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Integrated Report 2019

Captivating a Connected World
Top page > The Head of Development Discusses Strategy > Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, a massive expansion for MH:W, is set to shake up the global market once again

Ryozo Tsujimoto

Managing Corporate Officer,
Head of Consumer Games Development Division 2 and Mobile Online Development Division

He has served as producer of the Monster Hunter series since the 2007 launch of Monster Hunter Freedom 2. As producer of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, he oversees all aspects of the title.

From domestic favorite to global hit; celebrating 15 years of the Monster Hunter series

The Monster Hunter series consists of hunting action games that pit players against giant monsters in a beautiful natural environment. In 2007, the release of handheld title Monster Hunter Freedom 2 ignited a phenomenon known as the "Monster Hunter Craze" in Japan. While the concept of an action game "played together" remains the same, the method of play has evolved over time, along with game consoles and internet connectivity. Released in 2018, MH:W has recorded the highest number of game shipments in Capcom history.

In addition to numbered titles, the series has also featured "G" versions, which offered a variety of additional elements and more challenging "G-rank" monsters. Beginning with the MHW:I expansion, G-rank will be known as "Master Rank."

The "Monster Hunter Craze"
spreads globally

"We are going to knock the world off its feet with the new Monster Hunter, developed with cutting-edge technology." This was the spirit with which Monster Hunter: World (MH:W) was released in 2018. Just as before when Monster Hunter became a national phenomenon in Japan, it was players getting together, inviting friends and having a blast while hunting that resulted in more than 12.4 million games shipped globally, as of March 31, 2019. This is a record-high for a single title in Capcom history. Further, fans posting their gameplay videos on social media has inspired newcomers to join in the fun, resulting in continued sales growth (predominantly of the digital version) even today.

At E3 and similar events throughout the world, I got a strong sense that Monster Hunter had been accepted by the gamers of the world, and that we'd generated high expectations for a new experience in many of our fans. In answer to this, we launched Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (MHW:I) in September.

New names and new features: the MH:W sequel is ready for the world

With MH:W, in order to grow Monster Hunter into a global brand, the game underwent a variety of changes and adjustments, including a transition to home consoles. As a result, it succeeded in becoming Capcom's best-selling game in history—however, that is not where this story ends. MHW:I, which is the equivalent of the conventional expanded "G" versions of past titles in the series, will further drive growth for the brand. After listening to various opinions from players in Japan and overseas, we not only changed the name of the "G-rank" to "Master Rank" to make it more easily understandable worldwide, but also added a new in-game action, the "Clutch Claw," and a new area, the "Hoarfrost Reach." We also implemented a number of new elements, such as making the new headquarters more compact and adding a difficulty level specifically for two-player hunts so that players can enjoy the excitement of the game while also enjoying the Monster Hunter experience best suited to them.

Expanding purchasing options with download content

With MH:W, the percentage of Monster Hunter users who purchased the digital version increased significantly across the globe. To meet these expanded needs, for MHW:I we are offering the game as a massive expansion that players can purchase and download. Of course, for players who are new to the hunt, we have a range of offerings, including a Master Edition set consisting of MH:W and MHW:I.

The series celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. While we build upon the game going forward, we will continue providing enjoyment to players, spreading the love for Monster Hunter around the world and working to exceed the expectations of our fans.

Evolving into a global brand

We made a full-scale advance into the overseas market in 2015 with the release of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, achieving a combined 1 million units in sales in Europe and North America for the first time. Since then, fans around the world have increased in number, with overseas accounting for more than 70% of sales on MH:W.

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