Fire Emblem: Awakening Breaks Franchise Sales Records

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Fire Emblem: Awakening Breaks Franchise Sales Records

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Fire Emblem: Awakening has sold more copies in its opening month than any other game in the series.

Fire Emblem: Awakening was released for the 3DS early last month and the reception was positive, to say the least. Critics, by and large, loved the game, praising its story, depth, and the clear level of care put into its development. This attention to detail seems to have paid off. Nintendo has revealed that Awakening has broken franchise sales records, selling more than 183,000 copies in its first month. Comparatively, the last entry in the series to make it to North America, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, only sold 250,000 copies total, following its release in 2009.

The success of Awakening is likely a welcome turn for Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems, especially considering some of the problems that marred the game's launch. While Awakening was slated for a North American release on February 4th, unexpected shipping delays made physical copies rare at retail. For many, the game could only be found on the Nintendo eShop, where it was available for download on its release date. Nintendo has reported, in turn, that some 63,000 copies of Awakening, more than a third of February's total sales, were sold digitally. While this could be attributed to gamers just not having the patience to wait for a physical copy, it's nonetheless a notable success for the eShop and a good demonstration of just how valuable digital sales have become.

With Awakening a success, the question now is where Fire Emblem will go next. Plans to support the game post-launch with DLC are already in motion, and a Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei crossover is in the works. That said, one option fans might appreciate exploring would be the re-release of some earlier games that have yet to leave Japan.

When North America received its first Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance, it was 2003. The franchise, at that point, was already thirteen years old. While almost every title since has made its way to the United States, there are several that have never had western releases. With the success of Awakening potentially strengthening the Fire Emblem brand abroad, it might be an opportune time for Nintendo to crack open its vaults.

Source: Polygon

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Why do the Japanese insist on keeping so many titles to themselves?

Why do the textboxes in screenshots look so much darker than they do on the actual 3DS?

And so, the niche series gets its day in the sun.

As much as I enjoyed my initial playthrough of Awakening, it's really...really shallow and has a rather terrible AI.
The rest of the game is brilliant; looks great, sounds great, has pretty good writing for the most part (though a completely predictable story...par for the course for Fire Emblem).

I'm hoping this encourages Nintendo do more, and do better. I'd love another SRPG or Strategy game with proper difficulty, especially portable.

1: Glad to see that this game is doing well. It's a great game and I've been enjoying the bits of free DLC I've been getting.

2: Seeing just under 200,000 units in a month being described as a great success just seems so... odd given the current market. Yes, it's for a handheld and only one region, but still.

3: I'm hoping with this success Intelligent Systems gets to work on their other Turn-Based Strategy series. Advance Wars 3DS. Make it so.

StewShearer:

When North America received its first Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Color, it was 2003.

Incorrect actually, Fire Emblem 7 which was the first FE game we got was actually on the Gameboy Advance. There were no Fire Emblem games on Gameboy or Gameboy color.

The question on every bodies mind is:

If Legion wanted to get rid of their Xbox, would it be worth trading it in for a 3DS with the game when it releases in April?

Legion:
The question on every bodies mind is:

If Legion wanted to get rid of their Xbox, would it be worth trading it in for a 3DS with the game when it releases in April?

Well, I'd say go for it, but it depends on how attached you are to your Xbox games. I greatly enjoy the 3DS library and think it is worth it, especially with the new games coming out.

DVS BSTrD:
Why do the Japanese insist on keeping so many titles to themselves?

Moviebob actually covered this around the time Rainfall came around. It's (in his opinion) a mixture of hurt pride from being made fun of by western journalists and them thinking "Why bother? It won't sell as well as CoD." He ends it with telling those companies to get over it and to start releasing stuff around the world because pissing off gamers in the long run by not releasing games they want will hurt said companies in the long run when they try crawling back to those gamers after their experiment games fail. See: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. Did bad in the States. You ask most people that knew about it why they didn't get it and you'll most likely get "Cause it's Namco Bandai and they refuse to release Tales games."

GAH! Double post. My bad. OK everyone, move along, nothing to see here.

I love this game, and I love the series! Hopefully this means more games outside Japan.

