Publisher Capcom and Pokémon GO developer Niantic have announced mobile game Monster Hunter Now for Android and iOS, which will launch worldwide in September 2023 and is now offering closed beta test signup at its website. There is a Monster Hunter Now teaser trailer to accompany the announcement, and the closed beta will be made available to approximately 10,000 participants in total. Like Pokémon GO before it, this mobile Monster Hunter game will bring the hunt to “streets, parks and neighborhoods around the world” using Niantic’s augmented reality (AR) tech.
The game is designed to be inviting to newcomers and series veterans alike, encouraging players to play at whatever pace is comfortable for them. Mechanics-wise, there will be a “Paintball” item that you can use on monsters to bring them back home with you so that you can hunt it alone or with a friend. In other words, the Paintball makes it so that you can find a monster now and hunt it later, which is pretty smart.
Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto offered the following statement about partnering with Niantic for the game:
Monster Hunter Now is a new and unprecedented Monster Hunter game that entices players to go out with their Palico and encounter incredible monsters in the real world. Niantic’s AR technology delivers a ‘here and right now’ hunting experience, something that can be played casually, while honoring the game play and hunting action that only Monster Hunter can offer. Let’s get out into the real world and enjoy hunting!
Meanwhile, Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke offered the following:
Monster Hunter Now will be the ultimate experience for anyone who has dreamed of facing off against epic monsters and battling them with friends. 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 has never been able to find another game IP that just explodes dollar signs the way Pokémon GO does, whether with Harry Potter (which shut down) or recently with Pikmin (which almost certainly will shut down within the next couple years). It’s unclear right now how much better Monster Hunter will perform in the mobile AR space, but we look forward to finding out. In the interim, you can sign up for that Monster Hunter Now closed beta if you’re intrigued ahead of the September release date.