Monster Hunter Now is launching worldwide in September.
The game takes Niantic’s Pokémon Go formula and adds in Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, which the Japanese publisher says has sold over 90 million units worldwide. Players can sign up to a closed beta from today, which begins on April 25.
The game is built on Niantic’s Lightship platform, and asks players to team up with friends to capture and battle monsters out in the real world.
It also has some features designed to make casual play easier. Players can catch monsters out in the world and choose to battle them later at home. The game can also operate in the background, catching monsters as players walk around so they can take them down later.
“Niantic’s AR technology delivers a ‘here and right now’ hunting experience, something that can be played casually, while honouring the gameplay and hunting action that only Monster Hunter can offer,” said Capcom’s Ryozo Tsujimoto, producer of the Monster Hunter series.
Founder and CEO of Niantic John Hanke added: “Filled with fantastical creatures, engrossing hunting and opportunities for teamwork, with the best possible graphics on mobile devices, Monster Hunter Now is the perfect franchise to bring into the real world.”
Niantic will be hoping to score a hit this time. As we reported previously, its most recent launch NBA All-World struggled to make an impact in its first month of launch, making under $160k from 1.8m downloads, according to Appmagic data.
Next, fellow creature-based game Peridot launches on May 9, and Marvel World of Heroes, another big-brand spin on the Pokémon Go formula, is to be released later this year.
Niantic laid off around 90 staff last summer and closed four new game projects, including a Transformers game. It also took on a $300m investment last November to build what it calls a ‘real-life metaverse’.
Capcom, meanwhile, is also busy at work on another Monster Hunter mobile game alongside Timi, maker of Arena of Valor/Honor of Kings and co-developer of Call of Duty: Mobile and Pokémon Unite.