Monster Hunter fans have been given hope that the Japanese-only MMO version of the game might see the light of day in the West - but it won't be any time soon.

Up until now Capcom has resisted fan calls to release PC online adventure hack and slash Monster Hunter Frontier in Western markets because of a number of issues, including a belief that in its current state it would not attract an audience beyond the loyal Monster Hunter fanbase.

But in an in-depth update on Capcom's blog, senior director of strategic planning and research Christian Svensson said that despite the issues surrounding bringing Monster Hunter Frontier to the West, that doesn't mean Frontier isn't coming.

"I've always said we'd be revisiting those decisions in 2008 (and the ultimate decision could wind up being to "talk about it again in 2009 if things aren't aligned properly in 2008)," he said.

"If we're just making a decision about potentially committing resources in 2008, even if it does happen it's far enough away that you probably don't need to be thinking about it any time soon. On top of all of this, there's the overarching brand strategy to consider."

Monster Hunter was released on PS2 in 2005 and an expanded version, renamed as Monster Hunter Freedom, was released on the PSP. Monster Hunter Freedom 2 was released on PSP in Europe in September 2007. Despite excellent sales in Japan the series has failed to take off in the US and Europe.

Svensson said Capcom needs to grow the Monster Hunter brand on other platforms in order to give the game more chance of success, something the Western team is actively working on. He added that there were "things in motion" that led him to believe that an audience for MHF could be created in the West, but "aren't any time in the immediate future".