News Article

Nintendo: Wii U Fire Emblem Would Need To Sell 700K To Justify The Effort

Posted by Damien McFerran

Playing the numbers game

Fire Emblem: Awakening has sold extremely well on 3DS, but there will be many people who dearly want to see the franchise come to the Wii U. According to Nintendo's (not Intelligent Systems, as we previously stated) Hitoshi Yamagami, such a version would need to shift 700,000 copies to cover the cost of development.

Given the relatively small number of Wii U consoles currently available, reaching such a figure might be harder than it sounds. According to VGChartz, only two games have sold over that figure — New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land, the latter of which is a pack-in title.

Of course, it could be argued that bringing a name like Fire Emblem to the Wii U would trigger a surge of interest in the console, just as Awakening did with the 3DS. Perhaps Nintendo will look to leverage the power of the brand to help its struggling system? Share your own thoughts on the subject — and Yamagami's comment — by posting your opinion below.


From the web

User Comments (113)



WiiLovePeace said:

Wait, does that mean that 'Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei' game for Wii U isn't happening anymore? Or is he just forewarning us that we all need to buy it? I'll buy it! That's one sale



Tindre said:

I would imagine it selling like hot cakes in Japan at least..
And now that so many people have played the 3ds version I would imagine it would sell well over here too. But I guess they could wait for the WiiU to get more popular... Zelda is on the way so..



WiiLovePeace said:

Oh & whoops! It was an error passed over from the article but Hitoshi Yamagami is from Nintendo, not Intelligent Systems.



sillygostly said:

@WiiLovePeace : I don't think they're speaking about Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem here but rather a new self-contained Fire Emblem experience for the Wii U.

I would like to have tried the DS and Wii versions but they were probably only issued a single print in Australia so I was unable to get my hands on them by the time I had considered dabbling into the Fire Emblem franchise.

I'll definitely want to get my hands on any subsequent releases though as I loved Awakening (which surprised me considering that I hate tactical strategy games). It has quickly become byfar the most played game in my 3DS library to date.



GreatPlayer said:

Does he mean that most boxed games on Wii U need to sell at least 0.7 million to be profitable?



WiiLovePeace said:

@sillygostly I hope you're right. But that still means FE x SMT would still need to sell a lot to make profit, wouldn't it? Since the Nintendo guy said an FE game by itself needs to sell a lot on Wii U to make it viable. So you put an FE game with a SMT game & then it needs to sell tonnes! Though it depends on what type of graphics they are going for it etc.... I dunno.

@SuperCharlie78 & because most DS games are region-free he could even import the FE games from America & still play them!



DualWielding said:

how much has awakening sold? I would think the Wii U version would sell about half of that



DualWielding said:

checked the link and it says 0.95 for awakening..... I don't know if the figure counts eshop sells, if it doesn't then that's a very good number because awakening sold many eshop copies due to lack of physical inventory... however if it's both physical and digital its slightly dissapointing....



Slapshot said:

@GreatPlayer For major first party development, yes, that it exactly what he is stating. Nintendo is in the HD era now and this is the reality of things.



TwilightV said:

I see we've chosen art from the worst performing games in the series (in the US) for this article. I assume it's because they're the only console games in the series thus far (again, in the US)?



GiftedGimp said:

VGZ, NPD etc all track physical copies, they (at the moment) can't track digital sales and rely on offocial sales of digital copies being supplied to them. NPD are soon going to be tracking both physical and digital sales.



turnmebackwards said:

Ugh the Wii U is a console of depression at the moment ever since I brought the console everywhere even Nintendo sites just read doom & gloom.



RedRocBoy said:

I definitely think they would pull that off easily especially if they advertise the game properly.



Slapshot said:

If Nintendo takes a $20 cut like third parties, that would put the development cost for a new Fire Emblem on the Wii U around $18 million. I think that is a plausible number, especially when you consider Grand Theft Auto IV cost $100 million to produce on the PS3 and Xbox 360.



GentlemansRuth said:

I've owned every single fire emblem to grace the shores of America, I would by this entry as well without a moments hesitation.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Thats actually not that bad though, certainly not when compared to what other companies expect from their games. Its actually pretty reasonable for an HD console all things considered.

