To co-incide with the release of the Monster Hunter Freedom Unite game on the Sony PSP, Capcom have on the 3rd July 2009 opened the The Gathering Hall which is a dedicated gaming centre located in Central London – not far from Tottenham Court Road tube station in fact!
You might be wondering why they’ve done this, Capcom are trying to replicate their social gaming success that they’ve enjoyed with Monster Hunter in Japan where these games have over 3 million players and out-sold both Pokemon and Wii Fit last year – now you certainly don’t hear that kind of statistic very often!
The Gathering Hall is a gaming centre where Monster Hunter players can meet in a social gaming environment which replicates what many Japanese players have access to in the Far East. People can meet up, download exclusive quests/content, learn how to play better with dedicated tutorial nights and have access to meet the game’s developers when they visit the UK.
Entry to the Monster Hunter Gathering Hall will be free and open 7 days a week to anyone with a Sony PSP and a copy of the Monster Hunter Freedom Unite – so if you live in London or are ever visiting, this has to be a must-see for any gaming fan.
I personally find this very interesting as a concept and hope that it is successful here in the UK as games players in the Far East often seem to get so many cool gaming-related things going on that we never see here in West – hopefully this might be the sign of things to come and that we’ll see games companies going that extra yard to further improve our gaming experiences too!
What do you think to this idea? Would you like to see similar gaming centres for your favourite games? And if so, which games would be top of your list for more social elements like these? – For me I’d have to say I’d have like a Street Fighter 4 gaming centre – it’s a game I really like playing, but I wish I was actually good at it! 🙂
Further Details from the Capcom Forums:
121 Charing Cross Road
Gathering Hall location on Google Maps
10am till 8pm every day except for Thursday, when it’ll be open till 10pm.
Nearest tube station:
Tottenham Court Road (Central Line and Northern Line)
Buses that run past: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38, 176 – There’s also an endless procession of buses that go past down Oxford St. I advise checking the excellent Transport For London’s website for a more complete picture – http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ – your options are near endless.
The rules: Entrance is free for anyone who brings their PSP AND A LEGITIMATE COPY OF MONSTER HUNTER FREEDOM UNITE. Your PSPs will be checked on the way in to make sure you’re not a dirty pirate.
Grand opening: Friday 3rd July, 3pm. This will be when we open the doors to the public for the first time. There’ll be a private party on the top floor for press and other industry types, but access to the ground floor and first floor will be unrestricted.
Grand closing: Sunday 30th August