In the span of a few short weeks, Capcom has announced not one, but two new entries in the franchise: Monster Hunter XX for the Switch and Monster Hunter World for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. With two new games on the horizon, one would think Monster Hunter fans would be excited, right?
Well, not entirely. If said fan happens to be a Nintendo fan in the U.S., then they’re likely to be pretty upset at this point. Why? Because for the first time in nearly a decade, Monster Hunter might not be available for any Nintendo system in the West.
To understand their current frustration, you must understand the series’ history. Monster Hunter was introduced to the PlayStation 2 in 2004 and remained exclusively for the Sony family of systems until 2009 when Monster Hunter G was ported to the Wii (JP only) and Monster Hunter Tri was released for the Wii. Since then, with the exception of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (JP only) for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3, the series has been a Nintendo staple. In fact, much of the success of the Nintendo 3DS can be attributed to the popular franchise.
Despite its success on Nintendo’s platforms, it seems that Capcom is willing to forgo its traditional fans and make a serious push with the series in the West by making Monster Hunter World — the next main title in the series — available for every major platform except the Switch. This, of course, leads to many Nintendo fans’ first gripe: World won’t be available on the Switch. Yes, the series started out with Sony, but it has been with Nintendo for longer and has been thriving while doing so. It wasn’t unreasonable to expect World to debut for the Switch even if there was evidence suggesting the opposite.
Next, unlike World which will at least be available to the West as part of a series-first worldwide release, XX might not be available in the West whatsoever. At first, the chances of it coming to the West was null when Gamespot reported Capcom had no plans to localize the aforementioned title, but the company soon clarified its statement, later saying it has no plans to localize the game “at this time.”
“Just to clarify: our official response is we have not announced any plans to localize MHXX at this time.”
At the very least, the door is open on this one; but Capcom has also set a precedent for making JP only releases of the franchise even after making its worldwide debut.
So now with two Monster Hunter iterations in the works, Western Nintendo fans now have to face the possibility that they may not be able to play either of them in a satisfactory setting (The Asian version of XX will be available from certain distributors in the future, but those versions of Monster Hunter typically don’t have an English option). Yes, this is probably the smartest move for Capcom with this series: bringing the series to three of the four major platforms in the West will greatly widen its audience. Being more popular will hopefully make the series even better in the future, but with all this going on, its not hard to see why Nintendo fans are feeling a bit out of the loop.