Without question, Capcom’s Monster Hunter is a global gaming phenomenon. Just three days after it launched last February, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the most recent release in the popular beast battling and loot grabbing RPG series, shipped 3 million units. Since Monster Hunter‘s debut in 2004, the entire series has cumulatively sold over 32 million copies.
This success is due in no small part to Capcom’s uncanny ability to craft memorable games while pleasing long-time fans. Continuing this tradition, Capcom is releasing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate‘s May DLC pack for free. The download includes new gear, missions, and new Street Fighter and Mega Man costumes for palicoes – players’ in-game fighting companions and hunting squires – as well as armor from Metroid and a weapon fashioned after Samus Aran’s arm cannon. In addition, Capcom teases that June’s DLC pack will contain a palico skin based on Dante from Devil May Cry.
PreviousMonster Hunter 4 Ultimate DLC gave gamers free goodies related to The Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog. Those packs allowed gamers essentially play the game as Link, after crafting his Master Sword and shield, and let players dress up palicos as Sonic himself. By offering free, quality crossover content, both fans and Capcom win, and the company establishes itself as a devloper that knows what gamers want.
Understanding their audience is what allows Capcom to develop unique and successful franchises like Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, and Dead Rising, and the popularity of Capcom’s characters means that they ocassionally pop up in other popular games, too. Mega Man appeared in the latest editions of Super Smash Bros., and Capcom characters fought comic book heroes in multiple iterations of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
With so much creativity at its beck and call, Capcom’s upcoming releases have a bright future ahead of them. The company has enough cache that they can take the occasional risk, too, without causing long term damage; for example, Street Fighter V producer Yoshinori Ono promises that the 2016 title will be “something that nobody is expecting.”
Regardless, Capcom can rest easy for the moment, with games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate bringing in money all over the world. Hopefully, this is only the beginning; with any luck, Capcom will treat fans to even more surprises as 2015 rolls on.
Is there anything missing in the current slew of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate DLC packs? What character skins should Capcom release next?