What is Capcom's fastest-selling game of all time? It's not Street Fighter, it's not Mega Man, it's not Resident Evil.
It is Monster Hunter. Specifically, the two-week old Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (or Monster Hunter Portable 3rd as we, the West, know it).
In 17 days, Capcom has shipped an unprecedented three million copies of the game to shops across Japan.
Not only is that a record for Capcom but also for the entire region.
The Monster Hunter series has now racked up 16 million sales worldwide, although the majority of business is done in Japan, where a spin-off animated television series and associated mobile games help drive the brand into people's brains.
Not only are Monster Hunter game sales massive in Japan at the moment but, by association, PSP sales are as well. In Monster Hunter Freedom 3's first week on sale, the PSP tally shot up from 75,000 to 325,000.
Nevertheless, the rabid popularity of Monster Hunter in Japan hasn't travelled to Europe or North America. Sony and Capcom gave the last PSP instalment, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, an almighty marketing shove, but only managed a first-week placing in the UK all-formats chart at 25.
Capcom also tried to spread the success of Monster Hunter to Wii with Monster Hunter Tri, but the results weren't as great as on PSP, despite high critical acclaim. Capcom said itself in July this year sales of Monster Hunter Tri had been "sluggish", although the game did manage to spend at least a week inside the UK all-formats top 10.
Whether it will be worth Capcom's while to bring Monster Hunter Portable 3rd to Europe and the US then, remains to be seen. We wouldn't advise getting your hopes up.
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