Its actually pretty interesting that first they announced the Shin Magami Tensei IV/Fire Emblem: Awakening promo and now they're announcing this. Perhaps they're trying to drum up interest for the two in anticipation of the cross-over so that hopefully it does well enough to prove theres a big enough fanbase for another full fledged console Fire Emblem.



Peach64 said:

I love how people criticised Ubisoft 2 days ago for saying 350k Zombi U sales were not profitable. Some people really laid into them about how they must be mis-managing their budgets, but it's totally fine for Nintendo to say the same thing.

Just to be clear, not criticising Nintendo here, but the way people constantly criticise 3rd parties for making perfectly sensible business decisions. One guy on here actually said Ubisoft shouldn't be thinking about sales of their game and their ONLY concern should be boosting Wii U sales.



Burning_Spear said:

^^^ I know, right. People sometimes forget this is a business and that CEOs — Iwata excepted — get fired for making decisions that lose millions of dollars.



Araknie said:

Fire Emblem is a niche game and i understand that developing a niche game on a new console it's like the best for a company like Intelligent Systems...



Shworange said:

I love fire emblem. It's a great unique tactical rpg, but with uniqueness brings niche appeal. Right now, Nintendo needs to sell systems, hence mass appeal mode must be engaged. That I'm sure doesn't mean that fire emblem U won't see the light of day. If in 5 years from now another 40 million systems are sold, we may see the game at the latter part of the WiiU's life span.



SuperSah said:

I don't think they should risk it just yet. The console's install base is so low it's not worth it right now, and to get them kind of sales, they'll need to massively appeal to the casual crowd of gamers too.

I think it's a series better suited to portable play anyway.



banacheck said:

Thats a very good point, but i've found for some people if it's not Nintendo it's no good sort of thing, ignorant at best.

new Fire Emblem on the Wii U around $18 million. I think that is a plausible number, especially when you consider Grand Theft Auto IV cost $100 million to produce on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

I cannot see Nintendo wanting to spend big money on a game like some 3rd party's, until the system starts selling.



Reala said:

So its not even just 3rd parties taking a wait and see approach to releasing their games on wii u then



19Robb92 said:

I was expecting more. 700k copies aren't that much. Isn't the 3DS game alone at about 1m already?



element187 said:

@GreatPlayer no, he's just estimating how much this game would cost Nintendo to make and estimating how many copies would be needed to pull a profit.

Different games have different development costs... ID imagine Mario Kart 8 and SM3DW would be far more expensive to make.

As long as Nintendo makes it as good as Awakening they will have another hit.. Offering players their own avatar was a smart decision, as well as the marrying up of your units allows for new levels of strategies because the offspring takes skills from each parent.

I think they can hit that goal in Japan alone



Morph said:

Or look at it like this, most of the wii u systems sold you would imagine have gone to hardcore nintendo fans, hardcore fans also dig fire emblem. Get developing now and in 2 yrs time it will be ready with a greater install base



MadAdam81 said:

If they start it now, by the time its ready to release then there will be many more consoles due to all the new future Nintendo releases, which will be enough of an install base for them to make some profit.
However, the goal isn't to make just a small profit, but to make a good enough profit. Any company would rather focus their efforts elsewhere on a far more profitable venture, unless they cannot cut their losses.
I am sure Nintendo will turn the Wii U from a loss into a profit in the future though, it just needs some time, more must buy games and better marketing.



Doma said:

Meh, if they failed to meet that, i'd advise them to recoup costs by porting it to the 3ds.

Personally, i wouldn't buy home console for a SRPG (better suited to handhelds). You know it would never “trigger a surge of interest” as suggested here.



Cyrogen said:

I do not own a 3DS, but I'd be quite happy to buy a port of the 3DS version for the Wii U.



FineLerv said:

"Wait, does that mean that 'Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei' game for Wii U isn't happening anymore? Or is he just forewarning us that we all need to buy it? I'll buy it! That's one sale "

Me too! I've just downloaded the Fire Emblem demo on 3DS and it reminded me how much I love that series!



snoox said:

For every person that already has it on 3DS, me included, do they expect us to buy it again on Wii U? I surly would not.

