In every core Monster Hunter title there are two main difficulties portrayed as ranks. All hunters start out in low rank, and after completing certain quests they enter high rank where monsters are stronger and hit harder. Finally there is G-rank, which has only ever be included with the second version of a generational title. These second versions have usually seen release a year or so after the original and worked to improve overall gameplay. Due to recent actions by Capcom already with Monster Hunter: World, it seems entirely possible that we could get G-rank as DLC this time around instead.
For those unfamiliar G-rank, it can be simply summed up as the hardest difficulty that Monster Hunter titles have to offer. Monsters hit at their absolute hardest, often knocking out hunters with the highest upgraded armor in one hit and usually get new deadly moves. G-rank typically brings in a whole slew of monsters both new and returning, in addition to more sub-species for those available. It is the true end-game of Monster Hunter, offering hundreds more hours of gameplay with an even greater amount of weapons and armor to be collected that really brings Monster Hunter together. In addition to more content, G-rank includes the most fixes to the series that sees weapon and monster balancing based on player feedback which is why they usually release the first in a generation without it.
With one recent update, Capcom has proven that they really want Monster Hunter: World to have longevity. This update change a number of issues, but it also changed damage numbers on certain ammo types for bowgun. This might seem like a small thing at first, but the series hasn’t seen a change like that before. Previous titles that shipped were pretty much a done deal, with updates never messing with balancing of weapons or armor. More major updates like this could easily transfer into G-rank through DLC, as the G-rank version typically incorporates balances and changes to weapons that they have taken note of during the initial release. This also makes it easier for Capcom to address parts of the game that are being abused by players, as has been a common complaint in previous entries when nothing could be done about it. As long as they steadily keep on top of things as they have already, G-rank could even be added as just entirely new content rather than fixes and instead incorporate regular fixes for all players regardless of access to DLC.
Seeing as Capcom appears to have a different take on how to handle Monster Hunter on their new platforms, it makes more sense that instead of having current players buy an entirely new version with G-rank we could see it released for a lower price as add-on DLC. That isn’t to say they couldn’t sell a new game of course; those who hadn’t picked it up originally could now pick up the version with G-rank for regular retail price, but would keep those still playing from having to make that full purchase again. The only potential reason against this would be dealing with servers and separating the players who had or hadn’t purchased the DLC yet, but likely something that could still be managed. Seeing as G-rank is a large part of Monster Hunter the potential price would likely be $20-$30, making it a great deal compared to the regular $60 price tag for an entirely new game. This doesn’t even account for the continued free event quests that players would continue to receive, ensuring an even wider amount of content for everyone to enjoy.
The DLC route makes the most sense given the new platform and would be great way to thank fans still playing while still being able to profit off of their hard work from new additions. It would also benefit players by not making them start over from the beginning of the story, instead simply able to continue forward from where they left off, which would make it much easier for those unfamiliar with Capcom’s handling of the series in the past. Whether Capcom decides to release an entirely new game or add G-rank onto Monster Hunter: World, it will likely be a great addition if we do get to see it sometime down the road.