And I wouldn't mind seeing officially localized releases of the rest of the franchise on the eShop... Hint, hint, Nintendo. You've layed the foundation by referencing the entire history of the franchise in Awakening, time to step up.

Crono1973:
Why do the textboxes in screenshots look so much darker than they do on the actual 3DS?

Maybe it's your brightness settings?

StewShearer:
When North America received its first Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Color, it was 2003. The franchise, at that point, was already thirteen years old. While every title since has made its way to the United States, there are six games that have never had western releases. With the success of Awakening potentially strengthening the Fire Emblem brand abroad, it might be an opportune time for Nintendo to crack open its vaults.

The first Fire Emblem that was released in North America was for the GBA not the GBC.

Also, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a remake of the very first Fire Emblem game.

EDIT: Also good luck finding a copy of Shadow Dragon. Took me awhile to hunt one down that was under $80.

As a big fire emblem fan i'm quite happy to hear this. With the fire emblem before this one never leaving Japan i feared Nintendo was considering falling back into old paterns and that this game failing to sell would make them seriously reconsider giving us more fire emblem. I'm glad the sales haven't given them any reason do do so and hope this will convince them to start remaking more games that have never made it to the west.

Awakening isn't out in Europe yet so i haven't played it but i've got high hopes for this game.

Eliwood10:
I love this game, and I love the series! Hopefully this means more games outside Japan.

And I wouldn't mind seeing officially localized releases of the rest of the franchise on the eShop... Hint, hint, Nintendo. You've layed the foundation by referencing the entire history of the franchise in Awakening, time to step up.

Crono1973:
Why do the textboxes in screenshots look so much darker than they do on the actual 3DS?

Maybe it's your brightness settings?

I have never changed it but I will look into that.

Really hoping to get myself a copy of this soon. Buyer beware, though, for once Amazon actually has one of the more expensive prices for this game at $52.

Also, I must agree with my friend that now that the characters' lack of feet has been pointed out, it cannot be unseen.

StewShearer:

With Awakening a success, the question now is where Fire Emblem will go next. While plans to support the game post-launch with DLC are already in motion, there has been no news about what the next entry in the franchise will be.

Are you shitting me? Nintendo announced over a month ago that the next instalment is going to be a Fire Emblem/Shin Megami Tensei crossover for the Wii U. I shit you not, it's a thing that's happening, and Nintendo have hinted that it's going to be released towards the end of this year.

This could be mindblowing.

On topic- firstly, it's worth pointing out that the game hasn't arrived in Europe yet, so expect another massive boost in numbers when that happens.

Secondly, it shows how much healthier the handheld industry is when 180,000 units is seen as a smash success (though I believe those are just US figures, not Japanese as well). If EA's claim that 5 million sales are needed to be viable is the future of the console industry, I'm jumping off now and sticking just to handhelds. Not only are the games more creative, the sales expectations haven't been fucked up the arse by COD yet.

Glad to see Fire Emblem do so well. I personally found Awakening to have the best gameplay and army/unit customization of all the games I've played although I did find it a bit annoying that some of the gear like the long-range spell tomes and the weapons that reverse the weapon triangle weren't put into the game.

Hopefully we can see re-releases of older titles like Fire Emblem 6.

Amazing what happens when Nintendo remembers to actually do some advertising for a game. People will realize it exists and will buy it.

Seriously, though, it's heartening to see it succeed since so many entries to the series have not, and outside fan translations, are likely never to see the light of day outside of Japan. Fire Emblem is a great series and Awakening is a great game that deserves the praise it's receiving.

I've always been a huge fan of Fire Emblem so I am very glad to see that Awakening did so well. I hope they will continue to keep progressing and making Fire Emblem games.

Sorry, I'm new to forums and kinda ignorant, so you're going to have to work without a quote.

This might be splitting hairs, but the reworking of Monsho no Nazo (Mystery of the Emblem), Shin Monsho no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyu~, was released in Japan in 2010, but was not released in the United States. This would be the one and only game after Fire Emblem's debut in the United states (#7, Rekka no Ken) to not be released here.