Also, I can't remember if the Fire Emblem / Shin Megami crossover game was for 3DS or Wii U... wouldn't it make more sense to have that for 3DS cuz 3DS has had those games while Wii U has not?



crobatman said:

I think Awakening attracted a lot of new fans but to reach that sales target, Nintendo would have to wait until the console starts selling.



King47 said:

I was holding on buying a wii u waiting for fire emblem. It is my favorite nintendo franchise. If they aren't going to make it, then there is nothing for me on the wii u. I can live without zelda. The fact that they're not making f zero is not helping either.



Slapshot said:

Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem is in development by both Atlus and Intelligent Systems and published (read: funded) by Nintendo.



crobatman said:

@Doma sorry I wasn't clear in what I said
What I meant to say was:
While Awakening attracted a lot of new fans to the series, Nintendo would have to wait until the Wii U starts selling if they want to see those sort of sales figures



Einherjar said:

I this a general statement or "for the time being" ? What i mean is: If the upcomming titles bring in enough money, would this gamble be lessend or is that already calculated in ?



Spoony_Tech said:

So what now even Nintendo is pulling support from the system?! Get the system in peoples hands and then talk numbers!



ricklongo said:

I'm not a huge fan of story-based crossovers, so I'd really rather get a new Fire Emblem title than SMT vs. FE. Let's hope it happens eventually.



UnseatingKDawg said:

While I'm not really a fan of Fire Emblem, I say GO FOR IT! I'm almost positive that one of those games could reach that amount fairly quickly.



Warruz said:

All i can say is, i would buy it. I assume most are being reserved with Wii U until Holiday.



DarkNinja9 said:

never got the 3ds version but it sure was on my to get list by the demo... so if it came to wii u i sure will get it



Sceptic said:

So even Nintendo is avoiding the WiiU now because they can't make big games profitable on it.

Oh the irony. Oh the tragedy.



nil said:

The Game Pad touch screen would be excellent for a strategy game like Fire Emblem and their excellent anime in HD would be beautiful. The huge success of the 3DS game could draw hard core gamers to the Wii U if one was made for it. Pikmin 3 is about to prove the awesomeness of using the touch pad for RTS, a game category that Wii U could dominate.



shinpichu said:

At least it's something reasonable for the FE franchise and not some target like 6 million.



Pierceton said:

Fire Emblem: Awakening Global Total as of 22nd Jun 2013 (units): 0.95m

So that has done well but yeah I agree it would be smart to wait until more Wii Us sell.



Dolphinsquared said:

@Pierceton Well, first they had to get through the crossover game first.

And frankly, I want to keep my fingers crossed for Fire Emblem, since it's an awesome series.



Pierceton said:

@Dolphinsquared oh I'm not saying they shouldn't do it at all but I do understand why they aren't yet business wise. But cross platform would be a good idea!



element187 said:

@Peach64 One would expect a Fire Emblem game to cost far more than a first person perspective game.. the dialog/writing in fire emblem alone would take considerably more time then the entire ZombiU game would to produce.... the amount of time it takes to make a fire emblem game is so great they didn't have enough time to add feet to the characters.



element187 said:

@snoox They aren't talking about porting Awakening. They are talking about creating a brand new Fire Emblem game for Wii U specifically.... porting would be significantly cheaper option, but how many people would rebuy the game?

I may double dip for $40 to have an HD version.



element187 said:

@Sceptic Fire Emblem isn't a big franchise, or a big game.. Its always been a small time franchise for Nintendo that usually shows up later in a systems life cycle.



Araknie said:

Really, there's actually people thinking that the sales on Fire Emblem: Awakening are good?

0.95 out of more than 30 milion consoles on 3DS, it's a niche title that's also so expensive because it goes far in animation and detail by necessity of gameplay. That ratio is low, whoever thinks it did well doesn't really know.

I didn't sell much i can't even see it right now on the Wii U it's not a game that sells good.

Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon did more than 2 milion, that's more like it. 2 milion and up and there you a game that drives the sales of a console.

