After months of waiting for news regarding the elusive release date of the next instalment in the Fire Emblem franchise we finally have some solid news from the game creators Nintendo, as they announced at the latest Nintendo Direct that Fire Emblem Fates is set to release in North America on February 19th 2016. Hurrah!
Different Versions Confirmed
There's been a lot of speculation about the manner of the form in which Fire Emblem Fates would be released, given that in Japan there was two physical versions and a DLC, each offering a different narrative path, playable units and items (and for the full run down on the two physical versions you can check out our guide here).
Now Nintendo have confirmed that the Western release will be following the same blueprint, with Fates: Birthright and Fates: Conquest being released as two separate physical versions and Fates: Revelation as a DLC (which was originally released in Japan as Fates: Invisible Kingdom).
Both Birthright and Conquest will be physical games costing the usual $39.99 each, whilst Revelation as a DLC will run you an extra $20. Instead of having to shell out a cool $100 if you want the complete experience though Nintendo of America is offering other options.
Once you've purchased one physical version and completed it you'll be able to download a digital copy of the other version for $19.99 or alternatively you can get your hands on a Special Edition Bundle, which includes all three games, an art book and a pouch for your Nintendo 3DS XL for $79.99. Not too shabby.
Where's The Rest Of The Release Dates Though?
So it's all looking pretty good for North America, but what about the rest of the regions? Nintendo have a history of disappointing fans in Europe with their release dates and Fire Emblem Fates looks set to be no different as there's still nothing confirmed for the region beyond an undefined "early 2016" date.
It's likely that this has something to do with Europe having a smaller audience and therefore aren't as high a priority with their more limited market than exists in Japan and America, but it's still a little annoying for those on that continent who have been anticipating a release date for Fates with still no news.
Alternatively it could have something to do with the censorship that's usually rolled out across Nintendo games for the Western release; Fire Emblem Awakening is a prime example as it featured censored images, characters and altered dialogue.
Both the US and EU versions of Awakening were censored but the European version more so, so the additional censorship could be what's delaying the release, though the games are usually so heavily altered as to warrant pushing back the release dates. It's all conjecture at this point though so I guess we'll have to just wait and see what happens with the rest of the release dates.
So whilst the Nintendo Direct conference came with good news if you live in North America, back luck for you European Fire Emblem fans. The rest of us will just have to wait for the official line from Nintendo on that count.