Monster Hunter Now, the augmented reality mobile game from Niantic and Capcom, will officially launch for iOS and Android devices on 14 September 2023. The news was announced during a major showcase for the game, where developers revealed more about how its monster hunting will function, and how players will be able to utilise giant weapons to take down beasts.
When players join the world of Monster Hunter Now, they’ll be able to hunt down 13 monsters from the beloved franchise, including the Anjanath, Barroth, Diablos, Great Jagras, Great Girros, Jyuratodus, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Legiana, Pukei-Pukei, Paolumu, Rathian, Tobi-Kadachi, and Rathalos.
Players will need to collect weapons to take down these creatures, including a bow, light bowgun, hammer, long sword, great sword, and a combo sword and shield. Along the way, potions will also provide relief from attacks.
You can see the mix of these mechanics in action in the Monster Hunter Now Showcase.
As well as monster hunting, this showcase also reveals Monster Hunter Now will take place in a Pokemon Go-like world, with the maps of real life being augmented by monster hunting stations, as well as locations where players can gain new items and rewards. To find new monsters to fight, players will need to physically walk around their neighbourhoods, and uncover new secrets along the way.
The arrival of Monster Hunter Now comes at a pivotal time for developer, Niantic, with the company recently initiating a wave of layoffs. In an apologetic blog post, CEO John Hanke admitted Niantic had, in recent years, expanded too fast and ‘allowed [its] expenses to grow faster than revenue’.
‘In the wake of the revenue surge we saw during Covid, we grew our headcount and related expenses in order to pursue growth more aggressively, expanding existing game teams, our AR platform work, new game projects and roles that support our products and our employees,’ Hanke said.
‘Post Covid, our revenue returned to pre-Covid levels and new projects in games and platform have not delivered revenues commensurate with those investments.’
As a result of this realisation, the company cancelled upcoming games, including Marvel: World of Heroes and NBA All-World, to turn its attention to a smaller slate of strong releases. There is likely much hope riding on Monster Hunter Now, and the popularity of the long-running Monster Hunter franchise.