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Nintendo keeps over-monetizing mobile games, adds new Fire Emblem pass

Nintendo injects a paid monthly subscription in its popular free-to-play Fire Emblem: Heroes mobile game

Derek Strickland | Feb 2, 2020 at 02:36 pm CST (2 mins, 37 secs reading time)

Nintendo's mobile monetization strategy, which now includes paid monthly season passes, is enough to make Activision, Tencent, and Take-Two proud. Even after making $1 billion in lifetime mobile earnings since 2015, Nintendo wants more money.

Nintendo keeps over-monetizing mobile games, adds new Fire Emblem pass | TweakTown.com

Nintendo today announced yet another paid monthly subscription service for its mobile games. The latest free-to-play mobile game to get a subscription is Fire Emblem: Heroes with its new Feh Pass. The Feh Pass costs $9.50 a month and unlocks goodies every month for players, including some pay-to-win mechanics like the new re-act function or auto-start.

This is Nintendo's third time rolling out a subscription pass for a mobile game. First we saw the Mario Kart Tour Gold Pass for $5 a month, then two subs for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp--the $2.99 Happy Helper sub, and the $7.99 Cookie and Depot plan.

"In exchange for a set monthly fee, subscribers of the Feh Pass can enjoy access to five special benefits," Nintendo said in the announcement video. "Subscribers may get access to two Resplendent Heroes each month, and use four gameplay-enhancing perks in the subscription period."

$9.50 a month Feh Pass includes:

  • 2x Resplendent Heroes on 10th and 25th of every month - New visuals and voices, gives +2 stat bonuses to heroes (First heroes are Lyn: Lady of the Plains, and Cordelia: Knight Paragon). Resplendent Hero unlocks aren't retroactive, so if your sub isn't active during the rollout period, you won't get the hero.
  • 2x Feh Pass quests every month - Give you orbs or heroic grails as rewards, expanded summoner support that allows you to bond with up to 3 heroes instead of one.
  • Re-Act perk - Lets you restart your previous turn and try again, can be used as much as you want.
  • Auto start perk - Automatically repeats a map until you run out of stamina.

This extra layer of monetization is on top of the gacha-style microtransactions that've helped Fire Emblem: Heroes rake in over $650 million to date. Fans are predictably not too happy about the Feh Pass, but I expect it to do quite well, especially in mobile-dominated regions like Japan.

The Feh Pass goes live on February 5 for Fire Emblem: Heroes.

Last updated: Feb 3, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

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Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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