It appears that EA and Koei Tecmo are teaming up to create “the next great hunting game” to compete with Capcom’s massively popular Monster Hunter franchise.
The game will be created by Omega Force, a Koei Tecmo internal development team known for its work on the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchises and their several officially sanctioned spinoffs (such as Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors). According to the press announcement, it will be a “really AAA experience” and take place in “fantasy feudal Japan.”
One piece of concept art for the game, which was made available by EA, depicted an old, dilapidated temple that was overrun by a blossom tree. Later this month, more information regarding the game was promised. There were no announced platforms.
Omega Force is most known for creating and dominating the Musou mass-combat subgenre in the late 1990s. However, it released two Toukiden games between 2013 and 2017 in which players hunted Oni monsters in a medieval Japanese environment. These games featured online multiplayer and the Monster Hunter style. Even though the new game is an “original IP,” it sounds like it will closely resemble Toukiden.
The brand EA Originals, which EA typically uses to collaborate with smaller developers to create indie-style games like It Takes Two and Unravel, will be used for the release of the new hunting game. However, the scope of this endeavor seems to be greater. Yosuke Hayashi, executive vice president of Koei Tecmo, stated that EA is aiding “both development and publishing support” and helping the seasoned Japanese publisher-developer “expand our reach in global markets.”
For both publishers, it’s an intriguing, original form of cooperation. Koei Tecmo benefits from scale, worldwide reach, and creative freedom provided by the EA Originals model, while EA benefits from access to a type of development skill it could never replicate internally. Monster Hunter: World is Capcom’s best-selling game ever, with 18.3 million units sold, making it the potential winner for both businesses. There is no competitor to the Capcom franchise, which is a genuine global phenomenon.