If the video game world has taught us anything, it’s that what people will like, or won’t like, is as varied a question as the gamers themselves. If you looked back 5 years ago and said that games like Cuphead, Celeste, and other similar games would’ve been critical and financial hits, many would’ve likely thought you crazy before they came out. In that same vein, sometimes franchises need a certain entry to come out to appeal to gamers all over the world. And for the Fire Emblem franchise, that was Awakening.
The series had many games up to that point, including two console entries in the west via Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. Yet despite their critical success, the sales weren’t the best. So, Fire Emblem Awakening was made to be the last entry in the franchise should it not succeed…and then it did succeed, by a large margin. The 3DS game sold millions, and that allowed the franchise to continue, and now we’re only a few weeks before the series return to consoles via Fire Emblem Three Houses. But in an interview, director Toshiyuki Kusakihara notes that he has no clue why it worked so well:
“To tell you the truth, it was a very big surprise. To tell you more, I can say… I honestly still don’t understand why it was such a success, as we didn’t realize – we didn’t make any change to our philosophy to make Awakening be liked outside Japan. I still don’t understand why it’s so popular. It’s strange.”
The popularity of the game is evident to this day, as memes, cosplays, and more show fan love for the game. Plus, three characters from the game are now Smash Bros mainstays via Lucina, Chrom, and Robin.
Three Houses arrives on Nintendo Switch on July 26th.