Monster Hunter World has been a resounding success for Capcom and one if its flagship franchises. Taking the core gameplay of the Monster Hunter series and giving it a slew of updated features — along with a massive graphical upgrade — the latest entry in the acclaimed series has pleased both seasoned fans and newcomers alike.
Quality of life upgrades, excellent multiplayer and an enormous expansion in Iceborne have made Monster Hunter World Capcom’s best-selling game of all time. But there’s something more than the new features that’s made the game such a smash hit. With January marking World’s two-year anniversary, it’s clear the development team is still actively involved in listening to and implementing community feedback.
Nothing makes that more evident than the sheer amount of free content Monster Hunter World has received since launch. New monsters, weapons, armor sets, skills, events and further quality of life improvements continue pouring in on a regular basis.
Fan-favorite juggernauts like Zinogre and Rajang were added after the Iceborne expansion, while tempered versions of older monsters delivered an increased challenge to keep players on their toes. Meanwhile, the development team had previously introduced a siege mechanic in the form of Kulve Taroth, which allows 16 players in teams of four to hunt the monster simultaneously, with each group meeting objectives to increase everyone’s rewards.
Taking that a step further, Capcom recently introduced the Safi’jiiva siege, taking cues from the Kulve Taroth setup but with yet another new gameplay element. While Kulve Taroth drops randomized weapons pulled from a set pool, Safi’jiiva can drop weapons of every type that can have any element and status. (With 14 different weapon types and nine elements/statuses, that’s 126 weapons.)
For a free content update, that was huge, but the development team went well beyond that. Safi’jiiva also drops materials that are used to “awaken” each weapon, allowing players to add five upgrades to customize their armament of choice. Each time a player upgrades a Safi weapon, a choice of three skills pops up. If none of those skills are the ones desired, players can “store potential” and increase their odds of getting a higher level skill on the next try.
It’s a mechanic that completely changes the meta of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, opening up the possibility of new, more powerful builds and, subsequently, different play styles. And it was free content.
Similar to what Blizzard did with Diablo III, Capcom has offered a robust experience and massive expansion, but their engagement didn’t end there. Just as Blizzard continued adding new game-changing items to Diablo, Capcom has delivered on community feedback to create a game that continues engaging players and keeping the challenge fresh and relevant, even after two years.
For a game that’s not built on a subscription or free-to-play model, that’s incredible dedication and fan service. Capcom understands their player base and realizes that it’s a game fans have spent hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of hours immersed in.
And now, with the Iceborne expansion finally set to hit the PC on Jan. 9, another passionate section of the Monster Hunter community will have the chance to experience the new content. It’s a testament to how devoted Capcom and the Monster Hunter development team are to their fans, and the future is brighter than it ever has been in the series’ 15 years.