TouchArcade interviewed Fire Emblem Heroes Directors Kouhei Maeda and Shingo Matsushita, who discussed the future of the game as well as the possibility of an Advance Wars mobile game.
Maeda said that the majority of updates for the game are content based on user feedback. While they have a basic plan, they worked on new modes and features that went along with feedback from players. Matsushita added that the Arena is a good example; changes to rules and mechanics and even the new Arena Assault mode weren’t originally planned but were included based on player feedback.
Matsushita said that there are still characters from Fire Emblem that have yet to be added to the game, including character fans frequently ask for. They’re also aware of the success of the special seasonal summoning events like the Spring Festival or Summer Heroes events and the demand for special outfits for characters people like, so they have many more seasonal events planned.
TouchArcade said some players feel that the maps in Fire Emblem Heroes are too small which hurts the variety. However, Maeda said that they feel that they found the optimal size for maps on mobile devices. He also said that they’re not thinking about bringing variety just through map sizes but bringing variety to the entire game.
When asked if Developer Intelligent Systems will release a mobile version of the cult classic Advance Wars, Matsushita said that a release is “not a zero percent chance.”
We would need to think about what would be the right idea and the right concept for bringing Advance Wars to mobile. Of course, that’s stuff that we really have to think on. It would really give us a lot of encouragement and energy if we heard from the fans that they want it. So please keep asking for it and tell us what you’d like to see!
TouchArcade also asked if there was a chance of classic Fire Emblem games being remastered for mobile devices a la Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. Matsushita said that the team doesn’t have an insight into the plans for Virtual Console so they couldn’t offer an answer at the time.
Both directors were surprised by the reception of the game. “It was really surprising to experience again just how many people really love the Fire Emblem franchise,” Matsushita said. “This really feeds our development team and gives them a lot of energy.” Maeda said that taking the position of one of Nintendo’s major mobile releases was a bit scary and he’s not exactly sure how they ended up “in this wonderful position.”
Maeda said that while Fire Emblem is a good fit for mobile, the biggest challenge of developing the game is adapting the hardcore strategic gameplay the Fire Emblem seires is known for to the quick, light gameplay expected for mobile games. They took a few months to experiment with different mechanics, which got to where they are.
They also drew inspiration from other mobile games. They wanted the best experience for the player so they changed the way gatcha-style character draws work in other mobile games to better serve the player, offering them the option to choose from groups of hero types and draw the rest at lower and lower costs.
…when you’re looking at the characters, it’s nice for the player if they can get the ones that they really want. Especially with Fire Emblem, as I’m sure you know, there are a lot of characters from the series that people have strong attachments to. We also want players to get to know all of these different characters, so by using a summoning mechanic where you don’t know what you’re going to get, that’s also kind of interesting. I guess what I want to say is, we want to make a game that the player finds interesting. So when we’re developing, we’re always thinking about how we can do that.
In regards to the Choose Your Legends event, where players got to choose which heroes they wanted to see in the game, they expected some heroes to rank highly but were surprised by the popularity of other heroes. They were surprised to see Dorcas from Blazing Blade rank so highly and they did not expect Lyn to get first place for female heroes especially with the popularity of Lucina who ended up at second place.
TouchArcade reports that Maeda is from Intelligent Systems, the developers behind Fire Emblem as well as Advance Wars, Paper Mario, and more. He’s been working there since the Game Boy Advance era and served as co-director on Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Fire Emblem Awakening, and Fire Emblem Fates.
Matsushita is a planner from Nintendo of Japan and worked as a director, sub-director, and assistant director for games like Xenoblade, Fossil Fighters, and Style Savvy. He also assisted with development of Platinum Games’ The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U.
Click the link here for the full interview.