Capcom announced that one of the first Monster Hunter smartphone games in Monster Hunter Explore is shutting down. The smartphone game will close after five years of service in Japan on November 27, 2020. [Thanks, Social Game Info via Gamestalk.]
The game initially started as Monster Hunter Smart, which Capcom released in Japan in 2013, emphasizing graphics and its hunting on the go aspect. It featured RPG elements, including numbers to indicate damage, long before Monster Hunter: World.
A year later, Monster Hunter Smart was “reborn” as Monster Hunter Explore, focusing on the hunting RPG action and exploration of the new setting on Markja Island. It also offered more for players to do, including 12 primary weapons with unique and simplified controls made for smartphones.
The new and reborn title first launched for Android on September 3, 2015, followed by the iOS version on September 29, 2015. Capcom released Monster Hunter Explore in only one country outside of Japan, and that was a soft launch in Canada in April 2016. However, it ended up shutting down shortly after on July 31, 2016.
You can also check out gameplay featuring the original monster, “Ember Rathalos,” in the above footage at the 18:25 mark.
Monster Hunter Explore is currently available for iOS and Android devices in Japan.