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'Gatcha' is a good fit for Fire Emblem, but it isn't Nintendo's standard for mobile

Despite reports that Fire Emblem Heroes has been the big earner for Nintendo’s mobile pool, it isn’t resigning to only releasing games that use those same cash-for-random-reward monetization mechanics.

While numbers from mobile analysts seem to indicate that the free-to-play 'gatcha' game Fire Emblem Heroes has been the big earner for Nintendo’s mobile pool, the company isn’t resigning to releasing only games that use those same cash-for-random-reward monetization mechanics. 

Addressing a question about the ethics and application of 'gatcha' monetization during a recent investor Q&A, departing Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima explained that the company is still looking at implementing monetization methods that are the best fit for each individual game, audience, and franchise rather than simply reusing Fire Emblem Heroes seemingly profitable system in all upcoming games. 

“When deciding on how to charge for a smart-device application, we consider each one individually based on factors like the mechanics of the game, the characteristics of the IP it uses, who we think the consumers will be, their needs, and so on,” explained Kimishima. “With Fire Emblem Heroes, there are many passionate fans of the series, which is especially popular among consumers in their 20s and 30s. So we set the target age to 13 and older, then aimed for a format that would allow consumers to have a deep enjoyment of the game according to their individual playstyles.”

Another interesting tidbit from that same section of the Q&A notes that even Fire Emblem Heroes has a mechanic built in to prevent players from “spending very high amounts,” along with clearly listing the probabilities for earning certain characters from the game’s lottery system. 

“With these sort of goals,” notes Kimishima.”We want to offer applications that meet consumer demands while pursuing payment methods which consumers find to be fair so that this can grow to be a pillar of our business.”

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