After years of testing and going back to the drawing board for Capcom and Tencent Games, Monster Hunter Online will finally enter its non data wipe test phase on 27 November. While all game progress will be kept, activation keys are still required to enter the game. Over at Tencent Games Carnival, Yoshinori Ono from Capcom and Tencent executives were present to answer questions.
Q: For the upcoming Monster Hunter X (for Nintendo 3DS) and Monster Hunter Online, we can see certain elements different from the usual Monster Hunter games, such as a more flamboyant rage system. Is this because of a result from the collaboration between Capcom and Tencent?
Capcom: We worked together on issues such as server load and learnt how to overcome technical hurdles with the help of Tencent. We did absorb much technical knowledge after 6 years working together. We are confident of the current product.
Tencent: Capcom is a world leader in developing action games, and we have learnt much from them these 6 years. Both teams have always been communicating and exchanging ideas, and Monster Hunter Online is the result. The rage system design you mentioned was confirmed as well in the early days. The more flamboyant effect is to allow characters to come off stronger.
Q: When will Monster Hunter Online be open to everyone?
Tencent: We are currently working hard to prepare for the limited non data wipe phase, and we believe the game will be open to everyone soon.
Q: Yoshinori Ono-san, how do you see Monster Hunter Online performing in the China market? Any predictions?
Capcom: I (Yoshinori Ono) hope everyone will love Monster Hunter Online. Of course, I know that there is a big difference between product perceptions in Japan and China. 6 years ago, when Tencent started this collaboration, they explained to us their ideas and concept of running the game. We firmly believe there is a big market for Monster Hunter Online.
Q: Mobile gaming has grown exponentially in China. How will Monster Hunter Online break out in the current gaming climate?
Tencent: We have spent much time (6 years), 150 staff, and changing 3 engines for Monster Hunter Online to reach its current mature state. To break out of this market dominated by mobile games, we believe the game must be the best of its category, and also to have features which cater current gaming habits of gamers.
Q: Yoshinori Ono-san, which boss monster is your favourite in Monster Hunter?
Capcom: Tencent brought my favourite Street Fighter character, Blanka, into Monster Hunter Online in the form of Zinogre. Both of them emits lightning!
Q: Will Monster Hunter Online be considered for consoles?
Capcom: I (Yoshinori Ono) started out as a console games developer, and China is a diversified market. This is good for either Monster Hunter or Street Fighter, and we are continuing to work with Tencent beyong Monster Hunter Online.
Tencent: We are following the console market as well. If there is an opportunity, we will like to spread Monster Hunter to browser games (there is already one in Japan and China), mobile games, and even selling merchandise.