Nintendo is having a very good 2023, with numerous 1st and 3rd party titles doing well on their systems. The 1st party lineup has been incredibly strong since the start of the year, as that’s when Fire Emblem Engage came out. The title returned to a more “traditional” style like some of the original games in the franchise. Many were surprised by this as games like Three Houses embraced giving players storyline options and branching paths. But the results were good as the game got rave reviews and has sold over a million units.
In an interview with Nintendo Dream, Co-producers Genki Yokota and Masahiro Higuchi, alongside co-directors Kenta Nakanishi and Tsutomu Tei talked about the game and why they diverged from the path that the last two mainline games set. One of the things Yokota noted was that the two games actually started around the same time, so doing things differently was paramount:
“The two games began development at similar times, so one of the themes was to do things differently from Three Houses.”
Higuchi then talked about how the themes of the games were intentionally made to be different:
The last game, Three Houses, was planned with the idea of making an adult war chronicle. On the other hand, Engage was made with the idea of broadening our audience, such that even people who have never tried FE would want to pick it up. It’s been over 10 years since Awakening, so we also thought of making another FE that would appeal to a wide audience.
Another factor was the focus on the main character of Alear versus just making a “war chronicle.” So unlike Three Houses or Fates, where you had numerous characters balancing the story, Fire Emblem Engage was about showing Alear’s growth and how the Emblems helped them move forward.