As we all know, hunting games have been a big deal in Japan since the introduction of Monster Hunter, ten years ago. Now that the genre has been around for a while, Famitsu magazine recently asked a bunch of Hunters a few questions on their thoughts and habits on the games they play.
Note that Famitsu only polled a fairly small sample of people, so the results you see below likely do not reflect the habits of the hunting-action games market at large.
Q1: How many people do you usually play multiplayer action games with? (of 250 people)
- I usually play by myself. (55%)
- I usually play with two people. (19%)
- I usually play with four people. (18%)
- I usually play with three people. (8%)
This ended up being pretty surprising—to see that more than half the poll came from those who hunt solo more than with other players, which is the main attraction of these hunting-action games.
Q2: How do you connect with others to play multiplayer? (of 258 people)
- Infrastructure or Internet connectivity. (49%)
- Ad-Hoc or local connectivity. (32%)
- I don’t play multiplayer. (9%)
- Ad-Hoc only. (8%)
- Other. (2%)
It looks like playing with other people via the Internet is starting to catch on, even though most hunting-action games are primarily geared toward local co-op. Of course, given that these sample sizes are so small, they aren’t necessarily representative of the hunting games market as a whole.
Q3: How much do you play a multiplayer game? (of 258 people)
- Until I beat the story. (28%)
- Until those who I play with get tired of it. (26%)
- Until I beat it all the way through. (21%)
- Until I jump to a new game. (11%)
- Until I get the item I’ve been wanting. (9%)
- Others. (5%)
The top three percentages shows that the polled players actually get quite far in multiplayer action games. Those who chose “Until I beat the story,” added a lot of additional info, such as “I often beat the game first and play until I get bored” and “Once DLC is released, I’ll play that, too”.
Q4: What is the biggest factor that goes into consideration when purchasing a multiplayer action game? (of 1,368 people)
- World and story. (177 people)
- The attractiveness of the characters and enemies. (157 people)
- The game’s hardware. (157 people)
- The depth of character customization. (150 people)
- The game’s tempo. (148 people)
- The variety of weapons and armor. (141 people)
- The amount of content. (117 people)
- The people around me who’ll also be playing. (87 people)
- The music. (72 people)
- Original systems. (66 people)
- Whether there are NPCs who’ll support in combat. (64 people)
- Downloadable content. (32 people)
The “world and story” result is surprising, as most games in the genre don’t exactly put as much emphasis on their stories, as they do on the action. This is perhaps the biggest indicator that the Famitsu poll isn’t necessarily indicative of the larger market at all, considering that Monster Hunter is the most popular of these games and places the least emphasis on story. (However, it does place emphasis on its world, which could be a factor.)
Q5: How difficult do you like your games? (of 256 people)
- Normal (47%)
- Hard (36%)
- Very hard (8%)
- Easy (6%)
- Very easy (3%)
As expected from fans of hunting games, they lean more towards the difficult side, with the minority who’d rather have an easier time. According to the survey, most people like the challenge of taking on monsters that give them a bit of a tough time.
Finally, the sixth question was meant for some of the players to share some of their own thoughts.
Q6: Any requests for future multiplayer action games?
- A next-generation, open-world multiplayer action game with seamless areas, please!! (30s/male)
- Make something that can be a little more simple! (20s/male)
- An improvement in action, and more solid stories. (30s/male)
- Stay true to balance and concepts. (30s/male)
- Something that can create new friendship through cooperation (20s/female)
- Something out of left-field, but in a good way! (20s/male)
Again, something to note is that we posted these results for fun, not because we necessarily believe they lend any sort of actual insight into the habits of the hunting-action games market. That market is as large as its most popular product—close to 4 million people, given Monster Hunter’s sales—and the number of people polled here is an insignificant amount in comparison.