News Article

Fire Emblem: Awakening Could Have Been The Swansong For The Series

Posted by Damien McFerran

Ultimatum spurred the developers on

Fire Emblem: Awakening has been a commercial and critical triumph, gaining positive review scores and bringing a whole new generation of fans to the series. However, had sales been lower, it could have been the final entry in the franchise.

Producer Hitoshi Yamagami was told that if the game sold less than a quarter of a million units, no further titles would be produced:

Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descend on sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team ‘My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!’. Our reaction was clear: if this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include.

Perhaps this dire situation drove the developers to create the amazing title we've come to know and love? It's certainly a sobering thought that Fire Emblem: Awakening could have been the last game in the saga. Thankfully it has found the audience it deserves, which should secure the future of the franchise for a few years yet.

[via serenesforest.net]

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User Comments (69)

Intrepid

#3

Intrepid said:

Wow, I had no idea. I myself had only bought Shadow Dragon before this one, so I wasn't really a part of the fanbase. I'm glad myself and so many other people gave this game a chance, and secured a future for the franchise.

MeWario

#5

MeWario said:

Well all I can say is, very glad this has sold well. It's not as often as it should be that a great game like this sells well.

uximal

#8

uximal said:

Its actually doing well and I think some units have not yet been factored in currently at 880,000 units sold, With Japan selling 500,000 units, The numbers look good.

LittleFuryThing

#9

LittleFuryThing said:

I'm hoping Advance Wars hasn't had this fate as I like that series much more than Fire Emblem.
With that said, I'm enjoying this version of FE quite a lot and it's been deserving of it's accolades. Definitely a good choice for anyone wanting to start the series.
...still prefer Advance Wars tho. ;)

Einherjar

#10

Einherjar said:

Didnt they say the same about Skyward Sword ? "If it isnt the best, we wont make another one" ? And to be honest, it was far from the best sadly. One of the only Zelda games i didnt even finish :/

uximal

#12

uximal said:

@LittleFuryThing

Advance Wars has actually sold very well, According to vgcharts all version sold over 350,000 units.

Its truly a great addictive game, I would recommend this to anyone who loves strategic games. Its right up there with fire emblem.

originaljohn

#13

originaljohn said:

Does vgcharts include digital sales? I'm not sure it does. I wouldnt be surprised if the game has sold 1 million copies

Hunter-D

#15

Hunter-D said:

Good thing that the Awakening sales have been fantastic so far when compared to the rest of the series. Long may this series continue.

Peach64

#16

Peach64 said:

I just hope they keep the quality up. I don't think it's controversial to say the Cube, DS and Wii versions were not great games. Good, but not great. Fire Emblem Awakening is great, maybe the best in the whole series, certainly my favourite 3DS game. Will they keep the quality up now that the pressure is gone? I hope so.

Haxonberik

#17

Haxonberik said:

Feels nice to have contributed to the saving the series with 3 numbers (I convinced 2 friends to buy the game)

GamerFromJump

#18

GamerFromJump said:

Sales of the series in general would probably have been better if you actually let it out of Japan. Just sayin'.

Nomad

#19

Nomad said:

That would really suck if this was the last Fire Emblem. I hope the Fire Emblem series gains the same kind of recognition one day as the Mario and Zelda games do.

-KwB-

#20

-KwB- said:

Sales are probably over a million already ! Downloads are not included at vgchartz ! ;D

WiiLovePeace

#21

WiiLovePeace said:

I hope this convinces them to translate some of the famicom Fire Emblem games & bring them to Wii U VC one day :D

Lan

#22

Lan said:

Glad they aren't EA, "Fire Emblem needs to sell 15 million or we're shutting down Intelligent Systems!".

DreamyViridi

#23

DreamyViridi said:

I'm glad that I did my bit in buying this game. Awakening deserves the recognition it's getting. Awakening was my first proper introduction into the series, (only played Scared Stones for a bit cause I got it for free) and I love it.

Technosphile

#24

Technosphile said:

Strange that he says "we included everything we always wanted to", as its actually missing a few earmarks of the series--the ballista, fog of war, the monsters from Sacred Stones--but it's a great game without that stuff.

