Iceborne is shaping up to be one heck of a huge expansion for Monster Hunter: World. Which is good news for the title’s many fans, because it’s also going to be its swansong.
For a long time, Monster Hunter was quite an obscure franchise. In the west, at any rate. Capcom’s action RPG series has long been a huge deal in Japan, but it wasn’t until the Wii’s Monster Hunter Tri that it really started to build mainstream traction elsewhere. Last year’s Monster Hunter: World played a big part in the next phase of Monster Hunter’s world domination plan.
A huge deal, even in a year that saw such heavy-hitters as God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man, World introduced many more new fans into the fold. Its more intuitive, action-oriented style was the perfect way to do so. As we all know, though, it’s not enough to build early momentum. You’ve got to be able to maintain it, lest your player numbers start to dwindle like Apex Legends.
If there’s one thing it’s tough to fault Monster Hunter: World for, it’s post-launch support. As per Monster Hunter tradition, a whole array of wacky quests and events have been sporadically released since the game’s launch. We’ve battled Final Fantasy’s Behemoth, we’ve played as Geralt in that The Witcher 3 crossover, but now the big-ticket item’s on its way: Iceborne.
As fans will have seen, this is going to be far more than an additional quest or two. Iceborne is going to be a vast proposition, offering a new world to explore, fan-favorite monsters that previously missed the boat on World (such as the lightning-fast Nargacuga) and a whole wealth of content besides. It’s the game’s first fully-fledged expansion. It’s also, sadly, the game’s last fully-fledged expansion.
As PC Gamer reports, the game’s director, Ryozo Tsujimoto, stated the fact bluntly: "Iceborne basically completes World, so it will be the last expansion."
It’s been a great run of content, but it’s still a darn shame.
On the plus side, though, it sounds as though this will only be the end of the line as far as the story is concerned. Tsujimoto went on to assure fans that they're “planning a lot of the updates for the future.” In the meantime, fans can only eagerly await the expansion’s release on September 6th (on consoles), or this winter (on PC), safe in the knowledge that it’s going to be incredible.