Monster Hunter Online Is China's Most Anticipated Online Game
There may be no sign of Monster Hunter Online in the West yet, but the game's native Chinese audience is ready. The 2013 China Games Billboard reported a user poll of the most anticipated online games to come, and Monster Hunter Online topped the list.
Over 8 million people voted in Tencent's China Games Billboard poll, and 1 million of them voted the game as their most anticipated. The Chinese release of Blizzard's Hearthstone came in second place with just over 900,000 votes. Guild Wars 2 came in fourth place with over 700,000 votes.
These numbers are so small amount. To get more of a grasp on just how big the Chinese game market is, take a look at MMO Culture's report on Blade & Soul reaching more than 1.8 million concurrent players within its first month of release, with 18 million total registered users.
With poll results like we see here, Monster Hunter Online is poised to be one of the next big games in China. Being developed by Tencent with cooperation from Capcom, it will be released in China long before heading to other Asian territories -- and a Western release of any sort is questionable.
This is the second MMO in the history of the series, with Monster Hunter Frontier being Japanese-developed and never making it across the Pacific to the West. The game also runs on CryEngine 3, making it the most visually appealing game to grace the series to date.
If you're looking for some Monster Hunter Online gameplay footage, a few hours' worth was uploaded to Chinese site bilibili, which can be viewed here. The 1, day1; 2, day2; and so on links immediately above the first video link to other footage from the game.
Monster Hunter Online's next beta period has yet to be announced, but the number of monsters revealed on the official site has risen since over the past few months. Take a look at Monster Hunter Online's announced monsters and get hype! Even if we don't see this beauty in the West, it is still possible to play it with limited understanding and some know-how.
Unlike South Korea's strict usage of social security numbers to create online accounts and Japan's distinct love of foreign IP bans, Chinese games are often not restricted by IP but rather by social media service or simply lengthy registration processes. Once open beta comes around, we may be able to wiggle our way into Monster Hunter Online.