Nintendo shared all sorts of sale data about Switch milestones and the new Pokémon games over the past week, but one title that was perhaps overlooked was its tactical role-playing mobile hit, Fire Emblem Heroes.
According to Sensor Tower sales estimates, the free-to-play title has now generated close to one billion in revenue - with earnings of $959 million. It's achieved this after five years, with its original launch taking place on 2nd February 2017.
No other Nintendo games come close to Heroes - with the second-highest title in terms of revenue going to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. So far that title has made $267 million. This follows with Mario Kart Tour in third, currently at $259 million.
The biggest Fire Emblem Heroes spenders by country are Japan ($523 million), US in second with $308 million and Canada in third - generating around 32 percent of the game's total revenue.
Have you played Fire Emblem Heroes on mobile? Spent any money on it? Tell us down below.
Surprised Sega hasn’t been out with Shining Force sooner with the popularity of FE
Yep, I've played it. And checking my credit history, it says here I spent.... $959 million on it. Huh, neat.
I just love that FE has such a bright future when it was on its death bed years ago. I do think it is time for some sort of collection and some sort of console spin off to heroes though.
I played Heroes for a few years after launch, though I stopped when it felt too repetitive and too focused on paying more if I wanted to make more progress and get all the units I wanted. It was the first and last gacha game I really got into, and I personally don't plan to get into more. That being said, if the money from this goes towards funding more great main series FE games on the Switch, then this is good news!
The game actually started out pretty well. Sure it had the usual microtransaction garbage but it was kept to only being able to buy the premium currency. Now they sell packs with 5 star heroes, resource packs, holiday packs whenever those are around and of course the dreaded FEH pass. A $10 a month subscription service that locks quality of life improvements behind it, among accelerated resources gains so that you quickly surpass what F2P players are able to scrounge up. The microtransactions keep slowly getting more and more egregious and yet they get introduced at a snail's pace so that people get comfortable without realizing that they're paying more and more...$5 here...$10 there...and maybe even $40 because come ON it's a special event!
And from the looks of things...the strategy is working.
It turns out people love them some Fire Emblem characters.
@ATaco Oh yeah, I completely forgot about FEH pass! I think I quit around the time that was implemented, it just became way too obvious they were trying to squeeze every last cent they could out of players and I wasn't happy with it. I bought the $4 starter pack once when that came out and that was the only time I spent any of my own money on the game (I got a few Google Play vouchers from doing surveys that I used in-game too, but those were pretty much free orbs). I keep an eye on the game because there's at least a lot of cool art that comes out of it, but I haven't touched it in at least a year. Maybe two, it's hard to remember when I quit.
Remember when Fire Emblem was literally about to be dead before Awakening released? And now here we are with one single game making almost 1 billion dollars alone. Mental.
Haven’t played it in a while though it’s not because I hate it. It’s because my iPad can’t support it anymore.🙁
Maybe they won't need to shill it in Smash anymore now.
That's cool, but bring back FE Cipher.
@Noid They don't "shill it" in Smash, it has a lot of representation because it's a popular series with a lot of memorable characters. Not many series have anywhere near as many distinct characters as Fire Emblem. And before anyone says the Smash characters aren't distinct, yes, Marth, Roy, Lucina, and Chrom all share a moveset, but every other FE character has a unique moveset. I'd love to see them branch out to a different weapon type for a new FE rep in the next Smash game, but even sticking to swords, the Smash lineup is way more diverse than people give it credit for.
was really well done in many ways.. I played for a year or so but it had so much content that I got burned out. Just amazing value in that game.
@ReaperMelia why are some people so proud to not pay money for things they enjoy?
Gatcha is very profitable.
Other Nintendo mobile titles (Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, Mario Kart Tour) have far higher download numbers than Fire Emblem Heroes, but none of them are monetized property.
