Monster Hunter: World’s PC delay explained

At a time when delays between console games’ PlayBox releases and their PC launches are almost eliminated, why is Monster Hunter: World coming to PC eight or so months later? Capcom were vague about this before, but have now said they’re currently focused on the action-RPG’s console release then will do PC later so they can make our version proper solid. The console release is on January 26th, see, but it won’t be on PC until some time in the autumn – way later than I would expect these days.

“For the main Monster Hunter game, this is our first PC title and it’s something we want to make sure we get right,” producer Ryozo Tsujimoto told GamesRadar, as reported by their corporate sibling, the cheery fanzine PC Gamer. “So rather than have it taking up resources during the console development and not it not being able to have our full attention on it. We want to get console out the door and then we’re going to take some extra time and try and get the PC version as good as possible.”

Tsujimoto also says that a little extra work is required because they can’t just tap into a console’s native multiplayer matchmaking.

As I’ve said before, it is a shame that we’ll miss that initial excitement and chatter with our consolechums. By the time we get to play the game, everything about it will be discovered and documented, jokes will be tired, and the crushing weight of established and loudly-repeated opinions will taint the hope of going in with fresh eyes. Ah well. As long as I have a good cat friend, y’all can do one.

25 Comments

  1. Blowfeld81 says:

    I read this more as:

    “Sure, we could have split resources and released it on both, PC and console quite simultanously in early spring, but then, we are focusing very hard on the japanese market and honestly, PC is just something we want to milk as extra cash. If it sells, great. If not, at least we did not invest heavily. Also, if we delay, some people will buy the game on consoles and then later again on PC. We have seen numerous people posting this online, so our scheme seems to work.”
    #consolesfirst!

    Well, at least in autumn I can play monster hunter on a bigger screen than my 3ds, that’s something. But yeah, all the discovery, secrets and everything else will be discussed to death and I can already see some elitists defining a sharp meta…

    • Addie says:

      At the very least, it’s an honest response.

      The problem with just splitting the resources is that they only have the team that they’ve got. Highly-skilled people are expensive to find, employ and retain. They could take on contractors to fill out the gap, but that would be pricey and would need extra time for them to get up to speed with the company culture, assuming they ever do. Just contracting out the port has historically resulted in really dreadful conversions. And it probably makes sense from a personnel viewpoint for the programming and testing people to have a job to do, while the conceptual people start work on the next game.

      Simultaneous cross-platform releases need big teams, and so they tend to be very risk-averse. If it’s the only choice, then I’d rather wait a while for interesting PC games, than have any amount of EA or Ubisoft pap churned out and available right away.

      • crazyd says:

        I mean, if you count massive spin on “We don’t really care that much about your platform,” as “honest,” I guess it’s honest? That’s a hell of a stretch, though.

        • BeardyHat says:

          Why invest a great amount of resources into something if you’re not sure it’s going to succeed? If it does, you’ve got a baseline for how you next game will do and so it might be more prudent to release at the same time.

          It’s business, not a personal vendetta.

    • KingFunk says:

      I think you’re being overly harsh. As someone who works in software development (and formerly game development) I’d love it if the powers that be were heard more regularly to say “You know what? We’ll take the time to do this right the first time around rather than meeting an arbitrary deadline!”.

      As I understand it, PC gaming isn’t very Big In Japan, so it’s unsurprising that consoles are the initial focus. When faced with the choice of having a second team work on a port and/or release with few, if any PC-centric options or simply just waiting a little longer, I’d take the wait. That way, it’s possible that the original in-house team can work on bringing their vision and experience to the delayed platform and do it justice.

      However, regarding the issue whereby people like to be part of the community as things get discovered in the early days, I’ve never been that sort of person so I can’t really comment…

      • crazyd says:

        I think you are going overly easy on them. They could have taken the time to do it right earlier into the cycle and actually made PC a focus. They could have gave it the same priority as the console version and ensured a simultaneous release. You can bet they are going to charge full price for the massively delayed PC release, despite it being an afterthought.

