UPDATE: It turns out that AsteriskAmpers1 had misinterpreted the minutes. Sony did not pay to have timed console exclusivity for Monster Hunter and did not deliberately hold back cross-play or cross-saves.
Back in 2018, Capcom released Monster Hunter World as a timed exclusive on the Playstation 4. The game was a rampant success and succeeded in bringing the Monster Hunter franchise to a wider audience. Apparently, however, the Monster Hunter World exclusivity was bought and paid for by Sony, along with its PC port.
This information comes from a leaked copy of meeting minutes from a past Sony meeting. Sony apparently paid to have the PC version of Monster Hunter World delayed, and later did the same to its expansion, Iceborne. Along with that, Sony’s payments were the reason why cross-play and cross-saves were not enabled.
Back in the second half of the last console generation, Sony got a lot of flak for not allowing cross-platform play on its games, as “games were best played on the Playstation 4.” Considering Monster Hunter World’s success, it’s likely that they wanted to milk as much money as possible from the game.
Along with being one of the first Monster Hunter games to gain true popularity in a wider audience, Monster Hunter World was also the first to see a release on actual consoles rather than handhelds in a significant period.
Monster Hunter World exclusivity on consoles, therefore, was likely bought by Sony so that they could get a slice of what was looking to be an extremely profitable pie. And, with how many units the game sold on both console and PC, it’s looking like it was a good decision.
Even now, with Monster Hunter Rise, Nintendo is likely getting the same reaction. Currently, Monster Hunter Rise is exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, though a PC port will be coming sometime in the near future. We still don’t know whether or not the game will be cross-platform, however.
Only time will tell if Sony continues to do the Monster Hunter World exclusivity plan to other games, especially now that the Playstation 5 is out, but in the meantime you can play Monster Hunter Rise on the Nintendo Switch, if World got you your start on the franchise.