Planning for Monster Hunter Generations began during the production of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The game’s Japanese title—Monster Hunter X, pronounced as Monster Hunter Cross—originated from the idea of crossing old and new elements of the series in the game. Series executive producer Ryozo Tsujimoto saw that since it has been more than ten years since the introductions of the series, they wanted to celebrate the series, putting the idea of the game as “a festival feeling, a special event”. Game producer, Shintaro Kojima, noted that “the letter X looks like it divides the given space into four… so four hunting styles, four large main monsters, four villages. They’re all crossing.”
Originally, Capcom considered adding a new weapon type for Monster Hunter Generations. This would have required a lot of development work, so instead they opted to focus on the concept of a player’s “attachment to the weapon”. The developers noted how players would develop their own approach to combat, which inspired the idea of the hunting skills and arts as these would further give each player to craft a hunter to their unique play style. However, they still needed to balance the strength and effectiveness of these news arts and skills so that Generations would remain fundamentally a game that required the player to read a monster’s actions and make the right moves at the right time, rather than just a flashy hack-and-slash game. Several features—underwater combat, guild quests, and frenzied monsters—from past titles are omitted in Monster Hunter Generations. Series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said that this was to emphasise the unique elements of the new title.
As with Monster Hunter 4, Generation includes a number of quests that help to orient a player to the various gameplay systems within the game; this includes special quest lines for each weapon type to help accustom the player to that weapon and its strategies. The Prowler-Felyne hunter choice was aimed specifically for new players of the series, but also to give veteran players a new way to experience the title. With the Prowler mode, it helps to emphasise the need to watch the monsters and read their tell before making a move and gaining the opportunity for a counterattack.