Monster Hunter World is a fantastic game. After 25 hours with Capcom’s latest title in the popular franchise, I can’t get enough. The overall package is deep, rewarding, and full of replayability. There are countless ways to experience the game. Despite playing for over a day, I’ve barely cracked the surface of what there is to offer. Unfortunately, for all of the fun I’m having, online issues are often tarnishing my fun with Monster Hunter World.
Since launch date, Xbox One’s online options for Monster Hunter World have been less than stellar. As someone who doesn’t always play with friends and family, getting through quests proved to be a struggle. Make no mistake, Monster Hunter World is not a hard game, but it’s also not a walk in the park. Some of the larger beasts are downright brutal to kill on your first try. The main draw for lone players when it comes to interacting with the community is through the SOS feature. Firing an SOS signal puts out a notification to traveling players, informing them that another hunter is having trouble with a mission. Xbox owners playing the game on launch weekend were met with these issues, as highlighted by the official Monster Hunter Twitter account.
Since then, the online features have gotten a little better but there are still plenty of issues plaguing the game. I often find it difficult to connect with other Xbox Live members (who aren’t on my friends list) and rarely find anybody responding to SOS signals. I’m not sure if the latter is due to Internet problems or the lack of interest from the community, but launching a flare rarely triggers a response. For a video game that primarily revolves around the online component, Monster Hunter World is kind of a mess.
PlayStation 4 has seen its share of issues involving the hunting horn and squads, but you never hear about online connection issues tied to the game specifically. One of the reasons for this is because there were exclusive betas specifically for PlayStation 4. It goes without saying that there was a marketing deal between Capcom and Sony regarding the release of Monster Hunter World. Not only was there a limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle, but there are also exclusive pieces of gear, including the awesome Horizon: Zero Dawn content. You can craft Aloy’s armor for your hunter and Watcher armor for your Palico.
PlayStation 4 owners had the chance to take part in two betas and a demo as well. For each of the two betas, Capcom was able to gather enough information on how the servers would hold up, stress test the servers, and see what needed to be fixed ahead of launch. Because of these betas, you rarely hear about issues surrounding the game on PS4.If you’re a Monster Hunter World player on Sony’s console, the experience is a lot better than it is for Xbox One players. Unfortunately, those on Xbox One are suffering because of a marketing deal. Sony and Capcom teamed up for Monster Hunter World, but leave Xbox One owners behind.
It’s been three weeks since launch and there are still issues with the online component of the game on Xbox One. As of yesterday, Capcom is still trying to fix matchmaking on the console. Look, marketing deals can be great. I liked when Assassin’s Creed and Middle Earth: Shadow Of War were promoted by Microsoft. Seeing a brand I like being associated with awesome games is a great feeling. Exclusive content also rewards players on certain consoles. I’m okay with that as well. The problem comes with exclusive betas. That should NOT be a thing. Closed betas are fine. Sea of Thieves recently had a closed beta and it was fantastic. I think of previous iterations of the Call Of Duty franchise. I’ve seen times when PlayStation got a beta one week before Xbox. That’s okay because Xbox Owners still got a beta where Activision and the development studio were able to stress test the servers.
Putting a beta strictly for one console can potentially tarnish the launch for other consoles. Case and point: Monster Hunter World. It’s a wonderful game that could have been much better if the launch ran smoothly. Unfortunately, Xbox One players are still suffering from a marketing deal between Sony and Capcom. I fully expect things to get better over time and I will continue to keep playing, but this situation should be a warning sign for future releases. Exclusive content is okay, but betas should be for all so that games which rely on online content won’t suffer at launch. This is something I’ve never really thought about, but Monster Hunter World has really opened my eyes to the downside of marketing deals and the affect they can have for players on other platforms.
Andrew Gonzalez is the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Xbox Enthusiast. When not writing about Xbox, he’s usually reading comics, talking about Taylor Swift, and dreaming of the perfect Jet Force Gemini Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter. @AJGVulture89