20 years of Monster Hunter: Capcom celebrates two goliath decades in 2024

From humble origins to worldwide brand, from PS2 tech excitement to 3DS handheld, mobile and more, Monster Hunter has built up quite the legacy these past 20 years

20 years of Monster Hunter: Capcom celebrates two goliath decades in 2024

The Monster Hunter franchise landed in front of many a mobile gamer’s eye in 2023, with September’s Monster Hunter Now fast reaching an install base of 10 million and landing a spot among the team’s games of the year.

But the series has a long history going back years before Now, across every platform from Switch to PS2 to physical arcade machines. In fact, March 11 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Monster Hunter series: a major milestone. Monstrous, even.

A long legacy

Monster Hunter’s origins date back two decades to a time when creator Capcom sought to utilise the games industry’s latest powerhouse, the PlayStation 2. And Sony’s platform was exactly where the original Monster Hunter landed, introducing PlayStation fans in 2004 to the nimble Velocidrome, otherworldly Kirin, and the draconic face of the franchise Rathalos. It sold over one million copies and found a primary audience in Capcom’s home country, Japan, which has remained a fervent playerbase ever since.

Monster Hunter 2 launched only two years later, introducing more monsters and mechanics like a day-night cycle, but the third entry, Monster Hunter Tri, marked an even bigger change: In 2009 Tri launched as a Nintendo exclusive, releasing first on the Wii, and later on Wii U and 3DS.

Shortly before the series’ 10th anniversary, 4 launched as another 3DS title and became a landmark game for the franchise, showing Monster Hunter’s international staying power as its first entry to surpass one million sales in North America and Europe. It proved a huge hit in Japan too - a region known for its love of handhelds like the 3DS - where 4 sold almost four million units in its first quarter.

World followed as the next main series entry, returning to Sony on the PlayStation 4 at the same time as its Xbox One landing, in January 2018. The aptly named Rise followed in 2021, marking the sixth main series game and starting out as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. It branched out to PC in 2022 and later to other major consoles in 2023.

Rathalos as depicted in Rise

Reflecting on the latest in Monster Hunter, series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated: "In 2023, Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise achieved total sales of 23 million and 13 million units respectively. Monster Hunter Now, released in September, has also surpassed 10 million downloads. Thank you so much for your support of the Monster Hunter series."

The whole Monster Hunter team gave thanks to the fans too, sharing: "We are absolutely overwhelmed by the love and enthusiasm you have all poured into the series over the years. Your valuable feedback and contributions have consistently aided us in adding user-tailored updates and developing even better gaming experiences with each new title.

"With these 20 years of success behind us, we hope to ride this momentum and bring you bigger, better, and even more exciting hunting experiences that will thrill and surprise you."

Where we are Now

From humble beginnings, this series has grown into a Japanese behemoth with over 94 million unit sales to its name, becoming a brand recognised worldwide through six main series games, countless spinoffs and even a movie.

The latest title, Now, is a mobile exclusive geolocation game made in partnership with Niantic of Pokémon Go fame. It has continued the trend of high spending from the Japanese market and surged Capcom’s revenues, breaking the $100 million revenue milestone in only three months.

Monster Hunter 20th Anniversary banner

Now is gearing up for the long haul too, with major updates planned for every quarter, bringing in more monsters from the main series, along with new weapons, armour and more. And alongside World and Rise, it looks set to sustain Monster Hunter’s huge popularity through its 20th anniversary, and likely beyond, if Pokémon Go’s continued success is anything to go by.

When Monster Hunter Wilds launches in 2025, Now could even prove the perfect promotional tool to get mobile players invested…

News Editor

Aaron is the News Editor at and has an honours degree in Creative Writing.
Having spent far too many hours playing Pokémon, he's now on a quest to be the very best like no one ever putting words in the right order.