Well I'm glad to see that Fire Emblem might just become another Heavy Hitter here in the US. Now if only they could release Earthbound on the VC.

as an australian i must say im incredibly jealous of anyone whos already played awakening...i still have to wait till april -_- still glad this game sold so well maybe it'll encourage nintendo to port more games in the future

It's not out until next month in the UK :[

Ah well, I couldn't afford it now anyway. I'll have lots of moneys by the time it's out!

Glad to see it's doing well. And I'm glad to see a few hundred thousand copies being called a success. Requiring multiple millions of sales for your profits just isn't sustainable (unless you're CoD).

Well, expect this to be yet another franchise Nintendo plans to run to the ground.

Legion:
The question on every bodies mind is:

If Legion wanted to get rid of their Xbox, would it be worth trading it in for a 3DS with the game when it releases in April?

In a word, no. Having owned a 3DS, whilst it has a couple of half decent titles, it's not enough to warrant trading another console for, which has a massive library of great games for.

Also, depending on your taste in games, I would actually more likely recommend a PS Vita.

Im in the UK so its a no go till next month but im so getting this. My only beef is its lack of 'veteran warrior' characters. I know JRPG's have this thing for youngsters in armour but Fire Emblem always seemed to have at least several actual soilder looking characters but I only counted about 3 in this one, with the rest being the standard bunch of maid-uniform wearing young adults scowling at the camera. Still, im a sucker for romances and the marriage tree has me squeeing like a brides maid...

So you mean the first game in the series to get an actual marketing push outside of Japan is also the fastest selling? Who'da thunk? You can't expect anybody to buy something if they don't know it exists, that's kind of why advertising exists in the first place. I bought a copy of The Sacred Stones back in the day thanks to word of mouth, and Shadow Dragon later on because I found it cheap, but I'm an outlier, as evidenced by the fact that I'm posting this on a gaming message board. I've been seeing actual TV ads for the new one, while the closest thing I'd seen to advertising for the series up to that point had been Marth and Ike being in the Super Smash Bros. games, which I guess increased awareness that the series existed, but not by much. And it certainly didn't do much to let people know that there were entries available outside of Japan.

Anyway, good on Nintendo for this. SRPGs are a genre that don't get enough love, and Fire Emblem is one of the major staples. Now if only the licensing issues on the majority of the Super Robot Wars games could be dealt with...

This would be the first Fire Emblem game with some actual advertising in the US.
I guess this means if you actually bother to let people know something exists, they'll buy it.
Who knew?

See what you can accomplish when you actually spend money marketing a game that usually only has a niche audience?

Isn't that picture a spoiler? I wouldn't know, not having played the game.

thank goodness it got such a great welcome. It's a really fun and interesting game. I love that game to pieces and it's always great to have a game I can discuss with my siblings. I would have loved to buy the bundle to show even more support, but I didn't have enough money.

I hope they make more games like this and that it proves we're a viable market in the west!

Terramax:
Well, expect this to be yet another franchise Nintendo plans to run to the ground.

Because releasing at most two instalments of a series on any particular console is running into the ground, right? I sure hope you don't play any of the Assassins Creed, Halo, COD or Battlefield games...

Legion:
The question on every bodies mind is:

If Legion wanted to get rid of their Xbox, would it be worth trading it in for a 3DS with the game when it releases in April?

In a word, no. Having owned a 3DS, whilst it has a couple of half decent titles, it's not enough to warrant trading another console for, which has a massive library of great games for.

Also, depending on your taste in games, I would actually more likely recommend a PS Vita.

Yo Terramax, I'm happy for you, Imma let you finish, but the 3DS has one of the best game lineups of 2013. Of 2013!

Seriously, if you like the Vita, good for you, but I don't think anyone can really argue that the 3DS has now got the stronger library of games. Hell, sites like Kotaku are now arguing that it's got the best gaming software library and lineup of any console out there.

This isn't 2011 any more. The 3DS has got more than a couple of half-decent titles, it's got a huge range of legitimately awesome games, and more lined up on the horizon. Anyone who's thinking of getting a dedicated handheld can see that the 3DS has more than justified itself now. The Vita? It's still too far too expensive, has rip-off memory card prices, and simply has a much smaller library of games.

romanator0:
Glad to see Fire Emblem do so well. I personally found Awakening to have the best gameplay and army/unit customization of all the games I've played although I did find it a bit annoying that some of the gear like the long-range spell tomes and the weapons that reverse the weapon triangle weren't put into the game.

