Monster Hunter World is due out January 26 on PS4 and Xbox One but not the Switch. According to the game’s directors that’s because it was in development well before Nintendo’s handheld had been revealed.
The Monster Hunter series is a familiar sight on portable consoles, including Nintendo’s starting with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS. Not Monster Hunter World, however. In an era where everything people can think of seems to be getting ported to the Switch, so far Capcom doesn’t have any plans to bring its latest loot-based JRPG to the platform. As World’s directors Kaname Fujioka and Yuya Tokuda told IGN in a recent interview, they didn’t think the Switch was good place to try and achieve their overall vision for the game.
Here’s what they said in full:
“We don’t have any plans for the Switch at the moment. Part of the reason is that the title has been in development for almost 4 years. At the time we had to commit to our hardware choices, we decided on using the most powerful current generation consoles available at the time, which was Playstation 4 and Xbox One. So [the decision was made] before the Switch was even announced or on sale.
It’s also because for every title we decide what the best fit for hardware is for the concept. We don’t just look at everything. It’s more like ‘if we want to achieve this kind of game concept, where’s the best place to achieve that?’ and for this title the Playstation 4 and Xbox One were the best fit for us.”
While they don’t say specifically what in the game they think would be undermined by the lack of power on the Switch, Monster Hunter World is aimed at larger, more dynamic hunts with bigger monsters and more complicated fights than some of the earlier games—at least that’s the picture Capcom’s been trying to paint ever since the game was shown off at last year’s E3. In the same way Square Enix has been cagey but not completely dismissive of the idea trying to put Final Fantasy XV on the Switch, porting World would likely be no small undertaking. And even if Capcom was aware of the Switch’s existence long before Nintendo officially announced it, the publisher, like most people, probably didn’t plan on it becoming so popular so quickly.
Switch players would probably be more understanding of this reality if it weren’t for the fact that Monster Hunter XX, an expanded version of the 3DS’s Monster Hunter Generations built for the Switch, were releasing outside of Japan. Last year, Capcom told Gamespot the port wouldn’t be localized before backtracking and telling Polygon it simply hadn’t “announced any plans” at the time. After years of Monster Hunter on the 3DS, its absence on the Switch sticks out like a sore thumb, especially at a time when the series is making moves but none of them are planned for Nintendo’s handheld.
Monster Hunter World will, however, be making its way to PC in the second half of 2018.