Fire Emblem Awakening was going to be the last FE game if it failed to sell 250k copies

It has been revealed in a Spanish interview in Hobby Consola that Nintendo was thinking about canning the Fire Emblem series prior to Awakening’s release earlier this year. The game has already sold roughly 250k in America alone and sold a healthy amount in Japan too.

Nintendo told the development team behind Awakening that if the game didn’t sell over 250k copies (it isn’t clear if they meant globally or in one region) that they could put the franchise on hold.

Question: Fire Emblem has had a long lifetime. Do you get the feeling it gets harder to release a new episode every time?

Yamagami: No doubt. Truth be told, sales are dropping. The sales manager of Nintendo, Mr. Hatano, told us that this could be the last Fire Emblem. Due to this progressive descend on sales, they told us that if the sales of this episode stayed below 250,000 copies, we’d stop working on the saga. I remember when I came back from the meeting and told the team “My God, what are we gonna do?! The end has come!”. Our reaction was clear: if this was going to be the last Fire Emblem, we had to put everything we always wanted to include. That’s how this new project was born!

That’s good news to hear. Awakening is near the top of my list for GOTY 2013 so far. It literally does everything right, something I can’t say of many games in recent years. It managed to surpass all my expectations of what a Fire Emblem game can and should be, all while staying within the general confines of what we expect from the series.

Awakening is new, fresh and familiar all at the same time and I think everyone can agree that it is good to see a classic, core Nintendo IP like this do so well.