For the Wii U a ratio of about 700.000 sales is about right and that's really high considering there's barely more than 3 milion Wii Us sold out there, considering mine also.

Really, everybody complains about Nintendo but who knows what's talking about?

I did some research before commenting because i didn't want to sound stupid and check somethings out before agreeing with the mass.




That's all? Well clearly there is one way to achieve this: Games of Thrones. Have Intelligent Systems make a Games of Thrones game exclusive to Wii U with gameplay and assets of Fire Emblem...ta*da



Sean_Aaron said:

I'd settle for re-releasing previous entries in the series and using the engine from the last game myself. The Gamepad would be excellent for a tactical RPG, so it would be a shame for Fire Emblem not to get an outing on Wii U.



Sceptic said:

@element187: I meant 'big' as in 'lots of development effort' here, sorry for any confusion.

As opposed to just slapping larger textures on the same old moronic sidescroller.



Philip_J_Reed said:


Seriously. Fire Emblem Chronicles, or something like that. Older games (not all of them made it Westward anyway...did they?), Awakening engine...I wouldn't be able to get my wallet out fast enough.



Yorumi said:

It's the reality of HD game development, graphics just cost that much now. It's not an unreasonable number to hit given a bit more time for the system to sell. Really though it highlights why I wish people would stop caring so much about graphics.



willweinert said:

Assuming one isn't in development and assume that since Awakening took approx. one year to make, and HD titles take twice as much time and rescources to make as before according to Miyamoto, let's say to keep production costs low they keep the team smaller and this game takes two years to make. By then the Wii U will definitely have Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and perhaps a new Zelda, all of which are games which sell units. Then there are games like Pikmin 3, DK: Tropical Freeze, Wind Waker HD, Assasins Creed IV, Watch Dogs, Project Cars, a good slew of indie titles such as A Hat in Time or Armikrog, and X, the game I'm personally most excited for, all of which should give the system a healthier ecosystem with more diverse gameplay styles. Basically by the time it comes out, the Wii U is going to have, in all likelihood, a significantly higher install base. Awakening sold extremely well for a Fire Emblem game, nearly one million copies, so it's not unreasonable to think that if the same audience buys the Wii U and it attains a similar install base, or even just a few million more, that it could reach it's goals.

At least they aren't like those big third parties that spend way too much and have to close down their studio when they sell four million and not six. I have one more question though: how come they're making SMT X FE, but not a regular Fire Emblem?



QuickSilver88 said:

@Peach64 actually ZombieU did 470K physical copies not counting whatever eShop sales it had......that is really no bad at all for a new franchise on released on lunach day. I would say Ubi should eait until next year when Wiiunhas 8-10mil installed base and then announce a sequal. I am afraid a lot of these publishers our going to struggle on next gen when excellent games like Tomb Riader sell 3.5mil copies on and installed base on 150mil. It will be years and year until Ps4/xbone reach that level which is why we are going to still see a lot of titles coming out on ps360 well thru 2014.



QuickSilver88 said:

@willweinert Because Altus is developing it and Nintendo likely publishing. This way Nintendo does't have to use internal resources.....I for one am hot hot hot for this SMTxFE crossover as I love the demon collecting and fusing in SMT games and that mixed with FE style SRPG should be awesome. It will sell like mad in Japan so I think 1mil world wide sales should be easily achievable.



WingedSnagret said:

I think it'd be best if there is a Wii U Fire Emblem, that it would follow in Awakening's footsteps. In other words, wait until the more famous IPs (Mario, Zelda, ect.) come out and build up the userbase, then it will be much more welcome.



hYdeks said:

Wait till the install base grows, I think after this year, there will be a lot more Wii U's in peoples homes



MrWalkieTalkie said:

Well the fans have certainly grown incredibly well since Awakening's release. And SMT X FE might just be the final push they need to get a humongous fanbase!



Epicnessofme99 said:

Fire Emblem is an instant-buy for me as always, got hooked ever since the the first Fire Emblem that came out on the US for the GBA.



