Monster Hunter Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto reflects on franchise evolution

Speaking to the Legend himself!

Few franchises have made as profound and as long-lasting of an impact as Monster Hunter. With a storied history spanning multiple generations and platforms, this series has redefined the action RPG genre and captured the hearts of countless players worldwide. As the series continues to evolve and explore new horizons, we find ourselves at a unique juncture to reflect on its past, celebrate its present, and look ahead to its future. We got to interview Monster Hunter Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto at gamescom asia 2023 about all of it.

Before you ask, yes, we did try to talk about the next mainline Monster Hunter release. And no, he didn’t give any details. Nevertheless, here are the highlights of our conversations.

What has kept Monster Hunter on top after all these years?

What my team likes to do is to look at Monster Hunter games as a genre in itself. Instead of focusing on what other games do and taking inspiration from that, we mostly think about how we want to evolve our game and where the next direction should go. So it’s really just coming together as a team and thinking about where Monster Hunter as a series should be going in the future. That helps to keep us focus on what needs to be done.

Monster Hunter has built a dedicated global fanbase over the years. What do you believe are the core elements of the series that resonate with players across different regions and cultures?

It’s not really thinking about the differences of like each culture, but kind of just thinking about how every player will have similar experiences when playing the game. For example, whether it be your first hunt or if you’re coming back to Monster Hunter as a veteran, the game should feel fun to a person regardless of their level or cultural background. Monster Hunter has always been about providing great action and also a sense of achievement in accomplishing any hunt. Stuff like that brings every and any players together.

One other thing I wanted to mention is that Monster Hunter, at the core of it all, is very much a multiplayer experience. So one of the best parts of experiencing the game is having all the hunters come together to take on a hunt. The game doesn’t have a type of leaderboard system that rewards the best player after every hunt. Sure you get different randomized loot but the structure was never supposed to antagonize one another. Everyone has the same goal and everyone has an equal chance of succeeding. Together. The community is really what makes the franchise as special as it is.

The Monster Hunter community is known for its passion and dedication. How do you engage with and consider fan feedback when developing the games and expansions?

So of course not limited to these types of events where you can actually hear the voices of the fans, but also just for instance, looking at feedback online. We have several regional offices where of course, all of that kind of feedback is looked at whenever there’s a game that is released that everybody seems to like, or not, the community managers will see feedback and they will all pass that on to the development team as well. We’ve always been absorbing the feedback and reactions from all the fans. Around the globe.

As you reflect on the journey of the Monster Hunter series, what has been your most memorable moment or achievement, and how has it shaped your vision for the franchise moving forward?

I think there’s not really one single moment that is really defining or jumps out for now. But just as an example, even just participating in different events and whatnot has been a lot of fun hearing how excited and passionate our fans have been over the years. So one time was back during Freedom Unite. I was in an event in Japan and somebody told me that they really really wanted to play a quest where they could fight two Rajangs at the same time. And so I went back immediately and made that possible.

Writer’s note: Whoever was that guy who asked for that quest, I hope you know how many times you have traumatized us veterans.

Given that the Monster Hunter franchise will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in March 2024, everyone’s itching for details about what’s next for the franchise. Tsujimoto did say that while they haven’t made any official announcements yet, rest assured that they’re preparing a lot of interesting things that fans can look forward to.