Today, a third big Nintendo franchise hit the App Store in as many months: following Super Mario Run and Pokémon Duel, Fire Emblem Heroes is now available worldwide. (Though it’s still not showing in some regions, so if it doesn’t load, try again in a couple of hours.)
What is Fire Emblem?
Fire Emblem might not be a household name, but the strategy-RPG franchise is huge in Japan and has a dedicated following elsewhere. The series features turn-based battles between armies of heroes and is well regarded for its combination of compelling story, memorable characters, and strategic gameplay.
Nintendo has reimagined the game for mobile, promising a condensed version of the main series that can be played in quick sessions. Several new game modes have been added including online arena duels and special challenge scenarios. It looks as though Fire Emblem heroes will pack a lot of punch for series fans and more casual strategy gaming fans who aren’t yet familiar with the series.
The game is free to download with optional in-app purchases, though it’s too early to say how aggressively the game encourages players to spend their cash. This is a departure from the one-time premium pricing of Super Mario Run, and it will be interesting to see how players react to this switch to the freemium model.
Super Mario news
Speaking of the platforming plumber, we got some interesting news about Super Mario Run recently. Nintendo has announced that since its launch in mid-December, the game has been downloaded 78 million times and earned roughly $53 million in revenue, which is higher than analysts were expecting. That means more than 5% of players paid the $9.99 upgrade fee, which is a significant conversion rate for premium content.
Super Mario Run has also received an unexpected update this past week, adding an Easy mode for those struggling to get through the game, and making it easier to earn Toads in the Toad Rally mode.
More from Nintendo
Nintendo has promised at least one more full iOS game before the end of the year, likely to be based on the hugely popular town simulation series Animal Crossing. After years of neglecting the App Store in favor of their own handhelds, it’s good to see the gaming giants finally embrace mobile gaming, and it’s expected that we’ll get 2-3 games per year in future from the company.
Nintendo also has a new games console – the Switch – due out next month, and its success (or lack thereof) in that department could impact its development work for iOS. Whatever happens, hopefully we’ll see more famous franchises come our way before long.