The Monster Hunter franchise is something of a power house, but when it was announced Monster Hunter 3 would have monthly subscription fees for online play in Japan, it raised a few eye brows.
However, it might not be the case in the West, and it's something that Capcom will be looking at closely as the game's Western release approaches.
Speaking at TGS 2009, Chris Kramer, Capcom USA's Senior Director of Communications and Community, explained the current situation,
It's something that we're looking into at the moment and there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, Monster Hunter isn't as popular in the West, so it might put people off. Secondly, Japan doesn't have Friend Codes, so Capcom run all the servers and the monthly fee is essentially to pay for those costs.
Based on this statement, signs point towards Capcom dropping the monthly fees for online play with Monster Hunter 3 when it's released in the West.