As all gamers know, when it comes to industry reveals, E3 is the place to be. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will be there in full force, flaunting their wares as brazenly as Marilyn Monroe standing over that steam grate in The Seven Year Itch.
Away from all the glitz and glamor of the big reveals and trailers on the show floor, there are smaller rumblings from the gaming world we should also be paying attention to. What’s this mysterious new Monster Hunter World, for instance?
Earlier this weekend, Nintendo Insider reports, Capcom filed a trademark for Monster Hunter World. Without this being a specific allusion to a particular release in the series, we have no way of knowing what exactly it refers to. Will this be a new handheld release? Home console? PC? Is this an amazing new upcoming theme park, kind of like Jurassic Park but with genetically-engineered Rathalos and Nargacuga busting out and tearing visitors into spam? Well, no. It’s not that last one (probably)... though Nintendo is building their own theme park.
The Monster Hunter franchise is one of those that is very Japanese at heart. Traditionally, Capcom’s seminal hunt-em-up has been a niche prospect in other regions, often imported by a hardcore band who are totally cool with Japanese text (it’s hardly the most dialogue-intensive series around, after all).
It was 2009’s Monster Hunter Tri that kickstarted the game’s mainstream Western appeal. Released on the super popular Wii during its heyday, the action RPG franchise managed to tempt in a whole new crop of fans, many of whom had never gotten a taste of this whole hunting thing before.
Nintendo and Monster Hunter have been pretty well inseparable ever since. We’ve seen Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Monster Hunter 4 and 4 Ultimate, and most recently Generations. There have also been forays onto iOS systems, in Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting and Monster Hunter Explore, and even an MMO in the shape of Monster Hunter Frontier Online.
From their niche origins, the games have certainly made their mark on the West. They’ve had a bite out of every system going, really, which means that it’s anyone’s guess as to where we might eventually see this Monster Hunter World. There’s one thing we do know for sure, though: with the trademark having been taken out last week, it’s super likely that there’ll be some Monster-flavored news coming our way this E3. Keep an eye on Capcom at this year’s show. If they’re not too busy showing off the Nintendo Switch’s fancy Monster Hunter XX that we already know about, that is.