Fire Emblem Heroes is just starting to settle into a number of smart devices around the world, and players can decide whether to play through various modes for free or gamble orbs in the 'Summon' part of the game. We're still rattling through for our review and have, so far, had no need to spend money, and as we suggested in our guide for getting started it seems entirely optional (at least early on).
Yet the 'gacha' mechanic, in which you blindly bet orbs to earn new characters and then buy more of the in-game currency with real-world money, is proven to work well in the Japanese market; in the West, though, it's considered to be a controversial business practice by some.
Early on, though, it seems to be paying off for Nintendo in the Japanese market. It's very early so we're not drawing full conclusions yet, but Fire Emblem Heroes is currently top of the Japanese iOS free download chart and third in the grossing chart - that's a fast start. By comparison the latest results on App Annie show it in 33rd and 35th place respective in the UK, while in the US the free download is way up in 2nd place but it's 22nd in the grossing chart.
Notably, the early reception of the game, likely driven by those early revenues in Japan, has prompted a sharp upturn in Nintendo's share value. We previously reported on a drop driven by concerns over Nintendo's financial results, but those losses have now been wiped out. In today's Tokyo trading Nintendo's shares closed on 23,945 Yen, up a whopping 6.33%.
It'll be interesting to see, in the coming days, whether a notable gulf forms between the performance and revenue of Fire Emblem Heroes in Japan and elsewhere.
Let us know what you think of Fire Emblem Heroes so far down in the comments.