Tokyo, September 25 (Reuters) – On Monday, Japanese video game company Capcom (9697.T) experienced a remarkable 6% surge in its stock price, driven by the enthusiastic response of gamers to the mobile version of its iconic “Monster Hunter” series. This mobile iteration, named “Monster Hunter Now,” was developed in collaboration with Niantic, the creators of the wildly successful “Pokemon Go.”
Since its launch on September 14, “Monster Hunter Now” has already seen an astonishing 5 million downloads, as reported by Niantic last week. This strong start is not only a significant boost for Capcom but also comes as welcome news for Niantic, which had previously announced layoffs and halted development on some projects due to difficulties in replicating the success of their earlier hits.
In its home country of Japan, where the “Monster Hunter” franchise has a dedicated and fervent fanbase, the new mobile game has swiftly climbed to the top spot among the highest-grossing apps on Apple’s iOS platform. Sensor Tower data corroborated this achievement, placing “Monster Hunter Now” ahead of local favorites like the horse racing idol game “Uma Musume Pretty Darby” and the manga app Piccoma.
What sets “Monster Hunter Now” apart is its seamless fusion of monster combat action, a hallmark of the “Monster Hunter” series, with the location-based gameplay mechanics popularized by “Pokemon Go.” This unique blend has garnered praise for successfully adapting the storied franchise for mobile audiences. Nevertheless, industry experts and observers remain cautious when comparing it to the unprecedented global phenomenon that was “Pokemon Go,” released in 2016.
Serkan Toto, the founder of Kantan Games, commented, “From a global perspective, when compared to a powerhouse brand like ‘Pokemon,’ ‘Monster Hunter’ is still relatively niche.” While “Monster Hunter Now” has had a remarkable start, the journey to achieving the same level of global success as “Pokemon Go” remains an intriguing challenge for Capcom and Niantic. The gaming world watches with bated breath to see if this mobile installment can follow in the footsteps of its legendary predecessor.