Gaming

Monthly pass to push Fire Emblem Heroes dangerously into pay-to-win territory

Fire Emblem Heroes will launch a monthly subscription service named the Feh Pass, a move that has already drawn criticism from the Nintendo mobile game’s community.

Sensor Tower recently revealed that Fire Emblem Heroes has earned $656 million for Nintendo, out of the company’s $1 billion in total revenue from its mobile games. The strategy RPG takes advantage of the gacha system, in which players spend items that may be earned within the game or purchased with real-world money to randomly acquire characters.

In celebration of the game’s anniversary, developer Intelligent Systems revealed special Valentine’s Day characters, the start of a fan vote to determine the next major addition, and a revised gacha rarity system that benefits players.

However, the announcement video also revealed the Feh Pass, a monthly subscription that will launch on February 5 after the Fire Emblem Heroes‘ version 4.2 update. For $9.50 per month, subscribers will be able to enjoy five benefits.

The main benefit is exclusive access to Resplendent Heroes, two of which will be distributed per month. These are characters with new visuals and voices, plus a +2 boost to all stats. The first two Resplendent Heroes are Lyn: Lady of the Plains, who will be distributed starting February 5, and Cordelia: Knight Paragon, who will be distributed starting February 24.

Feh Pass subscribers will also gain the option to take special quests, through which players may acquire valuable in-game items, as well as expanded summoner support that will enable bonds with three heroes, instead of just one. A subscription also activates the Re-Act perk, which allows players to return to the start of their previous turn if their heroes have not yet acted, or the start of the current turn if a hero has already acted, as many times as they want. Lastly, the Feh Pass adds the Auto-Start option, which allows players to automatically repeat a chosen map until their stamina runs out.

The feedback from the Fire Emblem Heroes community on Reddit, however, has mostly been negative, particularly against the Resplendent Heroes. The gacha game has previously only relied on the randomness factor in acquiring powerful characters, regardless of whether players spend real-world money or not. However, the Feh Pass limits access to the upgraded heroes to subscribers, which will push Fire Emblem Heroes into pay-to-win territory.

It remains to be seen if Intelligent Systems will listen to the negative feedback against the Feh Pass.

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