news\ Mar 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Capcom hopes Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will popularize the series outside of Japan

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

The Monster Hunter series is much more popular in Japan than in the West, but Capcom is hoping the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on March 19 will help change that.

The action-role-playing game (a remake of Monster Hunter Tri) launches simultaneously on the Wii U and 3DS and supports cross-platform and online play, as well as cross-saving between the two systems.

"By doing that, we might be able to actually have a breakthrough [in the West]," producer Ryozo Tsujimoto told Eurogamer. "That's definitely our intention."

Japan is a more densely populated country than the United States, and while Monster Hunter has pushed 22 million copies worldwide, most of those sales can be attributed to Japanese gamers, who hunt monsters together in public places. The series is also more popular on the PlayStation Portable (PSP), which has fared much better in Japan than here.

This dual release might attract more Western players, Capcom hopes, but the series has largely remained the same over its nine-year lifetime — the publisher isn't changing it now to appeal to newcomers.

"We don't want to betray the existing fans for the sake of getting new people in," said Tsujimoto. "Rather than changing the game itself, we want to expand the way it can be played, for instance, releasing it on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U."

He added, "At the end of the day, Monster Hunter is an action game. It's got to be challenging. It's got to be solid in that sense. Not to the extent that it's heartbreaking. But it's got to have significant points to it."

Capcom did add a much-wished-for auto-lock feature to reduce camera problems, however, which should cut down on the steep learning curve.

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