Meanwhile at their headquarters:
@ChakraStomps I'm not proud to not pay money for things I enjoy, I just don't want to pay money for what essentially boils down to gambling for digital characters. FEH offers a F2P route and I wanted to take that route because it was perfectly viable for a few years, but it got to a point where they shoved in so many microtransactions that it was too much. There are people who blow thousands of dollars and put themselves in debt over games like this. If anything, I'm proud I never fell into that trap despite having played it for years on end as the game became increasingly more and more pay to win. If people responsibly spend their money on this, then that's their choice and I won't tell them what they can or can't do. There's nothing wrong with choosing to not pay if the game is free, though.
I played it for some time at launch and loved it back then. I came back to it a bit later to find out they now have a subscription and everything is firmly locked behind paywalls. I quit soon after that again. I can understand that people love playing these games, because in essence they are fun to play, but the gacha system is not for me. I was addicted to one mobile game at one point, quit cold turkey and removed all games from my mobile phone. Life has been better ever since.
I realised that's all I play it for when I noticed all my teams, brigades and that little town part of the game are all female characters.
This is actually terrible news. These games would actually be some of Nintendo's most profitable games. I'm glad it appears that Nintendo has already abandoned the idea of releasing more mobile games. This with the news that PlayStation makes more profit on DLC/microtransactions then from from straight game sales is a disturbing trend. Microtransactions do not make a game more enjoyable. In fact, just the opposite.
Apple/Google takes 30% of the revenue from every mobile game as a platform royalty, so Nintendo has actually earned ~$671 million from Fire Emblem Heroes. That's the equivalent of a first-party $60 game selling ~11.1 million copies.
By comparison, the best-selling mainline Fire Emblem game ever (Three Houses) has sold under 4 million copies.
Nope, I don't like where this is going. Gacha games need to die, and fast, or I can see us heading into a future where even full priced console games will commonly be filled with these things.
This is not a good trend. Good for Nintendo but this needs to stop.
@Ryu_Niiyama It's a decade now, Fire Emblem Awakening came out in 2012, we are in 2022 now. It's not years ago, It's a decade ago now. Nintendo should use these mobile money to celebrate Fire Emblem Awakening's 10th anniversary by remastering that game for Switch.
@Specter_of-the_OLED I am aware of when awakening came out.
I played when it first came out, and had a good time. I allowed myself to spend $40 on it (my reasoning being that’s what I’d pay for a 3DS game). It probably wasn’t too long afterward that I lost interest. I’ll stick to the main games.
And it's the best Nintendo mobile. Even after 5 years, I still love the game. Don't play nearly as before, but still play after all this time.
Great gogamogga, it's always quietly just plugging away.
Probably should avoid using Apple products. They aren't as future proofed as Android.
As a huge FE fan, this is immensely disappointing. Nintendo is just succeeding on the back of gambling mechanics
I really enjoyed the app when it came out. It’s the only mobile phone game I’ve played for a few years. I mean, I’ve barely been able to keep most gaming apps downloaded for a few weeks in most cases. I gave up on it like so many others when the monetization push started putting paywalls over features. I did go back to the maybe a year ago to play the story chapters I hadn’t played yet and then deleted the game again afterward because the whole thing felt too complicated now. Still enjoyed the story well enough though. Glad it’s Fire Emblem that is having such tremendous success
Played it for a bit after it first came out, and came back once after that for a bit, but haven't touched it since.
Right now Senran Kagura: New Link is my mobile gacha of choice (though I haven't spent a cent on it yet), and have been playing it for the past few months, so it's been holding my attention pretty well.
I'm still playing this everyday. Even when I'd made up my mind that I was going to stop playing, I still came back to it. It's a very satisfying loop of "get new hero, train new hero, all while hoarding items" kind of thing. I'm pretty sure I've played this for at least a few minutes every day since it launched. And I've only spent $10 for it (and that was more of a "giving something back to the devs" than a "I need this orb pack" thing).
