Why the new Fire Emblem Heroes update shows that Nintendo is listening

Posted by Jessica Famularo on February 16th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It’s exciting to see Nintendo delving into the mobile sphere, regardless of whether it’s to give fans another platform to enjoy their fans or simply a sound business venture. Two of the company's announced mobile games have finally come to fruition, but they were slightly soiled by iffy free-to-play mechanics and other foibles. Nintendo’s mobile future was called into question, but now things are looking a little sunnier with the latest Fire Emblem Heroes update.

Fire Emblem Heroes is a well-made game -- it takes the best of the series’ strategy RPG elements and condenses them into an approachable, pick up and play mobile package. It’s not as deep as the full-length Fire Emblem games, but it’s a fun peek at what these games have to offer.

However, Heroes runs into trouble with its free-to-play gacha system. While IAPs don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing -- we’re all for supporting developers -- there is a fine line between turning a profit and downright exploiting your player-base. Fire Emblem Heroes drew a little too close to the latter for some, thanks to its expensIVE summoning system which requires players to cash in Orbs for the chance to draw a rare character from a pool. Stamina, too, the energy you need to play the game, is expended by playing through missions and equipping skills. If you want to play the game longer, you’ll need to pay up for more Stamina or wait for a lengthy timer. These things are fine if kept to a happy medium, but when done poorly can make the game nigh unplayable.

Nintendo has likely heard these complaints, especially after some Redditors took to contacting Nintendo en masse to protest some of Fire Emblem Heroes’ systems. They'll be extending the Worldwide Launch Celebration indefinitely, which ensures that Stamina requirements won't be raised any time soon. Players also will have new ways to earn experience points when fighting lower level enemies -- another fan request. Nintendo's expanding the App Release Bonus until March 14, too, which grants players 2 new free Orbs a day, as opposed to one.

All of this suggestS that Nintendo is paying attention to player concerns. While we can't realistically expect Nintendo to completely eliminate IAPs -- rare characters add a nice element of challenge, and the company needs to make money off of these games -- but they can work to make the game accessible to anyone, regardless of how much they're able to invest inFire Emblem Heroes. If Nintendo continues on this path, perhaps Nintendo will be able to cement itself as a mobile presence more firmly.

What do you think of Nintendo'srecent mobile efforts? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Posted in: News, Opinion
Tagged With: Nintendo, Fire Emblem: Heroes, Fire Emblem
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