The Monster Hunter franchise is a series of fantasy-themed action role-playing video games that started with the game Monster Hunter for PlayStation 2, released in 2004. Titles have been released across a variety of platforms, including personal computer, home console, portable consoles, and mobile devices. The series is developed and published by Capcom.
The games are primarily action role-playing games. The player takes the role of a Hunter, slaying or trapping large monsters across various landscapes as part of quests given to them by the locals. As part of its core gameplay loop, players use loot gained from slaying monsters, gathering resources, and quest rewards to craft improved weapons, armor, and other items that allows them to face more powerful monsters. While initially single-player games, more recent titles have up to four-player cooperative play, with all Hunters working together to take down monsters.
As of January 2018, the series has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, principally in Japan and other Asian countries, where it has flourished due to the popularity of the series' ad hoc multiplayer features on portable consoles. Monster Hunter' has been critically well received in Western markets, but has generally languished in sales, in part due to the game's high difficult learning curve. However, with Monster Hunter: World (2018), Capcom aimed to attract a global audience using the power of advanced home gaming consoles and computers, and released the title simultaneously worldwide; World became the best-selling Monster Hunter game within 3 days of its release.
In addition to games, the franchise has an anime based on the spin-off game Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village, Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On based on Monster Hunter Stories, a manga Monster Hunter Orage and a book called Monster Hunter EPISODE