Wild Hearts could have been a huge hit for developer Koei Tecmo and publisher EA. The game features top-notch gameplay, innovative systems and an interesting story. Nevertheless, it absolutely does not matter. Why is it? MeinMMO takes a closer look at the matter.
When Wild Hearts was announced and we played the first test, it quickly became clear to the editors: the game has hit potential, but it has to work hard. Wild Hearts should be an alternative to Monster Hunter – with co-op and crossplay.
Exactly what fans of Monster Hunter wanted after MH: World and what Capcom left behind for years. Wild Hearts had every opportunity to flourish and pick up a huge, abandoned fan base.
The new action game has been around since February 16, 2023, but hardly generates any response among gamers – hardly any interest on Google, almost non-existent on Twitch, hardly any interest in guides and community stories.
Actually strange, because the tests are all positive. I think Wild Hearts is really good, in the detailed GameStar test the game still achieves 78 points.
Even internationally there is praise. A user on reddit has compiled the ratings of the largest sites worldwide. Many testers award more than 80%. The Metacritic ratings range between 77 and 80, depending on the platform.
Wild Hearts could have become a new IP, a new brand that becomes a success under EA – a success that would certainly have been good for the eyes after Anthem’s doldrums. So what’s wrong?
In the video we explain Wild Hearts to you in 3 minutes:
1. Wild Hearts is way too expensive
The biggest shortcoming that we have identified and that is being discussed in the community is the price. Wild Hearts costs a whopping €80 for PS5 and Xbox, and “only” €70 on PC. In itself, such a stately sum is not necessarily a problem, but here a lot comes together:
- Wild Hearts is a new IP, nobody really knows what to expect from it
- The studio, Koei Tecmo, is relatively unknown in the West
- For the same money – or significantly less – there are other games that have already proven themselves at the moment
Wild Hearts does offer a demo to test the game, but even that is hidden behind a paywall. Only those who use EA Play can preview the game for 10 hours. The players are accordingly skeptical – and accuse EA of greed.
Many voices are already saying: We are interested in Wild Hearts, it looks great. But not for the price, we’ll buy it later in the sale.
2. Wild Hearts came too late – or way too soon
With the release in February 2023, Wild Hearts has strategically positioned itself poorly. Just a week earlier, Hogwarts Legacy was released, the game that’s occupying the entire gaming landscape right now.
On Steam alone, Hogwarts Legacy occupies 4 places in the top 5 and breaks viewership records on Twitch. Everyone talks about it or plays it themselves. And: it costs less.
Although the new Harry Potter game is not a direct competitor to Wild Hearts and appeals to completely different target groups, there is a large intersection of gamers who would rather spend time at Hogwarts than in Azuma.
Monster Hunter Rise was released for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S at the end of January. Console players interested in the genre may still be stuck with the original and don’t have time for Wild Hearts.
Wild Hearts would have had a better chance of making a name for itself in a game lull like in spring 2022 or a little after the release of Elden Ring 2022. With the sudden release of Apex Legends, they showed that EA actually knows something like this.
3. The PC port performs well below expectations
Even the price and the timing of Wild Hearts could have been forgiven if the performance had been sufficient. However, Wild Hearts started with big problems on different systems – but especially on the PC.
Almost every test criticizes the poor performance: no really stable, high FPS are achieved, there are graphics and sound bugs. None of this completely disrupts the flow of the game, but it is annoying.
Even SkillUp, an expert in Monster Hunter, praises Wild Hearts while warning PC gamers against the game. Gamers don’t get the impression that the game technically lives up to its high price.
Another pain factor: Many of the problems were already known in previous tests and were forwarded to the developers. Nevertheless, the game appeared like this and shook the trust of quite a few fans. The team is working on a solution, but it will only appear after the release.
In our co-op session, the game runs smoothly, but you can hear that the picture and sound are out of sync – unpleasant:
4. Nobody knew Wild Hearts before the release
Not only is Wild Hearts a completely new IP, it has had almost no advertising before. There weren’t any major campaigns to raise awareness of the game or get people excited about the idea.
There were no major marketing campaigns, no hype trailers and no influencers booked to talk about Wild Hearts. Almost the only advertising were the isolated trailers, which were then only moderately spread.
5. Nobody talks about Wild Hearts
In the end, all of those points could still have been undone if the right people had talked about Wild Hearts. Keyword social media and Twitch.
A few influential figures on Twitch, TikTok or Twitter could have been enough to get the proverbial ball rolling. But Wild Hearts doesn’t exist on social media.
None of the big streamers like xQc or Asmongold took notice of Wild Hearts or showed it. On Twitch, only smaller channels are showing the new game, albeit with enthusiasm.
There are hardly any trends about the game on Twitter and even the official tweets have relatively few replies. The Wild Hearts subreddit only has 5,700 users. That’s not enough to make conversations about the topic go viral.
For comparison: Monster Hunter World has almost 500,000 fans on reddit, Hogwarts Legacy already 188,000 and is only slightly older than Wild Hearts.
It’s strange that there was so little advertising – because the trailers were all really good:
Conclusion: Can Wild Hearts still be saved?
Even if the release of Wild Hearts didn’t work at all, you don’t have to write off the game right away. There are numerous examples of a messed-up release being saved or a game only going viral years after its release.
The substance of Wild Hearts is impeccable. A co-op hunting game with interesting new mechanics, beautiful surroundings and lovely characters. The perfect mix for any fan of the genre.
It’s just a lack of implementation. But if the developers stay tuned and polish Wild Hearts to the level it should have been at the time of release, the game can definitely work. Especially if it gets into more hands through a discount.
Wild Hearts will receive free updates upon release, bringing new weapons, monsters, and more. If you join later, you will also get a “more complete” game. This can also ensure a delayed success of Wild Hearts – because there is hope even among players:
Players are already playing Wild Hearts – 3 things they praise and one thing that annoys them