AJWolfTill said:

I think the reason why they are making this crossover game is because of the funding risk. Co development with another game company means each has to invest less financially + you are targeting the fan base of both franchises, which hopefully brings in bigger sales. If the recent North America promotion is any indication this game is still on the way.



WinterWarm said:


The last I heard, 800,000 copies. But that was before the European release. So probably over one million.

Okay, this stupid and moronic. They said Awakening had to sell 180,000 copies or no more Fire Emblem. Then, when Awakening boomed in sales, they say now that a Wii U version( or completely new game) would have to sell 700,000 copies. Kinda idiotic. The world gave you lots and lots of moolah for Awakening. They want more! Give it to 'em!



AVahne said:

SMT x FE seems to be doable since it's a crossover game that can be funded by both Nintendo and Atlus.
But a TRUE Fire Emblem game for Wii U will probably never be released simply because of how niche the series is in the west and because of how badly the last several games (besides Awakening) sold in Japan .
I really hope Awakening and SMT x FE will bring in more fans and more Wii U owners so that we can one day see a Fire Emblem 14 or 15 on Wii U.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@snoox From reading the articles about the crossover, the game appears to be strictly a RPG (so not a strategy RPG like standard Fire Emblems). In that case they're probably looking to leverage the home console's power for making the game since they really can't go as basic as Fire Emblem's graphics and simplicity.



AVahne said:

Those articles only say that it is some type of RPG, they don't rule out the possibility of it being an SRPG.
But really, it's most likely an SRPG. Fire Emblem just makes the most sense now as an SRPG, and the SMT franchise is no stranger to the SRPG genre, what with the Majin Tensei series (SF) and the Devil Survivor series (DS/3DS).



WYLD-WOO said:

Intelligent Systems and Nintendo, on behalf of my friends and myself you have our full support for this dream project. We are talking about a separate Fire Emblem game as this article states. I`m looking forward to the SMT x FE crossover but to hear news of a potential Fire Emblem game being developed for the Wii U can only help console sales. Apart from only a couple of older Nintendo consoles we have seen a Fire Emblem game on every system so far. So Fire Emblem for the Wii U, why not?
Would like to point out that a copy of Path of Radiance on (GameCube) sells on eBay for around £70-90 and Radiant Dawn (Wii) sells for £40-60. Even Shadow Dragon on the DS still sells for a silly price. I`m sure people would grab any older Fire Emblem games on the Virtual Console eshop should they be released. That would more than pay for the development of a Wii U Fire Emblem project.

Please, please, pretty please with cherries on top, Intelligent System start getting on with development of a separate Fire Emblem game for the Wii U.



AVahne said:

It's as if you're saying that there would be no reason to buying Final Fantasy 15 on PS4 because you already have Final Fantasy 13 on PS3. It's not the same game.
And most likely, they chose Wii U for the game because the 3DS is simply not powerful enough to handle the vision they have for the game. It'll probably be a massive game. Besides, 3DS has only had ONE Fire Emblem game. It doesn't really matter at all if a console already has a game from the series on it. Fire Emblem usually covers most of Nintendo consoles, and is usually at its best on home consoles, where the games can be more complex. Besides, the series has been on every single Nintendo home console besides the N64.



aj_fowl said:

@WiiLovePeace I think he means a full scale high budget game. That means that if they made a FE on Wii U it would be so awesome it's makes Awakening look boring.



One-Winged-Pit said:

I do not even have a Wii U but I would buy this as soon as it came out. Why? Because Fire Emblem games are a pain to find after release.



kkslider5552000 said:

Well they're already making a crossover game with SMT. I think we can wait for a while a new console FE. Probably better to continue the momentum they have on 3DS anyway.

Also, only 700,000 for an HD title? Pfft, they need to learn from SE and need to sell millions for their game to actually sell a profit.



unrandomsam said:

I am not bothered about the look (Or stuff like none Japanese voice tracks). If it saves that much money just make it like a gamecube game and upscale it like they are doing with Windwaker HD.

Anyway then they can sell an improved version afterwards which seems to be something they love doing.



unrandomsam said:

And remove casual mode and DLC. (Cosmetic DLC maybe is ok or stuff that you do after the main game perhaps but not stuff that is pretty much required to get through it on the most difficult setting.)



