Once video game console maker, developer and publisher Nintendo decides to do something, it does it in epic fashion. Case in point, this week the famous Japanese company revealed two new mobile games. Rather than being light applications as its first was, these two new games trade on popular franchises from its handheld and living room consoles. One of the games that Nintendo announced was Animal Crossing for iPhone and Android. The other was a Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android.
Fire Emblem has a long and storied history. Available exclusively in Asian markets originally, the franchise focuses on letting players dive into its creative world. It’s a franchise built on role-playing game mechanics and strategy. It has an anime art style, with complicated plots, a large cast of characters and a vibrant back story to hook even the most skeptical of gamers.
Here’s what we know about the Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android release so far.
Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android Will Offer Role-Playing & Strategy
Nintendo revealed Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android was coming this week in a press release aimed at investors and industry watchers. The game is part of the company’s relatively new strategy to bring unique experiences to mobile gamers that don’t have its Nintendo 3DS. The hope is that these games will provide Nintendo with a slice of the growing mobile gaming pie. At the same time as they’re shoring up Nintendo’s bottom line, the games are also meant as lures into the larger Nintendo ecosystem. Players are more likely to pick up a Nintendo 3DS to play Fire Emblem Fates if they know what Fire Emblem is because they tried it on their Apple iPhone.
For this strategy to work, the games have to offer something compelling. For Miitomo, the company’s first release, that special something was Mii character customization and social networking. For Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android it’s in-depth role-playing and strategy mechanics.
Nintendo confirms in the press release announcing Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android that the game won’t belong in a different genre than the games that people already know and love. “Nintendo aims to offer the great value of a role-playing strategy game,” the company says in the release. The same skills and attention to detail that the other games will remain important in this new mobile version, it seems.
Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android Will Be Easier
Just because Nintendo and partner developer DeNA are keeping the role-playing game and strategy elements intact, doesn’t mean they’re blind to the realities of creating a mobile-first game. Mobile games are designed to be easily accessible. Game sessions usually happen in spurts when players have a little free time between appointments or after they’ve ended their day. Nintendo and DeNA are making some changes to the Fire Emblem gameplay formula for Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android.
Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android will be more approachable than its counterparts on consoles, Nintendo says. Specifically, the company says that it plans to make the mobile version “more accessible in comparison to the Fire Emblem games for Nintendo’s dedicated gaming systems,” in this week’s press release. It doesn’t provide any details about what changes will be made, just that players should expect some differences.
Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android Release Window
As for the Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android release date, we’re still waiting to hear. Nintendo didn’t reveal the exact day that it plans to launch the game. Instead, it’s being careful to set expectations appropriately. Don’t expect the game to launch in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store in the next few weeks or months.
Nintendo and DeNA are waiting until this fall to make Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android available to smartphone owners around the world.
Fire Emblem for iPhone & Android Price
As with the release date, Nintendo is staying quiet on the price too. That being said, there’s enough anecdotal evidence to guess about the Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android price.
DeNA specializes in creating free-to-play games and experiences. The company’s games don’t usually cost anything to download at all. Instead, in-game currency that users can purchase with money and customization items act as a way to recoup development costs. DeNA isn’t the only company that does this, nearly ever top game in the iTunes App Store uses the free-to-play model.
Miitomo, the first Nintendo experience to arrive on smartphones, is free-to-play. Coupled with the realities of mobile games and DeNA’s pedigree, it seems like it’s a safe bet that Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android will be free to play too.
Nintendo says that it’ll share more about Fire Emblem for iPhone and Android closer to its release date.