sure to trap the monster before it leaves. And if it does, you can still try to dung bomb it back into the area."
BS. Challenge of placing a trap then having a monster completely ignore it? Challenge of hoping the monster leaves into the right area when you dung-bomb it? Dung bombs are not a viable solution. Also, if it really is a challenge, you should be able to lay more than one down. as it is now, placing a trap is incredibly tedious because the enemy AI is poop.
@ted-k
"definitely intentional and part of the challenge of the game. "
I pointed out why capturing doesn't work as a challenge in this post, as well as others. Read it again if you want.

"When the monster starts limping you have to wait for it to go to another area, then go to that area and place your trap and lure the monster to the trap by standing with the trap between you and the monster."
You see, That's exactly what I do. I don't place the trap in the same area where he starts limping because it takes too long to set a trap, and he usually walks right by it. So I place the trap in the next area, and I stand behind it, luring the monster to this spot. this only works most if the time, however. I've placed a trap in an area that he moved to, and he completely ignored me and went along to another area. other times, It does come to me, but the hatbox for traps is very specific, and if he is pixels away from the center, it won't work. I've had occasions where he walked oh so very close to the center but didn't, then limped away to the next area.

"Forget about the dung bomb method. I don't think it's an effective solution."
It isn't but it's the only option remaining when a monster leaves.

PrincessEevee9

#47

PrincessEevee9 said:

@Excep7ional I want them to burn and be absorbed into a company. They have lost all rights to earning their trust back from fans. Biasedi may be still want to see their surviving IPs and ones that are needing a fresh start a helping hand.

ted-k

#48

ted-k said:

@HappyHappyist Well, as I said, there are only a handful of quests that actually require you to capture a monster. I managed to get through them without that much frustration, and that was when I was still learning how to play. Once you're through those there's nothing forcing you to ever capture a monster again to continue progressing in the game, so I still don't see what your problem is. as I also said, I probably capture monsters more often than kill them because it's usually faster, so it can't be that difficult.

Genesaur

#49

Genesaur said:

@ted-k Pretty sure it is (a little) stronger on the story front, yeah. I mean, all it'll ever amount to is, "There's a monster terrorizing or endangering something. Go subdue it."

@Iggly Yeah, I can definitely agree about those absurdly low carve rates. 2% chance to get that Stygian Skymerald, and as many S. Zinogres as I've faced, I've never gotten that one.

HappyHappyist

#50

HappyHappyist said:

@ted-k Capturing is my preferred method of hunting for several reasons, among those being that it's quicker, safer, and you get more rewards. When a trap doesn't work when I placed it down and a monster flees the area, it makes me upset. If you can't pick up traps after using them, you should at least be able to destroy traps or place multiple traps down. What's the reasoning behind only being allowed to place down one trap anyways?

ted-k

#51

ted-k said:

Yeah, I hear you. It can be maddening when a trap is wasted. But as long as it's not one of the mandatory capture missions all I do is curse the gods of monster hunter and resign myself to finishing the monster off.

I can only assume the reasoning behind not being able to place multiple traps is to deliberately make it more complicated to capture. (If I'm not mistaken though, in multiplayer each player can have 1 trap down at a time. I don't play multi that often since I only have the 3DS version so I'm not 100% sure about this.)

I think maybe you have to be somewhat of a masochist to really enjoy this game :) As others also mentioned, the ridiculously low drop rates of certain items can also be maddening. Maybe that's part of why it's so addictive though. Happy hunting!

Kohathite76

#52

Kohathite76 said:

@Dazran303 I think Monster Hunter should stay on the hand held consoles that's ware I became a fan of the series been playing since freedom1 on PSP. Also Nintendo should walk away from the console market and focus on developing more powerful portable hardware that's seems to be ware there most successful.

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