Monster Hunter Now has been one of the heavy hitters among 2023’s new releases, with the potential to make it big as Niantic’s second-highest revenue earner already, behind the behemoth that is Pokémon Go.
The Capcom collaboration brought in 10 million fans in 35 days and its initial wave of events this autumn maintained interest in the title, introducing one new monster for a limited time and two variants. Indeed, the AR title’s first event caused a 300% revenue surge over its weekend-long duration.
And now, with updates like these proving fruitful for Capcom and Niantic, the Monster Hunter Now team has announced a "new season" is beginning with intentions to provide a "major update" every three months going forward, bringing new monsters of course, but also new weapons and game balancing adjustments.
Heaps of content to sink your teeth into
Monster Hunter Now has walked a fine line between a faithful mobile adaptation and a showcase of Niantic’s niche, condensing half-hour hunts into 90-second chunks and integrating geolocation mechanics to get gamers outside, where they can collect materials to craft better gear and weapons.
Such a combination has earned Now a nomination for Best Mobile Game at the upcoming Game Awards, and an additional in-game event has been promised to celebrate. So too have major updates been planned for every quarter, with the first new monsters teased being the spiny Radobaan and electrifying Zinogre, first introduced to the franchise in Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd respectively.
To combat these monsters and more, additional weapon types are also being introduced; currently only six out of 18 types across the series are represented in Now - namely the Sword & Shield, Long Sword, Great Sword, Bow, Bowgun and Hammer - with balancing planned to accommodate the coming changes. In essence the changes raise the risk-to-thrill ratio of weapons, with close-combat hunters becoming more destructive while distanced fighters will deal less damage the further away they are, encouraging riskier play.
"Our idea of balance is not to make all weapon types equal in strength. We believe that it is acceptable for certain weapon types to be temporarily rated higher than others, as long as it is not too extreme, adds depth to the gameplay, and allows for a variety of options for players," the team explained.
"Part of our plan for this game is to release regular major updates every three months. Our first major update, out this December 2023, will bring new weapon types and even more new monsters to hunt!"
The update announcement follows last week's Niantic-related news that Pokémon Go is changing tack with a Paldea pause and a renewed push for Legends.