Niantic has announced that its next game, Monster Hunter Now, will launch on Android and iOS on September 14th.
The Pokémon Go maker had previously teased a general September release window, but it confirmed an exact date during a developer presentation.
As the name suggests, the mobile game is based on Capcom’s popular Monster Hunter action-RPG franchise. It takes the core creature slaying premise and applies it to the Pokémon Go formula. That means you’ll be able to walk around in the real world to spawn different monsters and events on your in-game map.
However, combat is a much more active affair in Monster Hunter Now, emulating the fast-paced style of Capcom’s mainline games. Players will be able to string together combos and dodge by tapping the screen, while a variety of signature Monster Hunter weapons ranging swords and hammers to bows and light bowguns will be available. You’ll also be able to customize your hunter and upgrade their gearsets. Of course, the monsters themselves will also be drawn from Capcom’s series, with Niantic confirming several so far, including Great Jagras, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Pukei-Pukei, Rathalos and Diablos.
In terms of properties to give the Pokémon Go treatment, Monster Hunter is certainly a big one. With over 90 million copies sold worldwide, it’s Capcom’s second-biggest series overall behind only Resident Evil.
However, Niantic itself has been struggling as of late. Last month, the company laid off hundreds of employees while cancelling NBA All-World and Marvel World of Heroes. Niantic admitted that the initial surge in demand it saw for its games early in the pandemic led it to take on more people and projects, but revenues have slowed down significantly in recent months. Even Pokémon Go, which remains popular, reportedly saw an estimated 50 percent drop in revenue last year, with the mobile AR game market as a whole falling 20 percent.
I played Monster Hunter Now at Summer Game Fest last month and came away pretty impressed with how Niantic translated the Monster Hunter experience to mobile. Check out my full preview here.