Fire Emblem Fates has probably been the most talked about Fire Emblem game in the series’ history. It was a hot topic leading up to release but not for the reasons you may have expected. If you haven’t been following the drama regarding the Treehouse localization topic, then the best way to sum it up is that a large part of Fire Emblem’s internet discussion has centered around what the game is missing in its Western incarnation compared to how it was when it released in Japan.
Nevertheless, all the chatter had Nintendonites going out in droves to purchase the two versions of Fire Emblem Fates, Birthright and Conquest on February 19th. According to the press release on Business Wire, the game sold five times as many units as Fire Emblem Awakening during its initial three day launch, which only managed 60,000 copies on the Nintendo 3DS during the same period.
Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive VP of sales and marketing commented about the release of the game and the strong initial sales numbers, saying…
“Both fans and critics are falling for Fire Emblem Fates, and the early sales numbers prove the game’s undeniable appeal,” “This strong momentum for Nintendo 3DS is only the beginning, as many more high-quality exclusive games are set to launch for the hand-held system over the next few months.”
Nintendo already has DLC set to launch for the game following the free DLC map that they released on February 19th. The additional DLC will go live on a regular basis up until April 21st.
Some might be wondering exactly how the whole localization thing plays into the sales, especially with the game and the censorship topic trending across Twitter and other social media services using the #TorrentialDownpour tag to get the word out.
Well, part of it is that the die-hard fans who pre-ordered the game were buying it regardless of what was cut or censored. Others may have picked it up out of curiosity and the mammoth amount of noise about the game within the Nintendo community. However, those sitting on the fence – the late buyers, skeptics and penny pinchers – may be less inclined to invest in the game after hearing about the localization changes. There are still some die-hard fans who will defend Nintendo until their grave, but others are slowly coming around to seeing how the localization teams are taking fine liberties with completely altering (or removing) some of the content.
YouTuber SonicKick manages to compile some of the issues in a near eight minute long video you can check out below.
I discuss Nintendo’s terrible localization with the latest Fire Emblem. https://nichegamer.com/2016/02/nintend… Almost forgot NicheGamer Article! More cut content: https://twitter.com/RedDeadBen/status… Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonicIzanagi Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sonickick Steam: https://steamcommunity.com/id/Sanickic… Twitch: Twitch.tv/Sonickick120 Gameplay Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw8…
Websites like Niche Gamer have also kept a close eye on the unfolding events surrounding the localization and censorship of Fire Emblem Fates. Sites like IGN have defended the censorship and labeled the things changed as “creepy” or “wrong”, but many gamers simply want to experience a translated version of the Japanese title, not a completely altered, Americanized revision of the content. Of course, there’s a brisk and apparent conflict of interest present with IGN defending the Treehouse given that a former employee of IGN, Audrey Drake, now works at the Treehouse localization outlet under Nintendo, as noted by a thread on Kotaku in Action and an old topic from the editor-in-chief at Game Podunk.
While the initial sales for Fire Emblem Fates is strong, we’ll see if they can keep that up as news slowly trickles around the interwebs about Treehouse taking fine liberties with axing content and changing things to suit their own “progressive” sensibilities based around the cultural appropriation practiced by left-wing authoritarians.
Fire Emblem Fates is available right now for the Nintendo 3DS for $39.99.