During an interview with Video Games Chronicle, Monster Hunter: World director Fujioka Kaname gave insight into why the game has become so successful. As you may know, it went on to become the best-selling Capcom game of all time. According to Kaname, one of the main reasons for the game’s success is the fact that it migrated from handhelds to home consoles. For years, the Monster Hunter series dominated the handheld market, but there’s a major difference between selling well on 3DS or PSP, versus selling well on various home consoles.
Our success in the west with Monster Hunter: World comes down to a lot of things coming together that we didn’t have before with previous titles. We were obviously releasing previous games in the West and we wanted them to appeal to those players, but when we gathered post-release feedback there were a number of key requests which were always there.
Number one, players wanted us to release our games on consoles, because in the years before Monster Hunter: World he had been focused on portables, which was something that was maybe holding us back in the West. We found that Western players want a console experience on a big screen TV at home.
Later on, Kaname added a point about localization and how a simultaneous worldwide release has helped, too:
Another factor was that we didn’t release our games simultaneously globally until Monster Hunter World: we released in Japan first and then localised it later. So by the time the games arrived in the West, fans had already seen a lot of the news and things coming out of Japan already and were not really getting to experience the excitement in real-time.
Going forward, the Monster Hunter series will likely continue to reign on consoles, now that Capcom has established a massive audience. 2019 will also see the release of Iceborne, a major expansion for Monster Hunter: World that sends hunters to the frozen landscape of Hoarfrost Reach. This expansion will add new monsters, improved features, new items, and will continue the story that takes place after the base game. Iceborne will be released on September 6, 2019. You can read our E3 2019 preview of it here.
Does this mean we’ll never see another Monster Hunter game on a handheld system? Maybe. The Nintendo Switch is doing well and Capcom likely knows there’s a large audience there. But with the PS Vita out of the picture and no publicly planned PlayStation handhelds on the horizon, portable Monster Hunter games might be restricted to Nintendo for the foreseeable future as it has been for the past several years.