Maybe Intelligent Systems are now at work on a Wii U Fire Emblem. I hope so, anyway

Araknie

#26

Araknie said:

It's totally fair, it would be nice if Nintendo can really start making their teams stop on franchises to work on something new, i can't believe the comments here...the people outside Nintys are afraid of buying Nintendo console because yes we have long and well treated franchises but also because yes we have long and well treated franchises.
Mario won't stop because he's the Mascott, so there is gotta be one new mascott to stop Mario, you can't just stop Mario.
But if some franchises with 20 more titles on their sleeve will stop to bring on the new stuff i'm all in for that i say.

Harrison_Peter

#28

Harrison_Peter said:

@FantasiaWHT I strongly disagree. Obviously Advance Wars is loved, but by a smaller fan base. FE:A has brought many new gamers to the idea of turned-based strategy games with a background story. If anything I think this will inspire them to make a new Advance Wars that pushes for what has made FE:A so popular with new gamers and veterans (increased accessibility without sacrificing depth).

FantasiaWHT

#30

FantasiaWHT said:

@Harrison_Peter - Wishful thinking. We've known for a long time that as long as IS is working on FE games, they won't do AW. What's more likely, that IS will continue to work on a commercially successful franchise, or try to revive one that's been defunct for years? Best case scenario to get a new AW game is another studio makes it.

Gregor

#32

Gregor said:

@Intrepid shadow dragon is terrible. You stepped in the series at the wrong time. Sacred Stones however was amazing.

seronja

#33

seronja said:

hope it can reach 1 million world wide by the end of this year :P i've put 57 hours into this game & there is still alot of stuff i have to do! and from the start this game is pure awesomne's :D

MetalKingShield

#34

MetalKingShield said:

Fire Emblem: Awakening is amazing. 10/10 in my opinion.

I'm actually a bit troubled about the sales ultimatum, as it makes me wonder if Nintendo have dropped other series without telling anyone...

cbkummer

#35

cbkummer said:

Bullet dodged! I loved this game and will be picking up more Fire Emblem in the future!

Unca_LzStaff

#36

Unca_Lz said:

Vgchartz is not the best source of info...

Also, this game sold almost 250k on its first week :D

SyFyTy

#37

SyFyTy said:

then N would have lost a fan/console purchse as the only reason I'm with them and not xbox, is Fire Emblem and Advance Wars.It's a shame, poor PR, marketing, timing and such can kill an otherwise great series.

SheldonRandoms

#38

SheldonRandoms said:

It's a good thing the series will continue, because if it ended, then this crossover might not have happened........
Untitled

Dpullam

#39

Dpullam said:

Perhaps someday Fire Emblem will receive the wide spread success it deserves, and I'm talking about selling in the millions. I still haven't played Fire Emblem Awakening though.

Alienfish

#40

Alienfish said:

@Einherjar

DIDN'T FINISH? SKYWARD SWORD!?! I guess I'm guilty of not making it all the way through Xenoblade Chronicles even though I'm pretty sure I was more than three quarters done. These things happen, but I suggest pushing through Skyward Sword, that game doesn't really shine until later on. I hope you at least played to the desert area.

Geonjaha

#41

Geonjaha said:

That would have been a real shame. Awakening is definitely where the series has reached its peak (so far that is...).

Einherjar

#44

Einherjar said:

@Alienfish I exactly STOPPED at the desert area :D Right when you come out of this "time bubble" area and get an overview over the huge desert area...Thats when i lost interest to other games.
I also never finished Xenoblade, but thats partly the fault of the many many subquests and my unwillingness to look up guides ;) But im very near the end. Someday, i will defenitly finish Skyward Sword, maybe after the rerelease of Wind Waker. I also never finished that game (stopped at the triforce hunt...yawn)

Stark_Nebula

#45

Stark_Nebula said:

I almost hope they do the same for the next Advance Wars so that it's not a rerun of Days of Ruin / Dark Conflict. That game was great with a better unit arrangement (admit it, Dual Strike's was an unbalanced cacophony). I loved the Duster and Anti-Tank units, but the style was not what made Advance Wars "Advance Wars". If Nintendo says "Hey! Sell minimum X units", you can bet they'll produce another gem. I highly doubt the next AW would do poorly (so long as there is a large enough 3DS install base in America and Europe).

