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Pokémon Go developer announces Monster Hunter Now

Launches in beta next week.

Monster Hunter Now is the next project from Pokémon Go developer Niantic, made in collaboration with Capcom, and you'll be able to try it next week.

Niantic describes it as a hunting action role-playing game, which mixes Capcom's menagerie of creatures with the Pokémon Go maker's trademark brand of smartphone-based real-world gameplay.

Monster Hunter Now is set to fully launch in September 2023, but will roll out in closed beta form starting 25th April - which you can sign up for at

A first look at Monster Hunter Now in action.

In a briefing from Niantic and Capcom attended by Eurogamer, developers said the game had been in the works for four years, with Niantic first visiting Capcom to discuss the project in 2019.

Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said he was immediately attracted to the idea, and responded "lets do it, without giving it a second thought" to the initial pitch.

The project has been built by Niantic's Tokyo-based team, which previously also worked on the Nintendo collaboration Pikmin Bloom.

As you'd expect, you'll encounter Monster Hunter creatures in your local neighbourhood, battle them using various weapon types, and use their resources to then upgrade your gear.

You'll have your own partner Palico by your side as you explore. You'll also be able to team up and hunt with others: up to four friends and others in your local area.

If you've played Pokémon Go, the concepts here will be familiar: the equivalent of PokéStops here will grant resources, while the monsters themselves with vary via local biome.

Battles against monsters will be relatively straightforward, and limited to a commute-friendly maximum duration of 75 seconds. The visuals here are certainly a step up from Pokémon Go, however.

Monster Hunter Now.
Monster Hunter Now screenshots.

No time to hunt monsters now? You can use a paintball item to mark them for hunting later when you're at home, which Niantic says will allow you to choose when and where you want to play.

There's no word yet on whether Monster Hunter Now will connect with any other Monster Hunter games.

Pokémon Go remains hugely popular today, though Niantic has struggled trying to recapture its success with a string of other projects, with similar gameplay themed around other video game and pop culture franchises.

Asked about expectations for this game during a roundtable Q&A, Niantic Tokyo spokesperson Kei Kawai said: "[Gaming] is a hit-driven business. You will never know and I don't want to speculate how big this will be. What we can focus on and control is making this a fun game with the great talent and hitmakers at Capcom. I strongly believe we have a hit on our hands and have a strong belief the world will like this and have fun out there. And we do want this game to last a very long time."

Alongside existing games Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom, NBA All-Stars and Ingress, Niantic is set to launch a Marvel game later this year and roll out its virtual pet title Peridot worldwide in May after a period of extended testing.

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