The Monster Hunter franchise has become increasingly important to Capcom, over the course of 10 years establishing itself as one of the company's most consistent IPs. It's growing in the West, too, which boosts our confidence that the upcoming Monster Hunter X (Cross) will eventually make its way out of Japan.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has been the most successful release for the franchise outside of Japan, with Capcom confirming that it's the first series entry to pass one million combined sales across Europe and North America. Global sales of that release (called Monster Hunter 4G in Japan) have now passed four million units, with Capcom crediting its launch alongside the New Nintendo 3DS, events, online play and free DLC distribution as factors that have contributed to its success.

The Monster Hunter franchise as a whole now has over 33 million sales to its name, and it seems like a vital series for Nintendo to keep on its hardware. Though there have been recent spin-off releases on other platforms, keeping the main series on its systems is sure to be a priority for the big N in its relationship with Capcom.

Are you a Monster Hunter fan, or perhaps still merely tempted by MH4U? Let us know.