Nintendo’s mobile division is undeniably held up by Fire Emblem Heroes. Released way back in 2017, the gacha strategy game was a big part of the series’ renaissance.
Fast-forward five years and Fire Emblem Heroes is still the tentpole moneymaker for Nintendo Mobile. In fact, it just broke an old purpose for the company.
How much money did Fire Emblem Heroes earn?
According to a report from a game analyst firm Sensor tower, the mobile strategy game has successfully raked in more than $1 billion in total revenue. In its five-year lifespan, the mobile game has managed to make significantly more profit than any of Nintendo’s other mobile games.
For example, the closest Nintendo game in terms of revenue is Mario Kart Tour. Released two years later in 2019, the kart racer has brought in $282 million, a distant second. This place is connected to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
In a very bad last place, Nintendo’s Dr. Mario game still not made much money with only $14 million. However, the adorable puzzle game that launched in July 2019 forced Nintendo to cancel the game last year.
Unsurprisingly, Fire Emblem Heroes made most of its money from Japan. Over its five-year history, 54% of player purchases have come from Japan and 32.4% from the United States. The revenue split between platforms is a rough 50/50 between iOS and Android.
It’s clear that Fire Emblem adoration on the internet is still burning. Not only is the game still raking in money, but it still receives regular updates with new storylines and characters.
How did it make so much?
This is, of course, one reason why Fire Emblem is so far ahead of other Nintendo games in terms of revenue. Not only has Fire Emblem been a hot item for the past five years, but Heroes has also benefited from expert monetization.
While the gacha system will always be a bit of a pay-to-win, Fire Emblem Heroes is one of the most relaxing and balanced gacha games on the market. Despite this, developer Intelligent Systems has managed to monetize the game in two ways.
For starters, there’s the typical premium currency to quickly buy more character pulls, but there’s also a subscription. For $9.50 / £10, subscribers can receive “five special benefits”. Some would see that as a bargain.