Niantic, which is perhaps most known for developing Pokémon Go, is working on an augmented reality version of Monster Hunter for Android and iOS devices. The company has teamed up with Capcom to create what it calls a "real-world hunting action RPG" entitled Monster Hunter Now. Similar to Pokemon Go and Niantic's other titles, including the now-defunct Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players will have to walk around with their phones to find monsters to battle. They can also team up with friends and strangers and use the materials they gather to craft weapons and armor.
We have opened an official Twitter account for Real-world hunting action RPG "Monster Hunter Now" from Niantic and Capcom which announced today!
Service is scheduled to begin in September 2023!
🔽Apply for the closed beta test here 🔽 #MHNowhttps://t.co/eP8oR2MGPa pic.twitter.com/g8CwYQmVX3
— Monster Hunter Now (@MH_Now_EN) April 18, 2023
According to Polygon, Niantic and Capcom have revealed at a press briefing that the game will be free to play, with in-app purchases. It will feature simplified combat comparable to Pokémon Go's and will have players swiping and tapping on their phone screens. Players can fight battles one-handed in portrait mode, but they can also battle monsters in landscape mode if they want to replicate the Monster Hunter experience they're used to on PCs and consoles.
While the franchise is known for challenging players with battles that could last for more than five minutes, though, the maximum battle time for the mobile game will only be 75 seconds. Sakae Osumi, a Niantic senior producer at its Tokyo studio where the game is being developed, said the company wants to encapsulate Monster Hunter's fun battles within a shorter window of time. Long, drawn-out battles aren't ideal for mobile games where you're supposed to walk around anyway. That said, Monster Hunter Now will come with a feature that will allow players to tag monsters they encounter with a paintball so that they could battle them at home, either on their own or with friends. Their Palico companions could automatically tag monsters, as well, even if the app isn't open.
Niantic is now accepting sign-ups for the game's closed beta testing, which will begin on April 25th. If all goes well, and testing is a success, Monster Hunter Now will officially launch sometime in September this year.