DerpSandwich

#48

DerpSandwich said:

I'm actually surprised by how little it's sold, considering the hype around it. Hopefully with the new digital platform titles will be relevant for the whole lifespan of the system and games will get chances later down the line. Nintendo should definitely start discounting after a game is a few years old.

chee006

#49

chee006 said:

@LittleFuryThing I fell you man, cause I am playing advance wars Dual strike followed by days of ruin while my Fire Emblem copy still unwrapped and waiting for me hahah... cause when I start a game like these I know I can't put it down till I am done! Also i heard that an advance war for the 3ds is in the making hope that comes through.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#51

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

This is the best game for the 3ds right now in my opinion, it stole the number 1 spot from kid icarus uprising. The immensity of this game is completely astounding considering it is a portable experience, it has been 3 months and a half of perfectioning the skills of my team and I'm still not done yet.

DarkLloyd

#52

DarkLloyd said:

yikes i need to get around to getting the game then, after all i want that crossover damn it lol

Intrepid

#53

Intrepid said:

@Fusion14 I keep hearing bad things about the game. Without most of the other games to compare it to, I can't immediately call it bad. I remember reading about how it was a remake of the NES game and that it was chronolgically the first in the series, so I thought it was good. I never finished it because I don't allow people to die, but from what I played, it was fun.

I have Sacred Stones as an ambassador and I am loving it. I got past the spider map just a while ago.

Intrepid

#54

Intrepid said:

@Alienfish I haven't finished Skyward Sword either. I'm currently in the desert getting the second flame, but I just don't have the time of day to finish it. Now that it is summer, I think I'll pick it back up.

WebHead

#56

WebHead said:

Dang no wonder FE: A is seemingly the best in the series...this title was going to decide if FE was gonna sink or swim. glad it's still swimming!

Zombie_Barioth

#57

Zombie_Barioth said:

I'm glad they're not canning the series, but you gotta wonder how much of the problem is lack of interest and how much is lack of awareness. Most people didn't really know about the series until SSBM featured Marth and Roy, and the series just sort of crept up on us.

I just find it odd that the series just started selling all of a sudden after they finally advertised the heck out of it after all these years.

Gregor

#58

Gregor said:

@Intrepid after playing sacred stones shadow dragon was just a rockfall for me. Things I didn't like about it; no class exclusivity, you can change your units class at any time really. No support, i.e. no charming dialog. Boring characters, and I know it's the first game but they could have done more with this to make it more playable.

Alienfish

#59

Alienfish said:

@Einherjar OK, now not finishing Wind Waker is actually a crime. Expect the game police to show up at your door very soon. HD would be a good place to do it, plus I hear rumors of all that cut content being added back in. True the triforce hunt was pretty boring, but the entire ending is one of my all time Zelda series favorites. It is hard to look back though when there is so much to look forward to.

Sakura_Moonlight2421

#61

Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

:/ Crap that would have sucked if I FE had to end with Awakening. I've played from Rekka no ken (the first to make it to EU and NA shores)

Einherjar

#62

Einherjar said:

@Alienfish Im very very sorry, but Wind Waker is probably my least favorite in the series, which doesn mean much, since even if its the worst ZELDA game, its far above all other action adventure games ;) And it wasnt the art style that held me off, it was the pacing. My atention span simply was too short for it. So, not entirely the games fault.
But im willing to give the HD version another shot and i WILL finish it defenitly ;)

Funbunz

#63

Funbunz said:

@Einherjar Maybe you just haven't reached the right stage in your life! Wind Waker came out about the time my first son was born. He was a terrible sleeper and screamed a ton. I spent many hours of the night sailing the seas of Hyrule and rocking my son. It was so beautiful and peaceful and fun, it helped keep me sane with very little sleep! I didn't find it to be slow or boring.

Einherjar

#64

Einherjar said:

@Funbunz That may actually be the case. At that time, i was pretty hyper and anything that took more than 5 minutes was considered "boring" :D Nowadays i apriciate the breaks from constant action and tension a lot better. But starting the GC version while the WiiU Version is so close would be dumb imo. So ill way a little longer and finish the job then.

Silverbullet89

#66

Silverbullet89 said:

Thank the heavens. Fire Emblem is my favorite Nintendo franchise and quite honestly the reason I bought a 3DS just a couple of days ago, lol. It would hurt me if this was the last game in the franchise. Now they just need to work on a new title for the WiiU that will rival the epicness of Path of Radiance

Henmii

#67

Henmii said:

Well, a game doesn't sell if you can't find it anywhere! I downloaded it for free, thanks to a promotion from Nintendo! Otherwise I could never play it, it's still nowhere to be found (I live in Holland)!

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