Fire Emblem Cipher Trading Card Game Ends After Five Years
Fire Emblem Cipher, the TCG based on Nintendo and Intelligent System's tactical RPG series, will get its final booster pack on October 1, 2020.
The beginning of April in Japan corresponds to the beginning of the new fiscal year, bringing with it good, and bad news. On April 2, the official Fire Emblem Cipher Twitter account announced that the Trading Card Game will not be receiving new cards anymore after the 22nd and final new Booster Pack releases on October 1, 2020.
— ファイアーエムブレム０（サイファ）公式 (@FEcipher) April 2, 2020
The note from the Fire Emblem Cipher Project Team on the TCG’s official site explains that more information regarding the game’s upcoming events and ongoing support will be announced during a live stream today. We’ll update this article with more information then. It’s likely upcoming events and tournaments will be canceled amidst Covid-19 concerns. For now, what we know is that before ending, Fire Emblem Cipher will get its 21st Booster Pack on June 25, and its 22nd and final Booster Pack on October 1, 2020. The official tournament’s finals are scheduled for December 2020. Official support for fan-organized events will end on March 31, 2021. And mail customer service will stop at the end of March 2022.
Over on Twitter, certain Japanese fans are speculating on what could be the reasons behind Fire Emblem Cipher stopping. In particular, I’ve seen a fan mentioning this sad development was predictable for multiple reasons: how in Japan there are few venues to gather for card games tournaments and events, so the number of players barely increased. How there are few players outside of big cities, meaning you’d have no one to play with in the countryside. And lastly how Booster Packs can be expensive recently, especially if you don’t live in a big city, and you’d need to specifically order them. You should definitely take all this with a grain of salt, but these reasons do seem likely. Ultimately, while we might never know the exact reasons why FE Cipher is stopping, it definitely has something to do with money and profitability.
Fire Emblem Cipher and its first Booster Pack launched alongside the release of Fire Emblem Fates in Japan on June 25, 2015. Over these five years, Fire Emblem Cipher received multiple events, streams, tournaments, and new cards illustrated by many different artists.
Needless to say, older Fire Emblem games obviously weren’t as visually detailed as now, seeing the series is 30 years old. As such, witnessing the old games’ characters and their stories being depicted via gorgeous cards was a particularly nice experience.
Getting to see beautiful artwork recreating iconic events from masterpieces such as Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War is a poignant experience for fans of the franchise. The cards were also an occasion to make the most popular characters of Fire Emblem wear different costumes and depict them in unusual situations and were great fanservice material.
Fire Emblem Cipher will definitely be missed. It’s not impossible, however, that a spiritual successor project could be announced later on, and I’m personally hoping so.
The latest Fire Emblem game is Fire Emblem Three Houses, available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. It’s also the best selling game of the franchise. A side story DLC titled Cindered Shadows has just released as well. Three Houses recently got a Drama CD too. You can check out our Fire Emblem Three Houses review to learn more about the game.