Coming from classic 1991 interviews with Fire Emblem dev Shouzou Kaga and former Square-ENIX dev Hironobu Sakaguchi...
Sakaguchi: When Fire Emblem came out for the Famicom, it made a big impression on us at Square. Everyone wanted to know what kind of game it was. Back then there was nothing like it, and I would say its closer to an RPG than a simulation game. So at Square, when it came out, we bought it right away, and everyone gathered together to play and study it. I can’t say it was the easiest game to pick up and play, but I felt something very special and addicting in it. And of course I’ve been playing it ever since!
Kaga: Yeah, that was something many people remarked on—that it was hard to learn, and wasn’t easy to get into. On the flipside though, once you did figure it out, it was impossible to put down!