TwilightV said:

@Koto: VGChartz says it performed slightly better than Path Of Radiance. Radiant Dawn was the worst.

Edit: Scratch that, I was looking at worldwide sales and this mixed up Path Of Radiance and Shadow Dragon. However, Radiant Dawn was still the worst.



MrZanctom said:

Please oh pleas, dear god make a Fire Emblem for Wii U. Make my dreams come true Nintendo.



Klunk23 said:

It has to happen... it must. As long they make it just as good as awakening I think it can sell that. Plus if They haven't even started working on it then it won't come out till three years from now or so. By then there should be enough Wii Us out there to get this the numbers it needs.



Technosphile said:

Not even Nintendo wants to put games on the Wii U because they know it won't turn a profit! Is this for real? I'm surprised other gaming sites haven't pounced on this story, this is easily the most damning thing yet said about the Wii U.

What a disaster. One wonders what (if any) decent Nintendo console will emerge from the smoldering wreckage of Wii U in 2016.



AVahne said:

Sad to see that Shadow Dragon beat the far superior Radiant Dawn. Wii just didn't have the right audience for these games it seems.



GreatPlayer said:

Nintendo, you need to do whatever the fans want to keep your loyal fan base. If even you do not want to produce a game that we want, then should we expect third-parties such as Ubisoft or EA to do so?



JaxonH said:

@snoox There is no "it" that is on 3DS and is coming to Wii U. Every handheld gets a Fire Emblem (usually 2 for Japan, but only 1 localized for PAL and NTSC). For 3DS we got Awakening, although considering its success I wouldn't be surprised if the 2nd Fire Emblem game for the 3DS, which will most likely be made eventually, comes to Europe and North America as well. There is a separate Fire Emblem game in development for Wii U, a crossover title with Shin Megami Tensei. And no, I don't think it makes more sense for 3DS to get Fire Emblem games above Wii U. 3DS doesn't "get those games", it simply "got one of those games". And it is not true that Wii U "doesn't get those games", it just "hasn't gotten one yet", which can easily be explained by the fact the console has only been out 7 months. Wii got a Fire Emblem game, as well as the Gamecube before it. It would only make sense that the Wii U gets a Fire Emblem game also. The question is, will Wii U get a pure Fire Emblem game IN ADDITION TO the crossover title with SMT, or will it only receive the crossover game. Only time will tell...



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Koto Well that's true. However, I'm going to guess that Atlus is going to do the animations for this one and chances are they'll want to leverage the additional power from the Wii U to do so.

As of the moment, the 3DS has not shown that it can handle both the high quality artwork for a SMT title while handling animations on the level of Fire Emblem. It will most likely require both for this game since I doubt Intelligent Systems will want to just see just a 1st person perspective with enemies getting hit by random off screen attacks. At the same time Atlus will most likely not want to have bland models in their game.



Relias said:

Funny thing is.. if Nintendo actually released this.. they would probably sell 700,000 plus Wii U's to cover it.. LOL..



dyopri said:

this will sell a million copies in a week! 500,000 in japan and 500,000 units everywher else!



CptStone said:

i wish 700k bought black ops 2!!!! maybe we would get some DLC... . I'm getting this too .. .



Jaydenn said:

Hmm... The current drought of games means that Wii U owners may be so desperate for new games that they'll all flock to buy a new FE game



Cia said:

So now they stop making the games we want 'cause they might not sell well enough? Nintendo should start to prioritize: Which is more important, their real fans, or casual audience that might defect at any time? And how are they expecting the Wii U sell any better if they don't offer enough variety of quality games to the system?



MoralityGames said:

The hardcore turn-based Strategy/RPG fans Fire Emblem attracts don't have a strong presence on consoles because development costs are too high. Platformers (Mario, Zelda) and first-person shooters rule the sales on the big screen. Radiant Dawn's scaled down Support system suggests the simulation that made Awakening's characters so emotionally involving will be the first element to be parsed out. I don't see why Nintendo and consumers can't be content with a quality handheld production.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...