@somnambulance what, you don't like characters that have 2 paragraphs worth of effects on their weapons and skills? lol
I remember going back to three houses after playing FEH recently and sighing in relief when I see death blow is considered strong and not
"If unit is within 2 spaces of foe and unit has a bonus, gain atk/def +7 unless unit is within 3 spaces of foe but negate that if a ranged unit is in cardinal directions of unit in which case grant guaranteed follow up and negate counterattack unless unit has a penalty on which case negate penalty and grant bonus based on penalty amount."
@ATaco lol. I’m ok with it for dedicated gaming, but definitely not when it’s a casual thing that I mostly played in my office at work!
@ReaperMelia I’m not an adamant FE hater by any means, but… come on. Sakurai obviously has a raging hard on for the series. Having only half of the eight characters with unique move sets is in fact the exact opposite of “way more diverse than people give it credit for.”
Anecdotally, Zelda is my absolute favorite franchise of all time and I find its representation in Smash to be insulting, having one of the same issues as FE in that half the characters play mostly the same, compounded by a problem that even FE doesn’t have in that all three of those characters are also all Links. Ganondorf sharing Captain Falcon’s move set is an additional embarrassment.
If we’re going with “popularity” as to why so many FE characters got into Smash, let’s look at the estimated total sales of the two Nintendo franchises that take the number one and two spots, respectively, in both Smash representation and units sold:
Mario: 763 million units sold, nine playable characters in Smash (or up to fourteen depending on how you choose to categorize Yoshi, Wario, DK, etc.)
Pokémon: 380 million units sold, eight playable characters in Smash (or up to eleven depending on how you count PKMN Trainer)
Contrast this with the following:
Fire Emblem: 16.5 million units sold, eight playable characters in Smash (or eleven depending on how you categorize gender swaps), tied with Pokémon.
Tied with Pokémon.
This of course isn’t taking into account the billion dollars made off of mobile gacha garbage, that’s true and fair enough, but… come on. Even the most dedicated FE fan must see that there’s at least a LITTLE shilling going on.
It's a good game with great art, but I lost interest in this game when it felt like their was no sense of accomplishment. Didn't felt any achievement in this game. Lot's of mobile games have made me lost interest in the game because it doesn't feel like a "real/full" game.
I really love the Langrisser mobile game more than Fire Emblem heroes, because it feels like an actual "real" game with a sense of accomplishment and I still have interest in the game, and it's less casual and more grindy, which I like a lot.
I need to get back into Fire Emblem Heroes and now might be a good time to check it out again.
I used to play it heavily, but fell off at some point when I started to get into Dragon Ball Legends.
@westman98 "none of them are monetized as strongly"
You are kidding right? Both animal crossing and Mario kart are monetized to the gills, much more so than feh which lasted like 3 years with very minimal monetization, whereas tour came out swinging from the very beginning. Out of the three, feh was actually the last one to include passes. All the while being the only one not blatantly aimed at children.
The reason feh succeeded is because it actually adapted the source material into a unique mobile experience that you couldn't find on consoles releases, while tour and pocket camp are just bastardized downgrades from the real thing that no one in their right mind would touch when the real stuff is just cheaper and infinitely better.
Omg, i hate when people talk about revenue. It means nothing. How much profit it made would be interesting, but this confuses so many people, especially regarding sports like UFC.
@westman98 you have to either take out all expenses, or none. It doesn't work to just take out the expenses for platform charge...
The comparison is far from perfect but it's pretty clear that Fire Emblem Heroes is by far and away the most successful Fire Emblem game.
@ReaperMelia I don't really get the pay to win part. Yeah the gambling to get the characters you want because it is random is the trap. But they give you a lot for free and paying a little bit of money to boost things isn't terrible. I don't know much about the monthly game pass but seems like many companies have gone down that route in a way to keep fresh content going. I rather have a full game price and some DLC instead without the trickery so I do agree with you there.
@twztid13 Yeah, revenue does not = profit/earnings after taxes.
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