Hopefully we can see re-releases of older titles like Fire Emblem 6.

Wait... NO REAVERS?! BOOOOO! (actually, I've never really used 'em because I found them to be quite shitty). Still, them sharpshooting magicks are actually missed. :/
Also, no, FE6 feels boring. The mission structure is painfully repetitive and the characters weren't just as fun and interesting as in other installments. Unless it's a remake that drastically changes shit, I'd say no thanks.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Legion:
The question on every bodies mind is:

If Legion wanted to get rid of their Xbox, would it be worth trading it in for a 3DS with the game when it releases in April?

In a word, no. Having owned a 3DS, whilst it has a couple of half decent titles, it's not enough to warrant trading another console for, which has a massive library of great games for.

Also, depending on your taste in games, I would actually more likely recommend a PS Vita.

Yo Terramax, I'm happy for you, Imma let you finish, but the 3DS has one of the best game lineups of 2013. Of 2013!

Seriously, if you like the Vita, good for you, but I don't think anyone can really argue that the 3DS has now got the stronger library of games. Hell, sites like Kotaku are now arguing that it's got the best gaming software library and lineup of any console out there.

This isn't 2011 any more. The 3DS has got more than a couple of half-decent titles, it's got a huge range of legitimately awesome games, and more lined up on the horizon. Anyone who's thinking of getting a dedicated handheld can see that the 3DS has more than justified itself now. The Vita? It's still too far too expensive, has rip-off memory card prices, and simply has a much smaller library of games.[/quote]

I whole-heartedly agree with you. I now have to update my internal SD card to 16gigs because of all the awesome shit even in the eShop. The 3DS turned into quite the fun little machine. Yeah, the 3D is completely useless (unless on the XL where it's still nifty) but with the upcoming Flipnote Studio, Colors! 3D, Dillon 2, that new Pixel game (creator of cave story), DKC return 3D (never got around to play the Wii version), Fire Emblem (stupid delayed european release :C), Luigi's Mansion 2 and lotsa other shit (virtue's last reward is stuck in my slot right now, for example) the 3DS look amazing for the next few months. And I didn't even mention the 400 hours I'm inevitably going to sink into pokemon.

yes, the 3DS is finally and truly awesome.

Everyone who keeps saying that Nintendo has never advertised a Fire Emblem in the US seem to have forgotten this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnm3koahhNo

THIS teaser is what got me into the series. I remembered playing as Marth/Roy in Melee and then saw this trailer, begged family for it, and got it for my birthday. Years later....they got me Awakening AND a 3DS. Certainly the best thing to find in your mail box while you are away at Uni.

Also, I love how this trailer kills Dorcas off!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Secondly, it shows how much healthier the handheld industry is when 180,000 units is seen as a smash success (though I believe those are just US figures, not Japanese as well). If EA's claim that 5 million sales are needed to be viable is the future of the console industry, I'm jumping off now and sticking just to handhelds. Not only are the games more creative, the sales expectations haven't been fucked up the arse by COD yet.

It's not CoD, it's development costs. Games with cutting-edge graphics like CoD, Assassin's Creed, or Deep Space have monumentally large development costs (as Yahtzee has joked, it takes an entire room full of people working just to render one person walking across a room, a joke which isn't far from the truth), so they need large sales to cover said costs.

cyvaris:
Everyone who keeps saying that Nintendo has never advertised a Fire Emblem in the US seem to have forgotten this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnm3koahhNo

THIS teaser is what got me into the series. I remembered playing as Marth/Roy in Melee and then saw this trailer, begged family for it, and got it for my birthday. Years later....they got me Awakening AND a 3DS. Certainly the best thing to find in your mail box while you are away at Uni.

Also, I love how this trailer kills Dorcas off!

The exception that proves the rule. Generally speaking, Fire Emblem is always released under the radar. Heck, I'm a big fan of Fire Emblem and always try to keep an eye out for it, but I didn't hear about Awakening until damn-near its release date; if not after. Heck, I don't even remember what clued me in to it, just suddenly there's a Fire Emblem on 3DS that I need to run out and buy.

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