It began as an innocent endeavor. WASD UK simply needed to buy some new clothes in Seoul, South Korea. As a result, WASD UK ventured over to Lotte World, which is like a much, much cleaner version of Disneyland, but with about 200% more shopping malls.
Suddenly, WASD UK was surrounded by personnel from Nintendo, long lines were forming by a Uniqlo store, and it soon became apparent that hunters were gathering to participate in campaigns on the latest chapter in the immensely popular Monster Hunter series.
Monster Hunter 4 for the Nintendo 3DS has launched mini-tournaments throughout South Korea. Small settings in highly populated shopping areas are now marketing the game. Fans can take pictures with professional CosPlayers, compete against one another, and take on the new co-op quests for free in a pleasant and enjoyable setting.
Interested parties were assigned to tables with tree-stumps as chairs. The players were grouped into teams of 4 to carry-out co-op missions as well as to compete against one another. Who can use their Glutton Set to snag a Rathalos first?
The overall environment was very laid back. At the front of the mini-tournament displays were professional Monster Hunter players dueling on a large screen, so those who did not want to play could relax and watch.
Also, professional gaming is big business in South Korea. Star-Craft and War-Craft tournaments air on local channels nearly 24 hours a day. A few years ago, many of the professionals were exposed as frauds. They were simply tapping and clicking away while pre-recorded videos played out the actual matches.
However, what is the big deal? WWE has retained its immense popularity despite the fact that it is staged and fake. It’s all about the performance, and these professional players offer a valuable marketing tool to new platforms and games alike. It’s all about the stage, which is everything on Earth.
Although the setting is smaller than a full-blown CosPlay or nation-wide tournament, there was still plenty of merchandise available for purchase. Here, a young fan drools and dreams about getting a new Nintendo 3DS, some Monster Hunter add-ons, and a display of one of the creatures. Is that a Lagiacrus? The cult-like followers will set WASD UK straight if it’s not.
Finally, professional photographers spoke with fans and took some images for local newspapers and television. The mini-tournaments are circulating throughout venues in Seoul and Busan, especially in highly populated shopping areas, such as Gangnam and Haeundae. Hopefully, the events will find you soon. Someone has to keep the Niblesnarfs under control!