An upcoming Monster Hunter game for Wii will charge Japanese users a monthly fee to play online, establishing the first instance of the MMO-style subscription structure on Nintendo's console.
Although Nintendo doesn't charge for online play on Wii, the manufacturer gives publishers the option to use their own business models, and Capcom is exercising that right with the Wii version of Monster Hunter G. According to a Famitsu blog posttranslated by Siliconera, the game will run $8 for 30 days of play, $15 for 60 days, or $20 for 90 days, paid in Wii points.
The game is a port of the PlayStation 2 and PSP game of the same name, itself expanded from the original Monster Hunter. Although it was revised and released in North America as Monster Hunter Freedom (which received its own followups), Capcom does not appear to have plans to bring the Wii version of G Stateside -- meaning Monster Hunter subscription fees will stay localized to Japan for now.
Monster Hunter, which reached its fifth anniversary this week, has proven to be a huge hit for Capcom, particularly in Japan, which has seen numerous console releases as well as a PC MMO.
The original PlayStation 2 game featured online support in North America, but Capcom discontinued the service in late 2007.