    • Sian says:

      Eight months of work is quite the investment both in time and money, even with a small team.

  2. SaintAn says:

    PC Gamer is about as reliable as the Onion or a Gawker site, so I’ll take anything from there with a mine of salt.

  3. Kamestos says:

    Just hire Durante and call it a day. This guy is a magician.

  4. TotallyUseless says:

    By this age and time, it’s a common practice for Japanese developers to delay PC ports, it’s kind of their quirk since Japanese developers have a strong belief that majority of game sales comes on the first year of a game.

    • welverin says:

      Considering that PC gaming isn’t as significant over there and it’s only in the last few years that Japanese developers/publishers have started supporting PC widely, delayed releases aren’t surprising. We’re probably still a few more years away from all of them being comfortable enough to be releasing their games simultaneously on PC.

  5. Simbosan says:

    Given what they say about never having done a PC version, I can understand their point. I think it’s a mistake as they will have made design decisions that will bite them in the bum when doing PC stuff.

    As for not going in with fresh eyes, don’t read the forums!

  6. Tempus Fugit says:

    This better turn into a helluva port.

  7. Rince says:

    Translation: We need to sell consoles, so we need exclusives. But we want more money, so this is a timed exclusive!

    • Nevard says:

      Capcom doesn’t sell consoles, and it is coming out on Playstation and Xbox on the same day. If they were being paid by Sony to make it an exclusive, it would also be delayed on Xbox. If they were being paid by Microsoft, it would come out on PC as well as Xbox and be delayed on Playstation. If they were being paid off by Nintendo then it would actually be on a Nintendo console. Nobody else makes consoles.

      There is no scenario in which your explanation makes sense in this particular context.

  8. CloneWarrior85 says:

    Honest responce? Doesn’t really matter.

    This is just the usual ‘good PR guy’ talk.

    The delay is just to be sure the consoles get their good share of sales, otherwise they would have a lot of sales cut. Not to mention that, this way, a good bunch of people will buy it on both console and PC later on.

    It’s a cheap move, a dik one at that. But nothing we can do.

    Let’s just wait the game works well on PC at least.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    I can kind of see both sides of the arguments here.

    On the one hand, yes, it does feel like they are hoping that people will double dip and buy both versions.

    On the other hand, GTA5 did the same thing (after first refusing to acknowledge there would even be a PC version) and when it finally released, their work really showed. The controls were butter smooth and like night and day compared to GTA4, where the mouse and keyboard controls are so terrible it ruins the whole game for me.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see, I am cautiously optimistic about the “Delay to do the PC version well”.

  10. DanMan says:

    I surely appreciate the sentiment of creating a good PC version, but 8 months? What could possibly take 8 months to port a game to PC, especially when you already decided to port it from the start? This better truly be the best port it can possibly be.

    But I don’t think they’re speculating on people double dipping and stuff. But I’m not currently wearing my tinfoil hat so….

  11. Vandelay says:

    Oh dear, such negativity and cynicism. I don’t really see any reason not to just accept this at face value. That isn’t to say that they don’t consider PC as secondary to console market (that is really just business sense, I’m afraid), but I can also believe that they don’t want to put their name to a half arsed job.

    I’m of the opinion I would much rather wait for something that works very well, instead of having something now that is shoddy.

  12. Seafoam says:

    Ended up buying a PS4 because of this. I had wanted one a long time now but this caused me to act on it. And boy I couldn’t be more satisfied.

  13. Xzi says:

    I’m fine with a little extra wait. How quickly people forget Arkham Knight and other optimization nightmares. It’s not that hard to avoid spoilers anyway.

  14. FordTruck says:

    this is the type of game you play on XBOX ONE X even though they’ve been doing zero promotion for the X (kind of agitated with the lack of that) but honestly i feel sea of thieves is going to be dominating, wish i could talk about it more. the game is god tier.

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