If you’re a veteran of the video game industry, there’s one thing you’ll have noticed for darn certain: developers and publishers can go totally nutso with their PR stunts. Remember when EA joined forces with a London gas station to offer free fuel (up to a certain value), and the gridlock that resulted, all to hawk Mercenaries 2? Or when Power Gig: Rise of the Six String announced that it was shaking up the music game genre by throwing a bunch of plastic instruments into a volcano in Iceland?
That’s the kind of baseline we’ve got to work with here. For Monster Hunter World, though, Capcom has gone one step beyond most stunts. That’s right, they want us to hop out into the real world and track down Scotland’s elusive Loch Ness Monster. Or Bigfoot, if you’d rather. Or mermaids.
Monster Hunter World is one of the biggest releases of the year so far, and could well stay in that lofty position for much of 2018. It’s the franchise’s first foray away from Nintendo systems in some years, and the more accessible nature of the game has brought new players to the series as well. This is an immersive experience that you can sink hundreds –if not thousands—of hours into. If you really, really catch the hunting bug, perhaps this hilarious, brilliant and ridiculous Capcom promotion is for you.
Here’s the run-down. As Kotaku reports, Capcom is offering £50,000 (around $70,000) to anybody who submits conclusive evidence of the existence of any of the mythical beasts on the list they’ve compiled. From the aforementioned Nessie to Bigfoot, mermaids and even the legendary Chupacabra, take your pick of a mythical beast from around the globe and get out there.
To ensure there’s no cheating the system, Capcom hired John Downes, Cryptozoologist and director of The Centre For Fortean Zoology, to analyze any potential evidence they receive. So, this is totally legit.
Now, there are two obvious caveats here. Firstly, this whole thing is, of course, all kinds of tongue-in-cheek. It’s nothing more than one big snarky advert for the game. Secondly, if you do happen to find actual verifiable evidence of the Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, or such, this isn’t where you want to send it. $70,000? You’re looking at much, much more than that. You’ll have more money on your hands than Kanye West, on the day Kim Kardashian gives him his allowance.
Regardless, though, kudos to the PR people at Capcom, because this is a stroke of brilliance.