One question has plagued the Monster Hunter fanbase ever since the reveal of Monster Hunter World.
Nintendo fans have been crying. Fans of other platforms have been cheering. But now we here at Unseen64 (Liam Robertson video game historian) have a complete understanding of the history behind Nintendo’s relationship with Monster Hunter.
”They raped us.” The female Capcom employee told us, in a small voice. “They raped us.”
In 2009 Monster Hunter fans were shocked and outaged to hear that the series, which had previously found great success on Sony’s PlayStation Portable, had suddenly switched platforms mid development. Instead of the HD Monster Hunter fans had been clamoring for, what they got was a watered down version of what they had gotten on other platforms.
“It was awful.” Our source babbles to us, completely distraught. “Nintendo tricked management into signing a years long exclusivity contract. Every week, a man in a Mario Hat and mustache would come in to check on us.”
Nintendo, it would seem, had an iron grip on Monster Hunter Tri’s development. “Every time we would come up with a cool new design or gameplay feature, Nintendo would stop us. ‘Isn’t that too expensive?’ they would say, and then promptly stomp all over it.”
The Mario Man, as he was soon to be known, became a sort of boogeyman. “He was not a game developer.” The source confides in us, tearing up a little. It was a Plumber. Nintendo hired him to deal with third party exclusives for one reason and one reason only. To show us that they thought we were shit.”
In this dystopian, controlling environment the Monster Hunter team had difficulties getting any new ideas off the ground. Adding any new features or even monsters to the game was a massive hurdle.
“To Nintendo, making new games is an alien, scary concept.” The source told us. “They have been remaking the exact same game for thirty years, for all of their franchises. They have no originality, no creativity, no passion.”
In order to add anything new to Monster Hunter in the Nintendo exclusive days, the team had to come up with ways to associate it with Mario.
“What we did when it came to Monster Hunter 4 was describe the climbing mechanic as being similar to Mario jumping on enemies. It was greenlit almost immediately.”
It was clear to everyone at Capcom that the company desperately needed to get out of this relationship. It was destroying the team and company.
“It was the relationship with Nintendo that was the root cause of all of Capcom’s problems.” The source told us. “Games like DmC, the Lost Planet games, Dead Rising, and Resident Evil so declining sales and performance because of Nintendo’s interference with our business. That trend continues to this day, with the releases of Street Fighter V and Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. Nintendo destroyed our reputation and business.”
But just when all hope was lost… Sony came.
“Sony saved this company.” The source confides in us, blushing furiously. “It was them that made Monster Hunter World possible.”
The Monster Hunter team had been wanting to make World for over a decade. The transition into making an HD, open world game would have been impossible under Nintendo’s iron fist.
But now that the team is free, Monster Hunter, and other IPs, are free as well.