Those who are expecting Monster Hunter 5 will be waiting a long time, as Capcom has confirmed that it has abandoned numbered entries for the Monster Hunter series.
The last numbered entry in the Monster Hunter series was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS. This was followed by Monster Hunter Generations on the 3DS and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch, as well as Monster Hunter World on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Capcom recently announced Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch, which is due to be released in 2021.
Capcom has decided to give up using numbered entries for the Monster Hunter series, as revealed in an interview with Arekkz and Capcom UK (via Nintendo Soup). The reason for this is to be more welcoming to new players. Monster Hunter Rise has a number of changes from the older entries in the series, including World, so it makes sense for Capcom to want to promote it as an introductory title.
Dropping the numbers is also helpful due to the split in the series. Monster Hunter Rise and World could both be referred to as the next mainline entries, even though they are different from an aesthetic and gameplay point of view. Using names instead of numbers gives each game equal importance in the eyes of the consumer, and doesn’t relegate one branch of titles to being spinoffs.
Capcom hasn’t abandoned numbers for part of the Monster Hunter franchise, as Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin can attest. The Monster Hunter series has always had a problem with being beginning-friendly, and even the demos of the game can be hard to follow without a guide or seeking advice from other players. Monster Hunter Rise represents a fresh start for the local-play titles in the series and keeping a number off the title might make players who have never experienced the franchise more inclined to check it out.
Monster Hunter Rise will be released for Nintendo Switch in March 2021.
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