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Subscription passes are starting to become a bit of a trend for Nintendo’s mobile games. The company announced over the weekend that it’ll be launching an optional subscription option for its free-to-play mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes.
That subscription pass runs a pricey $9.49 per month and allows its subscribers to rewind the gatcha game’s turn based strategy maps, or enable a new auto battle mode to let battles progress without any player input. The pass also promises special quests and two unique stat boosting costumes for select in-game characters per month as well.
With this, Fire Emblem Heroes follows in the footsteps of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Mario Kart World Tour, two games that received subscription passes of their own at some point after their initial launch. All three passes are different in terms of the benefits they offer, however, and Fire Emblem Heroes’ coming addition is notably more expensive than any of the monthly passes offered in World Tour ($4.99) or Pocket Camp ($2.99 or $7.99).
Even before the subscription pass comes into play later this week, Fire Emblem Heroes has long reigned as Nintendo’s top mobile earner, both according to third-party analysts and less specific official comments.
The addition makes for a curious shift to Nintendo’s experiments with monetization, given that the company previously talked up its preference for offering diverse monetization systems and, reportedly, feared nickel-and-diming mobile players would negatively impact its reputation.