Pokémon Go developer Niantic and Capcom have announced a new project set to launch this September, Monster Hunter Now. The game aims to do what Pokémon Go did and reach fans worldwide with yet another augmented reality mobile offering that sees players engage with the Monster Hunter franchise while out and about. However, Kantan Games, an independent consultancy focused on Japan’s game industry, doesn’t expect Monster Hunter Now to do well.
Dr. Serkan Toto, Kantan Games CEO, highlighted that Capcom’s stock closed at an all-time high on the back of the announcement, but past trends don’t indicate that it will succeed. Every game following Pokémon Go, no matter how hefty the IP, from Niantic, has failed, and Monster Hunter World is expected to follow the same trend.
Consultants don’t expect Monster Hunter Now to stand the test of time
Monster Hunter Now certainly sounds like a decent follow-up to Pokémon Go, and it also looks like the part in Niantic’s announcement blog post. Players will explore the world looking for monsters from the franchise, taking them down with taps and flicks on their phone’s screen. While Pokémon Go doesn’t rely too much on multiplayer, Monster Hunter Now sounds like it will be better with friends. If it can effectively translate the process of hunting for parts, crafting gear, and heading out once more to do it all again, it’ll likely appeal to the massive Monster Hunter community. The only trouble will be the endgame loop or the result of all that grinding, which needs to be worth it for players to want to put the effort in.
Despite the excitement from veteran Monster Hunter fans and newcomers who may only now be learning about the franchise through Monster Hunter Now’s announcement, the future doesn’t look good. The game is just the latest brick in a path Niantic has laid with canceled games. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Catan: World Explorers, and Transformers: Heavy Metal were shut down soon after launch. Pikmin Bloom is still live, but many people are wondering how long it will be until it is shelved, too.
Some fans of Pokémon Go say that Monster Hunter Now is the only game they’ve cared about since Niantic’s first title. It’s also true that the Monster Hunter fan base is far more fiercely dedicated than many others, especially considering how many people still play Monster Hunter World.
However, it’s hard to know if that dedication will secure Monster Hunter Now’s future. Niantic’s upcoming release will almost certainly rely on microtransactions to stay afloat, something Monster Hunter fans have been able to avoid in their games for the most part. Niantic will need to do something special to attract enough paying players to Monster Hunter Now to make it a success where other attempts have failed.