Sunbreak Should Avoid Landing Too Close to Splatoon 3

Sunbreak Should Avoid Landing Too Close to Splatoon 3

Switch owners have a lot to anticipate thanks to major titles including Kirby and the Forgotten Land, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 3and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet filling Nintendo’s 2022 release schedule. While the aforementioned Pokemon Games aren’t set to come out until late in the year, there’s also plenty of multiplayer-centric projects in earlier time slots. Notably, Monster Hunter Rise‘s impending Sunbreak expansion and Splatoon 3 are both scheduled for summer 2022.


Many of Nintendo’s biggest properties are single-player experiences at their core: platformers such as Super Mario and Metroidas well as action-adventure games like Zelda. Yet the company’s overt family friendly nature and consoles designed with wide appeal have also given rise to a number of multiplayer offerings, be they wholly original like ARMS or spin-offs like Mario Kart. Any of these games can have active players, but it would behoove Capcom to avoid overlapping with Splatoon 3 with its Monster Hunter expansion’s vague release window.

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Monster Hunter, Splatoon, and the Switch’s Multiplayer Ecosystem

A Goss Harag and Magnamalo about to attack each other in Monster Hunter Rise

Nintendo multiplayer games have long legs. His Investor Relations department puts Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Partyand three (dual) Pokemon games among the 10 top-selling Switch titles as of December 31, 2021. Monster Hunter may not have broken onto that list, but Rise It was 2021’s most-downloaded Switch game in Japan, and after its PC version launched on January 12, 2022 the game passed eight million units sold globally by January 18.

Continued esports events for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and new content like the Booster Course Pass in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Show how long a Switch-based multiplayer game can last, but the space between their initial releases is likely one reason both games built an audience. Monster Hunter Rise may have an established audience given its initial launch in 2021, but dropping Sunbreak at the same time as Splatoon 3 may create a competition for oxygen in the room. With one being a new game in a beloved modern IP and the other being an expansion focused on harder content via “Master Rank” hunts, Nintendo’s more casual audience could gravitate toward Splatoon first and foremost.

RELATED: Future Monster Hunter Projects Should Learn From Pokemon Legends: Arceus’ Requests

Why it Might Not Matter if Monster Hunter and Splatoon Release Simultaneously

Two Inklings facing a horde of Salmonids in Splatoon 3's Salmon Run: Next Wave

That all being said, there’s plenty of reasons why both multiplayer offerings can thrive on Switch at the same time. for one, Monster Hunter and Splatoon target very different demographics. Monster Hunter Rise is a more grounded and technical action game compared to Splatoon 3 as a simple and colorful first-person shooter; One is primarily cooperative while the other is competitive outside the Salmon Run co-op mode.

It’s also worth noting that Monster Hunter is developed by Capcom rather than Nintendo, which means there’s arguably less concern about the two games cannibalizing one another’s audience. Since Monster Hunter Rise Also launched on PC, its Switch skew may not be as important to maintain in the grand scheme of things.

Yet, many fans jumped onto Rise As a Switch exclusive, so the lack of cross-play and cross-save means many will want to jump back into their original profile. Given Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will theoretically be more self-contained than an ever-evolving FPS (even with post-launch quests taken into account), ideally Capcom drops its update early in the summer so that Switch users can move to Splatoon 3 later when they’re done. However, with both titles sticking by vague release dates there’s no telling when they’ll be out. The developers should simply aim to be conscientious of their fans’ time so that everyone can have room in the spotlight.

Monster Hunter Rise is available now on PC and Switch. Sunbreak releases summer 2022.

MORE: Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Shouldn’t Be Held Back by Capcom’s 2024 Plans

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