Koei Tecmo made FE: Three Houses?!

Several outlets are reporting on a Famitsu interview where the devs reveal that Intelligent Systems, the long-time developer of Fire Emblem, had a relatively limited role in the development of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, providing a “minimum crew of several designers, a music composer, and an adviser” and otherwise handing it off to Koei Tecmo’s “Kou Shibusawa” team, best known for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series.

This blew my mind clean out of my head since that makes it the first mainline FE not really made by Intelligent Systems, and having not picked it up yet, I’m wondering if any RtK fans can see the teams’ roots in any of the design!

Also, I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I’m curious if Austin knows and what he’d think, since he’s a big fan of RtK from what I’ve heard on the 3ma podcast.

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Cue rampant guessing about which characters are basically name/gender-swapped horny versions of Lu Bu/Zhuge Liang etc.


I can’t believe they had to do all that just to get the queer representation of these women’s endings adjacent to other women leave an impressive amount of wiggle room to be read as gay.

…Still a big improvement.

Wonder what the main team Intelligent Systems are working on.

Either a Geneology remake or a new Paper Mario, probably.

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It’s so bizarre, like what would the main team be working on that would be more successful than a brand new Fire Emblem? I know looking at things from the capitalism lense is self defeating, but I wonder how they were allowed to even do this, unless IS is just an internal mess

Nintendo does this all the time, you know. Heck, Namco Bandai helps out significantly with SSB.


I’d hesitate on calling what resulted in one of the best-selling and well-received games in the franchise any sort of mess or even mistake. They wouldn’t give their next big title to a bunch of amateurs after all.

Nintendo does a lot of out-sourcing and working with other companies for their games. Monolith Soft did a lot of heavy work for Breath of the Wild and as JKDarkSide said, Namco Bandai has a huge part in Smash (and also, technically, Smash is made by a different company than Nintendo’s internals too).


Pokemon is also not actually made by Nintendo, but The Pokemon Company.

Nintendo is different from Sony or Microsoft because they don’t highlight devs and studios as much as their own brand recognition.


Devs hired by Nintendo: Look, I made this!

Nintendo: you made this?

hands game to Nintendo

Nintendo: I made this.


All that really matters is who decided that Claude doesn’t want to talk about kitties at our tea parties. That person is a monster.


I wasn’t saying Three Houses a mess, i really love Three Houses. I’m just curious as to why IS wasn’t primarily developing it, because whatever was the new fire emblem, it was probably going to be a bigger commercial success than a remake or a Paper Mario game. I mean FE is “their” series right?

Eh, not exactly. It has been publicly stated that these other studios do the work, and from Nintendo themselves. It’s just not played up quite as much for projects like these because the IPs proper are owned by Nintendo (though I’m uncertain what the copyright with Pokemon is). When a studio does an original IP on a Nintendo system or for Nintendo, it’s more commonly mentioned and advertised.

It’s also possible that some studios don’t feel the need to really announce this work that much to the public so much as have it on their company resume. We live in very different times from the era of Rare slapping their logo all over Donkey Kong, studio identity isn’t as important as being able to ship a solid product in a good timeframe due to how complex making games of this size has become.

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Hey, Paper Mario is Mario, that shit’s the golden goose. If they put the bulk of their team on that (especially to make up for the critical reception of the last two games [p.s. Color Splash is good, fight me]), it makes sense that they would have to outsource for the new Fire Emblem title, especially when it’s their first HD game.


Paper Mario hasn’t been worth paying attention to since Super. On the Wii. The Mario & Luigi crossover game is just half of a good Mario spinoff game with more boring not actually Paper Mario but pretending to be Paper Mario stapled on.

Honestly curious what the sales figures are like because they can’t be that great. The majority of the audience has to be parents because it says Mario on it, which still can’t be too much because there are so many other Mario games to choose from.

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Yeah, I can’t find the source now but I thought color splash sold very poorly. (Though it was a late stage WiiU game so…) which is unfortunate that Nintendo has relatively ignored a series and allowed it to Peter out like it has