Nintendo will be following the Zelda: Oracle release schedule for the newest installment in the series.
In a sense, this is good news- after all the uncertainty that has surrounded the series over the year, we will now be treated to not one, but two new Fire Emblem games, both releasing at once. Yes, Fire Emblem If (Japanese name, it’s English name is still unconfirmed), the next entry in the franchise which was announced for the Nintendo 3DS back in January, and got a new trailer yesterday, will in fact be releasing as two games.
To explain the matter succinctly, the new Fire Emblem game offers players the chance to follow the story of a war from both sides- the aggressors, and the defendants. The release is accordingly split into two games, one focusing on each point of view. Nintendo promises full sized campaigns for each game, and has also confirmed that, after the first six chapters, the games will be entirely different. They have also confirmed differing difficulty levels across the games- while the game based on the defendants will be more in line with the more accessible Fire Emblem Awakening, the game based on the aggressors has been made and fine tuned to appeal entirely to long time fans of the classic franchise.
There is still more- a third piece of the puzzle will also be released as DLC, offering a more neutral take on the story (and presumably the canon version of the events).
It is a release strategy that recalls Pokemon, or, more accurately, the Oracle games in the Zelda series, back on the gameboy color. If Nintendo could pull it off, then we are looking at two new Fire Emblem games at once, which is simply awesome. On the flipside, we are also looking at spending over $80 on Fire Emblem just to get the full story.
Also keep in mind that this release strategy has currently only been confirmed for Japan- in the west, where Fire Emblem is not quite as popular, Nintendo might opt to go a different route. It remains to be seen how it goes.
Fire Emblem If is the newest entry in the saga, which will be launching exclusively on Nintendo 3DS next year. The previous entry, Fire Emblem: Awakening, was a runaway success, selling over a million copies worldwide, and garnering widespread acclaim.