Monster Hunter is a franchise that Capcom has built from the ground up to be one of the most popular in the world. For the price of a single game, players are given hundreds of hours of potential content. More if they enjoy playing around with the various potential builds on offer. On paper, these games shouldn’t be as good as they are; they have a lot of flaws. But for one reason or another, there’s a budding community who adore them all.
When I say issues, I mean that the gameplay is deliberately clunky. It’s difficult to wear armor that’s made of bone and scales and thrust impossibly large swords into colossal beasts. The movement and combat are clunky because of that, so players are tasked with mastering the moveset of every weapon they like from the offset. This is a barrier to entry, but it’s not the only one. Price is often an issue since Monster Hunter games are rarely cheap until they’re old, and three new titles have come out since it did. That’s why I wonder if a free-to-play Monster Hunter game could work.
You’re right to scream Dauntless at your screen right now. That game was literally built to be a free-to-play Monster Hunter title. It had a rough start, but now it’s got a large enough player base that the developers can justify ongoing development throughout the year and even launch massive expansions. It’s a wonder that Capcom hasn’t caught on yet. The only problem is that if the company makes one free-to-play Monster Hunter game, it would need to go on making them forever.
The wisest thing to do would be to make this free-to-play game for mobile devices. The biggest market for free-to-play games is there, so it makes total sense. Usually, these games start off by pushing so much in-game currency at players that they don’t know what to do with it. Before too long, though, it’ll be so scarce that they’ll long for the glut they had at the start. In a way, it’s similar to online casinos work. Some offer free spins on registration no deposit. That’s because they’re doing the same thing. First, they want to get people into the game with free currency, but then, they want players to still be interested when that currency is gone.
With the beloved franchise being what it is, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Monster Hunter would definitely work as a free-to-play game. The fans are there, and they’re always hungry for more. This is a community that devours all new content within hours of its release, much like Destiny 2 players with every weekly update. Capcom could make a real splash if it went for this model in a mobile Monster Hunter title. It’s also already proven that it’s possible to put a great looking Monster Hunter game on a portable platform with the Nintendo Switch. Mobile devices are incredibly powerful these days, so this free-to-play game really has no barriers.