As I working today I was struck by a thought - not the random kind either. The kind of thought that comes to when you've been toiled with a long time problem, a puzzle as it were, and there was a missing piece you could not quite locate. Often the piece is looking you right in the face, and it takes sometime to sink in - but when it does you feel liberated. As though, you've found the meaning of life and then some. Well this thought may not be so glorified as that, but I figured it'd be worth a shot to share before I go into depth on the dynamics of how it could work successfully.
Now I'm a fan of Stardock and their products and games and I'm also a fan of Capcom and their products and games. But there is one game in particular that Capcom has command of, but it's doing poorly here in the United States. And at the moment, it hasn't a snow ball's chance in hell as making it state side without some outside influence. I'm talking about Monster Hunter, and more importantly the PC version of Monster Hunter called Monster Hunter Frontier.
Monster Hunter Frontier is the only port of the series brought to the PC, turning it into a MMORPG of sorts which pits hunters against massive dragons. Now there are quite a few reasons why the United States hasn't seen this title yet, and probably never will.
Despite the extremely high quality of lasting gameplay. Monster Hunter hasn't done will in the US because it's very difficult and challenging. Many console game reviewers have constantly given this game a bad name. But the game is nothing short of outstanding.
- Capcom USA doesn't have the funds and server power to legitimately justify investing time and effort in a product that might fail. So they can not afford to translate and maintain this product.
Now the game has seen a steadily progress in success on the PSP in the United States, and is now on the verge of getting onto the Nintendo Wii. But still, Monster Hunter Frontier has been out since 2007 in Japan and of course is extremely successful in Japan. The game has been properly marketed or sold in the the US - this is where I think Stardock can step in and show Capcom a thing or two on how it is done.
Before I offer this suggestion to Capcom USA, I'd like some feedback not only from Stardock, but also the community. Because I'm interestied in the idea of Stardock working with Capcom to bring Monster Hunter Frontier to the West. This means US, Europe, ect. The game can be sold through Impulse, hosted and maintained on Stardock servers. This game requires a monthly fee, and it certainly deserves one. It's not short game, that is for certain. It just needs a lot of new direction state-side to really bring out the potential that has been so boldly shunned by the vast majority of the US gaming community.
Direct Quotes from Sven's Blog: Read more on his thoughts of MHFO from a year ago.
Harder Than it Looks
Suffice to say, this is not a "spend $750K localizing, $500K on cost of goods and $500K on marketing, ship it and you're done" type of project the way many of you are making it out to be.
It’s a multi-million, multi-year commitment to effectively launch a new business unit in the West. It would be the launching of service, not a product and we don't intend to undertake any such venture in a haphazard fashion (the fallout would be legendary if we did).Which brings me to my last point.
The resources Japan has dedicated to MHF are considerable. They are indeed part of an entirely new business unit for that territory (called our Online Business Unit). They are the tip of the sword. We are not and it will take some time before we are able to allocate/get approved the necessary resources. For fans, that’s the unfortuante reality.
Give Up Hope?
Now, all of that said, does that mean Frontier isn't coming Westward some day? No, it doesn't. I've always said we'd be revisiting those decisions in 2008 (and the ultimate decision could wind up being to "talk about it again in 2009 if things aren’t aligned properly in 2008").
If we're just making a decision about potentially committing resources in 2008, even if it does happen it's far enough away that you probably don't need to be thinking about it any time soon.
On top of all of this, there's the overarching brand strategy to consider. We need to grow the Monster Hunter brand on other platforms in the West before there's a proper audience for Frontier here. Our Western management group has been charged by the powers-that-be in Japan with growing the MH brand as a strategic initiative for the company.
Please note, there are things in motion that I'm optimistic will allow for this to happen. When it does, you will see the appropriate financial commitment from our office. But also please be aware, these also aren't any time in the immediate future. As I have been doing for a couple years, I am requesting your continued patience and commitment to MH.
Here is more information about this game: