- Apparently three long years of service were enough for the small community of gamers that still played Monster Hunter on their Western Playstation 2s.
Of course, it's amazing that the love affair lasted as long as it did. Still serious business in Japan, sales of Monster Hunter games have been remained flat in the U.S. since their respective debuts. To date, the Playstation 2 version is the only one to feature actual online play, a major draw of the series in the first place (PSP releases only allowed ad hoc multiplayer in the same room).
For the seventy-or-so gamers logged on when the servers were shut off for good at approximately 12:25 PM EST, the departure must have been bittersweet. It wasn't Capcom's fault, though. According to a blog post on their community site a little over a month ago, the online capabilities of the game were outsourced to a company that no longer wants to remain in the business of networking Playstation 2 games (and really, what kind of business is that anyway?).
Ever the vanguard for its fans, Capcom even petitioned the nameless provider for a contract extension, but they weren't having any of it.
It's always kind of sad to see these small gaming communities disrupted – there's something intriguing about having that sort of dedication...