Capcom has no plans to break its winning streak, as it prepares to launch AR mobile game Monster Hunter Now from Pokémon GO developer Niantic. The new announcnemnt has sent the company’s shares skyrocket.
- On April 18, Capcom announced Monster Hunter Now, an upcoming AR mobile title developed by Niantic.
- Production on the game started around four years ago, shortly after Niantic visited Capcom and pitched the idea of an AR project based on one of the Japanese publisher’s key franchises.
- “I can still remember when Niantic told me about this project, I immediately said ‘Let’s do it’ without giving it a second thought,” Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said (via GamesIndustry.biz).
- Similar to Pokémon GO, the players will be able to hunt monsters using geolocation and team up with other users.
- Monster Hunter Now is said to feature in-game purchases, but Niantic and Capcom plan to share more details about monetization later.
- The game, which is expected to launch on iOS and Android in September, will enter a closed beta test next week.
Capcom shares are on the rise
- Following the announcement of Monster Hunter Now, Capcom’s stock rose roughly 9% to about $38 per share. The price has slightly corrected since the morning, but it is still a new record for the Japanese company.
- This comes just two weeks after Capcom shares reached an all-time high due to the successful launch of the Resident Evil 4 remake.
- As reported by Bloomberg, Capcom has quadrupled its value over the past four years. As of now, the company has a market cap of ¥1.37 trillion ($10.2 billion).
Could Monster Hunter Now give Capcom a new boost in the mobile games market?
- During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, Capcom made just ¥4 billion ($30 million) from its mobile games. So the company wants to increase this segment’s share in the total revenue stream.
- Just like many Japanese publishers, Capcom generates most of its mobile earnings domestically. According to AppMagic, Japan accounts for 87% of the company’s mobile revenue, followed by the US (3%) and other Asian regions.
- Given the global appeal of the Monster Hunter franchise, the new AR game from Niantic has a chance to strengthen Capcom’s position in the mobile market.
- “Even a minor success in the mobile game market would have a big impact for Capcom’s overall earnings, because its current smartphone revenue is so tiny,” Toyo Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda told Bloomberg. “Capcom’s best bet is to license its IPs to a proven mobile game maker that can reach a global audience.”
- The only question is whether Monster Hunter Now will be able to retain the audience. Although Pokémon GO is still a huge global hit with over $6 billion in lifetime revenue, other Niantic games are far from this success.
- Last year, the company shut down Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, saying it didn’t live up to its expectations. Niantic continues to push for AR gaming, even though this segment of the mobile games market remains quite risky (see the shutdown of The Witcher: Monster Slayer last year).