Try Not To Be So Greedy, Fire Emblem Heroes

Illustration for article titled Try Not To Be So Greedy, Fire Emblem Heroes

This week, Fire Emblem Heroes added characters from the popular title Path of Radiance. But an additional banner with top tier characters raise the question: why don’t you slow the hell down?


Fire Emblem Heroes is a mobile take on the popular strategy game series. I’m a big fan but it’s not perfect. The most questionable aspect is how you get new characters. Heroes is a “gacha” game; players can try to summon heroes of random value with in-game currency. If they don’t have enough “orbs,” they can buy more using real money.

With the long awaited arrival of popular Path of Radiance characters like Ike and his companions, players might be tempted to spend most of their currency to recruit them. They might even give in and spend some cash for more chances. If you have will power to avoid spending, you’re fine. But the game added this today:

Illustration for article titled Try Not To Be So Greedy, Fire Emblem Heroes

That’s a banner teasing the chance to snag a ton of popular and powerful characters. Most prominent is Takumi, a character so strong that he’s still a significant part of the meta-game. There’s also Hector, who is also really strong and super rare. You can spend thousands and never get him. Plus, there’s Azura and Ryoma who are similarly strong and, according to me, pretty dang cute.

Tossing in new fan favorites and then following it up with a tempting chance to gain powerhouse characters feels scummy. Players who spent currencies trying to get Ike are now more likely to spend cash to get heroes from this second banner. It’s pretty manipulative.

Asking a gacha game to stop Scrooge McDucking is a bit like asking the scorpion to not sting the frog. It only makes sense that Heroes would double down. It currently stands at #7 in revenue on the app store. Nintendo’s not going to change what clearly works in their favor. They recently reported a 9.3 billion yen revenue from US smartphone games in spite of disappointing numbers from Super Mario Run.

But seriously? Slow down, Fire Emblem Heroes. Desperation is a stinky cologne.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.



Because of this, and because of the fact that pulling for top characters can be really expensive and after spending a fortune you can still get nothing, some of the top posts in the FEH Reddit are serious discussions of gambling addiction and links to Suicide Prevention hotlines.

Enjoy the game, just be careful, because it’s a slippery slope.