Yesterday we were treated to the very awesome gameplay reveal trailer for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne which will serve as both a DLC to the base Monster Hunter World Game and a stand alone game that gives you all of the content contained in both. This is probably a really good call given that Capcom is used to releasing brand new full games anytime they update the Monster Hunter content, and it would have been sorta sad to start over from scratch were that the option. However for anyone who was not hooked the first time around it gives them an easy vehicle for catching up and getting everything. Monster Hunter is a franchise that became near and dear to my heart thanks to World and I have gone back and spent time playing the older titles since finally getting indoctrinated into the flow of the game.
Unfortunately this awesome trailer came with a heap of disappointment in the form of an announcement that while the game would be released on September 6th for console players… that there was no definite date for the second class citizens of the Monster Hunter universe… us PC players. This has been a constant point of frustration during my experience with Monster Hunter World in the fact that the PC release trailed the console release by some seven months. As a result every bit of post release content has been similarly delayed by several months on the PC making us the bastard children of Capcom… never quite having all of the nice things our console brethren had. It was my hope that when Iceborne released that all of this would be a bad memory. That finally a brand new DLC would set straight the records and allow us both to be up to date with the most current content. Instead I find out that Iceborne for Steam doesn’t have a release date but instead a very vague “Winter”… which is similar to the very vague “Spring” the wound up being August for the initial release of the game.
So now I am left with a decision of… do I give in and play the game on consoles initially and then later pick it up for my platform of choice… or do I miss out on all of the fun when it is fresh and bitterly wait to get our turn. I initially played Monster Hunter World on the PS4 but ultimately found the PC experience to be far superior for my specific brand of tastes. There is never going to be a point where I prefer a console over the PC… because console gaming just rarely fits my specific lifestyle. With PC gaming I can play upstairs or downstairs or even remote in via Parsec from my chrome book at work and have a reasonable gaming experience. With PS4 I am stuck to playing upstairs in my office as I generally do not have control of the television in the livingroom… or get to use the cludgy PS4 remote play app which lags constantly unlike my beloved Parsec. Essentially the console experience is never a comfortable one for me and it also forces me to go back to using a controller when I have gotten so comfortable with the keyboard and mouse gameplay.
I am super excited about this expansion but now… all of that excitement is tinged with a bitter aftertaste. For the initial release of Monster Hunter World I swallowed the frustration of the PC release happening so late and chocked it up to this team not being used to releasing on that platform. However it feels inexcusable for that same thing to keep happening as we enter the long tailed life of this product. There is no reason why they should be leaving one of their platforms out of the release… especially when they are still releasing on Xbox which had the smallest user base and absolutely no Japanese presence. In the same announcement they credit their financial success in part to the PC release and it expanding their users… but now they are completely leaving them out of the fun. This feels really bad Capcom.
Part of me knows I will not have the resolve to keep from playing it when it launches on console, in part because very few of my friends followed me when I made the leap to PC. My daydream would be for them to offer interoperability between the console and PC players… but it is still sad that it is a dream that will never happen. I was deeply looking forward to this release, but the entire time I kept thinking in the back of my head “please don’t fuck me Capcom”… and unfortunately they did. I am saddened by the news greatly, but… it still really is an awesome trailer.