Capcom wants to boost awareness of Monster Hunter in the West, but is it willing to go as far as localizing the series’ newest and biggest game yet?

Monster Hunter makes Capcom dinosaur-sized mountains of cash in Japan, but the franchise has yet to find much more than a niche audience here in the West. That’s because of a number of reasons, the biggest of which I think is that the multiplayer-centric game doesn’t have any official online multiplayer.

That’ll change when the franchise makes the move to the Wii this summer in Japan with Monster Hunter 3/Tri. The recently released Monster Hunter G on Wii, which is the franchise’s sort of prelude to its coming out party on Nintendo’s console, features online play (paid online play, mind you) that has been getting some pretty positive reports. Now, if Capcom keeps that system around, it might have a practical solution to online multiplayer for Monster Hunter 3.

Which would solve that obstacle to success in the West that I mentioned earlier. Monster Hunter G probably won’t come out over here, but the question remains open of whether Monster Hunter 3, the biggest game in the series in some time, will. Earlier today, internet sleuths discovered that there’s a listing on Capcom’s US press site for the game, listed with a “to be announced” date.

Seems like a confirmation, right? Capcom’s said it’s committed to making Monster Hunter big in the West, going as far in its promotion of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite as to open up Monster Hunter centers in London. And if they’re going that wild, can’t we assume they’ll want to bring Tri over? Well, turns out that the listing on the press site has actually been around for some time.

“We posted some MH Tri assets from TGS back in October, remember?” Capcom’s Chris Kramer told Kotaku. “We were also showing the Japanese demo in our suite at the New Otani as a way for North American media to see everything on the show floor without having to wait in line.”

So okay, they’ve had a Monster Hunter 3 placeholder up there to put up some screens for TGS. It’s been quite a few months since then. Why, I have to wonder, wouldn’t they have taken it down by now?

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