Monster Hunter: World is an action role-playing game developed and published by Capcom. A part of the Monster Hunter series, it was published worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in January 2018, with a Microsoft Windows version being listed for August 2018. In the game, the member takes the role of a Hunter, tasked to hunt down and either kill or trap beasts that travel in one of several environmental spaces. If successful, the player is rewarded through loot consisting of parts from the monster and different elements that are used to craft weaponry and armor, amongst other devices. The game’s core loop has the player crafting appropriate gear to be able to hunt down more difficult monsters, which in turn provide parts that lead to more powerful gear. Players may hunt alone or can hunt in cooperative groups of up to four players via the game’s online services.
Announced at E3 2017, Monster Hunter: World adopts the series’ standard formulas from its older home console roots and recent handheld games to take advantage of the higher processing power provided by modern consoles and computers. Changes made in Monster Hunter: World include creating environmental spaces that are fully connected and removing the “zones” that were necessary for the PlayStation 2 and handheld games, more advanced monster artificial intelligence and physics to create seemingly living ecosystems that could be taken advantage of during hunts, a more persistent cooperative multiplayer experience, and a refinement of the game’s user interface, menu systems, and tutorials to help with bringing new players into the series. These changes led Capcom to plan for the game’s simultaneous release across both Japan and Western markets since Monster Hunter as a series has generally languished in the West compared to Japan partially due to disparate release schedules. Capcom also opted to support online play between these different geographic regions for similar reasons. The delay for the Windows release was attributed to Capcom seeking to make sure its first foray into the Windows market was optimized for players on computers.
Monster Hunter: World received critical acclaim upon release, with critics praising how Capcom was able to make the game more accessible to new players and to Western markets, without detracting from the series’ core gameplay elements and enjoyable difficulty, and fully taking advantage of the computational capacity of modern consoles to create living ecosystems. Within a few weeks of release, the game became the fastest-selling game in Capcom’s history, eventually becoming their best-selling game with over eight million copies shipped by August 2018.