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Nintendo’s march on mobile continues, and this time it’s deploying a free-to-play weapon.

The Japanese gaming company has released its third mobile app, Fire Emblem: Heroes, for iOS and Android. Heroes is a strategy game featuring characters from across Nintendo’s tactical franchise. It follows Super Mario Run, which was downloaded 40 million times in its first four days (and it was only available on iOS).

Unlike Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem: Heroes is free-to-play with in-app purchases. It’s also launching on iOS and Android on the same day. While the Fire Emblem name isn’t as recognizable as Mario, it has some advantages that could help it in the $36 billion mobile games market.


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Fire Emblem is a Nintendo series that has risen from near-invisibility in the U.S. to becoming one of the company’s most important franchises. Along with Heroes, Nintendo is releasing Shadows of Valentia for the 3DS on May 19, the Dynasty Warriors crossover Fire Emblem: Warriors in late 2017 for the Switch and New Nintendo 3DS, and a new entry in the series for Switch in 2018.

Heroes retains the series turn-based strategy gameplay, but battles take place on a smaller map that fit on a smartphone screen. Intelligent Systems, the developer behind the franchise, worked on the game with help from Nintendo and its mobile partner, DeNA.

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