Monster Hunter Now Hits 10 Million Downloads: A New AR Giant Rises on the Gaming Horizon

  • “Monster Hunter Now” crashes through 10 million downloads and £14 million revenue in its first month, rivalling the success of “Pokémon GO”.
  • Niantic’s AR portfolio since “Pokémon GO” has had mixed results, but “Monster Hunter Now” builds on the franchise’s robust international appeal.
  • The game merges real-world locations with game environments, gives access to in-game resources.

In a spectacular debut month, Monster Hunter Now achieved 10 million downloads and £14 million in revenue, sparking discussions about its potential to match the phenomenal success of Pokémon GO. Since its official release on September 14, it has dominated the App Store, topping both the free and best-selling charts within the month. By early October, Monster Hunter Now had accrued £14 million in revenue, with a notable 85% coming from iOS users.

Also read: Pokemon GO will bring together AI and AR to create hyper-realistic Pokemon interactions 

Monster Hunter Now

Monster Hunter’s rise amidst Niantic‘s diverse outcomes

San Francisco-based Niantic has relied on “Pokémon GO” to sustain its user base as more recent releases have proven less successful. High-aspiration AR games linked to major IPs such as “Transformers” and “Marvel Heroes” have been cancelled. The NBA-endorsed AR mobile game, NBA All-World, came to an untimely end after just a year. The innovative AR game Peridot, which incorporated Tamagotchi-like elements, failed to make waves. This all led to an 8% workforce reduction in June 2022, with a further 230 positions cut by June 2023.

In the wake of “Pokémon GO,” Niantic has engaged in AR collaborations with other IPs, including “Harry Potter” and “Pikmin.” “Monster Hunter,” a storied IP from the PlayStation 2 era, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in March 2024. It has overtaken Street Fighter to become Capcom’s second-largest grossing IP after Resident Evil, with global sales reaching 94 million units as of June 2023.

The local charm and international acclaim of the ‘Monster Hunter’ Ip

The triumph of games adapted from IPs often rests on the original’s popularity and regional resonance. “Dragon Quest Walk,” which derives from the iconic “Dragon Quest” IP—a mainstay RPG in Japan—has performed admirably domestically. However, it has faced challenges penetrating global markets, chiefly due to the IP’s intrinsic constraints. In contrast, “Monster Hunter,” deeply rooted in the Asian market, has achieved widespread international recognition and acceptance, which is evident from its extensive global user base and download figures.

Seamless fusion of real-world maps and fantasy in ‘Monster Hunter Now’

Echoing Niantic’s prior titles, Monster Hunter Now brilliantly integrates in-game maps with players’ actual locations. By employing real-time GPS data, players can traverse an augmented reality meshed with the tangible roadways, encountering creatures, extraction points, and various game components. Each region is populated with distinct monsters and resources, with maps rotating dynamically every 24 hours to simulate varied landscapes, thus allowing global players equal access to all materials, regardless of geographical constraints.

Monster Hunter Now

‘Monster Hunter’ advances Niantic’s AR aspirations

The esteemed “Monster Hunter” IP, with almost two decades behind it, has provided a solid foundation for “Monster Hunter Now”. Its reputation, significantly enhanced by the global acclaim of ‘Monster Hunter World’ and the ready availability of high-definition creature and gear models, has been instrumental. Niantic’s four-year development phase, with Capcom’s support, has been instrumental in achieving the game’s current standing.

Although “Pokémon GO”‘s milestone of 100 million downloads in five months is a lofty target, “Monster Hunter Now” uises Lightship’s versatile technology and is seeing the benefits.


Ivy Wu

Ivy Wu was a media reporter at btw media. She graduated from Korea University with a major in media and communication, and has rich experience in reporting and news writing.

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