Inside the Partnership of Niantic and Capcom for ‘Monster Hunter Now’: Q&A with the Game’s Creators

Inside the Partnership of Niantic and Capcom for 'Monster Hunter Now'

Source: Famitsu Japan
Related: Monster Hunter Now Announced

On April 18th, 2023, Niantic and Capcom held a press conference in Shibuya, Tokyo, announcing a new game title that takes place in the real world. The new game, titled “Monster Hunter Now,” is a location-based game that uses the IP of the hunting action series “Monster Hunter.”

Representatives from Capcom included Ryozo Tsujimoto (producer of the “Monster Hunter” series) and Genki Sano (producer). Representatives from Niantic included John Hanke (CEO), Chihiro Kaneko (game director), and Tatsuo Nomura (executive director). The release of “Monster Hunter Now” is scheduled for September 2023, and closed beta testing will begin on April 25th, 2023.

During the Q&A session, Hanke mentioned that Niantic chose to partner with Capcom because of his son’s love for the “Monster Hunter” series and because of the enthusiasm of Niantic employees, including Nomura, who explained the compatibility of the two companies.

When asked about the impact of “Monster Hunter Now” on the traditional “Monster Hunter” series, Tsujimoto explained that many players had requested a location-based “Monster Hunter” game, and Niantic was the perfect partner for the project. He believes that location-based games are a genre that many people can enjoy, and he hopes that both existing fans of the series and newcomers will play “Monster Hunter Now.”

Regarding the game’s monetization, Nomura stated that the game is free-to-play, but players can purchase in-game items.

When asked about the weapons in the game, Kaneko said that the team is still adjusting and planning to add more weapons as the game progresses, and they will reflect the feedback from players.

The team also mentioned their desire to include powerful monsters like the Elder Dragons from the original series, but they want to focus on the basic hunting mechanics first.

Finally, Sano mentioned that they cannot disclose the exact number of monsters in the game, but they hope to include various monsters from the series and plan to add more through updates.

Q&A session with the speakers

Why did Niantic choose Capcom as a partner this time?

Hanke’s first reason is that his son played the “Monster Hunter” series so much that his Nintendo 3DS broke (laughs). Another reason is that our talented employees, including Mr. Nomura, explained the greatness of Capcom and the compatibility with “Monster Hunter” with enthusiasm.

The “Monster Hunter” series has expanded its characters and platforms so far. What kind of impact do you think “Monster Hunter Now” will have on the conventional series?

Tsujimoto: The “Monster Hunter” series will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and we have received many requests from players for a location-based “Monster Hunter.” And I’ve been thinking, “I want to do it with Niantic if possible.” We received this offer from Niantic 4 years ago, and it was decided within 5 minutes of the start of the presentation. Niantic is also good at location-based games and can expect to expand globally. We felt that Niantic could consider various game mechanics after understanding “Monster Hunter,” so we worked with Niantic on “Monster Hunter Now.” Tsujimoto: I think that location-based games are a genre that many people can play. We want not only those who have played “Monster Hunter” so far, but also those who are not familiar with the series to try it out.

Are there any plans to introduce new monsters in “Monster Hunter Now”?

Tsujimoto: We probably won’t have any original monsters in the release, but if we come up with a good idea that we think is interesting, there is a possibility that we will add it.

Can you explain the billing elements of this work?

Nomura: This is a free-to-play game, so you can play it even without spending any money. By spending money, you can purchase items in the game.

How many types of weapons will be introduced in “Monster Hunter Now”? Are there any new types of weapons?

Kanno: We are still adjusting various things, so we cannot answer the exact number at this stage, but we have prepared popular weapon types. We plan to add more and more as the game progresses. We would like to reflect the opinions of the players.

Will powerful monsters like the Elder Dragons from the original work appear?

Kanno: I personally love the Elder Dragons too. However, I would like players to enjoy hunting monsters in a basic way at first. I can’t give you the details, but we definitely want to hold battle events that showcase the Elder Dragons in the future.

In the conventional “Monster Hunter,” the grade of materials such as scales that can be obtained increases as the player rises up, and the armor can be strengthened. How will this system be implemented?

Kanno: At first, players hunt weak monsters, but as they become stronger, they also become stronger against the same monsters. As a result, the rarity of materials will gradually increase, and they can be used for better equipment. It is not exactly the same as the original, but we respect the basic idea.

Can you tell us the scale of the number of monsters that will appear?

Sunano: I can’t answer the exact number of monsters at this point. I hope that various monsters that have appeared in the series will appear in this work. Since it is an update-type content, we expect the number of monsters to increase steadily. Personally, I hope that when the service has been running for several years, it will be the “Monster Hunter” with the most monsters to hunt.