Fire Emblem: Awakening Could Have Been The Last Entry

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

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Fire Emblem: Awakening NA Box (Large)

Published back in late April, a Spanish magazine called Hobby Consolas had an interview with some of the developers behind Fire Emblem: Awakening. Pretty interesting interview, but what was striking about it was when they talked about the game’s performance in Japan and in the West.  Because of the series’ overall sales taking a nose dive for some time, the thirthteenth installment could well have been the last entry in the series.

Question: Fire Emblem has had a long lifetime. Do you get the feeling it gets harder to release a new episode every time?

Yamagami: No doubt. Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descend on sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team “My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!”. Our reaction was clear: if this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include. That’s how this new project was born!

Just not long after, a similar statement was made by another one of the developers when asked a similar question in an interview with the magazine Nintendo Dream. Because of the attributing sales slump, they knew knew very well that this could really well be the last game, and at times, this realization seemed like a reality.

Maeda: Yes, we can say that now, but I have to admit there was a time during development when we thought “This might be the end of the FE series if Awakening doesn’t sell well”.

Thankfully, this will most likely not be the case, with the great news from Nintendo that the game sold well over 250,000 units world wide. In fact, it has sold over 500,000 units to date. This is the highest selling Fire Emblem entry in the West since Blazing Sword came out ten years ago, with the sales number being over 240,000 when counting both physical and digital sales. The words do ring a lot of truth though. We missed Fire Emblem 12, the remake of Monsho no Nazo, for probably the same reason. Nintendo was probably thinking the same thing and were ready to kill the series off.

So the franchise dodged a bullet. Can you believe it? The developers put their all into the product, Nintendo properly marketing the game (besides the botched launch in North America), and then, of course, we the fans keeping our word and supporting it. Not every story has a good ending, and even with all the above, sometimes this just isn’t enough. Congratulations to Intelligent Systems and the team behind the game, because Fire Emblem: Awakening was truly something else. I hope to see new entries sometime in the near future, and by the looks of it, it seems like a strong possibility.


About David Fernandes

(Community Manager) David is an assistant admin and community manager at oprainfall. He joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign at the beginning, and became one of the staff as the first wave of new volunteers were needed back in mid June. He is an avid video game collector, and lover of most game genres. David spends much of his time in a futile effort in clearing out his ever growing video game backlog.

  • Xx_Kares_xX

    My god guys stop this.. if the writer thinks the story is done then END THE DAMN STORY… stop milking the franchise until even the creators have no love for it anymore. This just makes me think of Kojima and his love/hate relationship with Metal Gear… he wanted it to end with MGS2 and now he is so sick of the games he’d rather die than keep making them x.x

    • Blaze Dragon

      …Did you even read the article?

    • Nozomi

      What the heck are you babbling about? Did you even read the article? No where in it states that the creators of the franchise wants to end the series because of “story.” The series might have been forced to end because of sales.

      Games cost money to develop and produce. If not enough of the game sells to make profit, then the developers are forced to discontinue.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      No I read it after, and I’m glad it’s continuing and that the creators want it too, I was just saying the topic in general reminded me OF the problem that Kojima had and I sympathize with him. I guess I shouldn’t have gone off on the Tangent that I did and I apologize. For the record i’m a fan of Fire Emblem, I just feel bad for the people who have to continually make games until they are so awful that the creators can’t even stand to look at them. With the way things in the industry work you can’t end with a ‘good’ game because you can’t stop making them until they stop making money, and it’s really an awful scenario

    • Nozomi

      I agree, that when franchises should end, they should end and not be milked to produce mediocre installments. But Fire Emblem: Awakening is a quality game, so I don’t think FE is suffering from being milked just yet.

    • Ryan_oprainfall

      Kudos to you sir for admitting you didn’t read it when you commented, Way to own up.

    • Lazy_Penguin1989

      It’s all good man, I know how you feel. In fact I agree with you in the fact when a writer/developer wants to end a particular series. The guys in suits should respectfully take heed of the artist’s wishes and have it end then and there – but good luck trying to convince that mentality to the current conglomerates in the industry of today. Empathy be damned.

      I still can’t believe they even bothered continuing the Silent Hill series after 3, when in all intentions was the series to end there. Though there have been rare occurrences where different creative minds expand on an original designers work and actually succeed where they left off. I guess it’s all case by case scenarios.

      With Kojima, it’s quite tragic, I mean getting death threats? Totally unnecessary and quite unethical from the fan side.

    • Charlotte Buckingham

      Except the developers didn’t want it to end, they were freaking out when they were told by Nintendo that it may not continue due to poor sales. And each game introduces a new story and a new set of characters as well. To date, they have ‘ended the story’ some half a dozen times.

  • Stephanie Yang

    Oh god this is beautiful and I’m so glad that the FE series is still ongoing. Great article, David!

    • Lazy_Penguin1989

      Happy news indeed, and thank you very much Steph 😉

    • Stephanie Yang

      Yeah 🙂 Have you seen the comic for Awakening?

    • Lazy_Penguin1989

      No I have not actually, how is it?

    • Stephanie Yang

      I’m not sure, I just saw the FE facebook post about it >.< I'll read it….eventually? at least if i can find a translated version around

    • Lazy_Penguin1989

      Interesting ~

      I will have to look into this myself 😀

  • Gary65

    Jesus guys, don’t scare me like that. When I saw the title, I thought the series was actually ending. I was about to start weeping *phew*

  • Pyrotek85

    Still hoping we’ll get FE 12, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • KainDarkfire

      If you believe hard enough, we might get an e-port in the 3DS store. I don’t see them trying to sell physical copies of a yesterconsole. That said, I want it too.

  • multibottler0cket

    Fuck I would have been the most depressed individual in life had that happened!

  • Guest

    Well I mean, they’d just been making the same game with the same outdated mechanics over and over again. Good to see when kicked into action they’ve actually started making some progress with the series.

  • Deneroglik

    If they cancel it because of sales, that’s bullshit. The game was sold out at release in my area. I think this game and Luigi’s Mansion had rough first months because there wasn’t enough product.