The next Fire Emblem game will be split into two versions: White Kingdom and Black Kingdom.
Back at the beginning of 2015, Nintendo revealed that it had a new Fire Emblem game in the works for its expanding 3DS handheld line. For franchise fans, it was a welcome announcement. Fire Emblem: Awakening, released in 2012, had been both a critical and sales hit, refining the series' core mechanics while also adding in a whole slew of new features. The idea of another game continuing with and expanding on its successes was more than enough to leave veterans of Awakening chomping at the bit. Those same gamers might, in turn, be interested in new information indicating that there's not just one but two Fire Emblem games on the 3DS's horizon.
According to recent reports and a new trailer unveiled at the most recent Nintendo Direct stream, the Japanese version of the next Fire Emblem game will be called Fire Emblem If and be split into two versions that will release concurrently. The different versions will be dubbed White Kingdom and Black Kingdom, with each one focusing one side of a war between the nations of Hoshido and Nohr. The player, in the new game, will take on the role of a hero who was born in Hushido but raised by nobility in Nohr.
Depending on which faction you decide to side with, your experience will apparently differ significantly. Buying the White Kingdom will task the player with defending the peace-loving Hoshido and deliver an experience that should feel fairly standard to veterans of the series. Picking the Black Kingdom game, meanwhile, will side you with the war-mongering Nohr and provide a more challenging campaign centered around a mission to reform the kingdom from the inside. Players interested in playing both campaigns will be given the option of buying the other one as a piece of DLC.
What remains to be seen, of course, is if Nintendo will release Fire Emblem If similarly in the United States and the west at large. It will likewise be interesting to see how fans respond to the Pokemon-ification of the series. Personally speaking, as long as each version of the game presents a full and worthwhile experience, I say the more the merrier.
Fire Emblem If is slated to release in Japan in 2016.