Kingdom Hearts III still early in development By John Sotomayor on June 29, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Speaking with Dengeki PlayStation, Tetsuya Nomura has revealed more tidbits about Kingdom Hearts III.

Nomura stresses that the game is very early in development, so much so that not all of the worlds have even been chosen yet. Additionally, the trailer shown at this year’s E3 was not running in real-time (although it would apparently look much the same if it were). This means that we can expect new outfits and better camera controls in the future.

Kingdom Hearts is well-known for its “convoluted” storyline. All of the games, console and handheld, have been leading up to Kingdom Hearts III, which promises to conclude the storyline featuring the Xehanort antagonist. At the same time, however, the developers are looking into ways to make the game more accessible for those new to the series.

In addition to releasing on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the development team is also considering smartphone/tablet support and online elements. How these features will be implemented, if at all, remains to be seen.

Expect more information at the Tokyo Game Show later this year, and also at the upcoming D23 Expo Japan, where Nomura hopes to join some of the voice actors from the series on-stage.

Via: Final Fantasy FXN

  • Sapientia

    Well, I kind of figured it was a baby in the development stage considering they showed about five seconds of gameplay (I’m over exaggerating, obviously). Still, the graphics are purdy. Man, this and FFXV are going to look so damn good on the PS4. I’m going to end up licking my TV screen when I play them from the deliciousness of the graphics…
    Sorry, got carried away there. XD

  • Pekola

    It may be early, but I feel that Square did well in showing it. It sort of gave people hope.

    And who knows, with the Osaka team working on this, they may have a finished product in a few years.

  • Ehren Rivers

    As much as I’m looking forward to this, I’d much prefer to get 1.5 and 2.5 out of the way first. Preferably both on the PS3. After the announcement of it being in development, people keep screaming like they expect the game to come out next year.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    “developers are looking into ways to make the game more accessible for those new to the series”

    All I needed to hear :) this game needs to work as a standalone title. Give us a proper adventure and not just something that relies on all its predecessors.

  • Anime10121

    Oh 2.5 is definitely coming, I can pretty much guarantee it with the accuracy of a pregnancy test (99%), and I believe it’ll be hear next year at that!

    Now Kingdom Hearts III on the other hand, I honestly dont understand how people believe it’ll be here next year, or even the year after. Ever since its announcement at E3, people have been screaming that its finally “coming soon”, even when at the event itself, Nomura stressed that it was in early development. I mean, if they havent even finished PICKING the Disney Worlds (the bulk of Kingdom Hearts) how do they believe it’ll be here anytime before 4th quarter 2015 at the earliest is beyond me (I’m honestly expecting 4th quarter 2016).

    Excitement is good, but people are letting it cloud sound judgement. 2015 will probably be the first year since Nomura made his “yearly” Kingdom Hearts promise that we may miss out on a title, unless they decide on remastering KH3D for PS4 or something, which would be doable with the touchscreen on the dual shock 4.

    They basically just announced the title so that people could finally rest their fears and breathe a sigh of relief that Kingdom Hearts 3 is actually a real tangible product that’ll actually release, and not just some mythical thing that’s spoken of only in code.

  • Anime10121

    No you, you havent gotten carried away, as I actually feel the same :P

  • Tifa Lockhart

    Could someone please petition to Nomura to change the graphic style of KH3. I really do not like the this visual at all.

  • John Sotomayor

    If you don’t like it, maybe you should write up the petition yourself. =)

    Keep in mind that this is far from the final product, and that the Kingdom Shader will make the characters look different in each world they travel to.

  • John Sotomayor

    I agree, but at the same time, the game needs to act as a conclusion to all of the games we’ve played so far. It’ll be difficult for them to strike that balance, but I think Nomura and his team can pull it off.

  • John Sotomayor

    I agree, I want 1.5 and 2.5 first. It’s a shame we haven’t heard much about 2.5 yet, though.

  • Panos Dek

    I really don’t expect to see this game in stores before 2015! I would say fall 2015 or early 2016! Although I would love to have it sooner! SE gives us games a bit too late, but they have proved that they deserve it! They make unforgotten games!

  • Hedge

    I hope these new “Kingdom shaders” or what they called them are still in prototype. I really disliked how it made the characters looked. I much prefer the cartoon-y style over the animated-style. Makes them look like they’re in a Pixar movie instead of a classical Disney movie. xD

    Ya, I don’t expect it anytime soon either, and I really do wonder why it was announced at E3. I’d much prefer it to be announced next year where it’s actually closer to development. Ah well, I can wait. My hype died out a few years after KH2, so I’ll save it for when it’s actually here. :)

  • Ehren Rivers

    While I’m sure it’ll be a proper adventure, it doesn’t seem likely that KHIII will work as a standalone title. It’s tying up plot threads and conflicts from SEVEN other games, so it’s going to have to relate to at least some of them pretty heavily.

  • GhostReverie

    I feel like I’m the only one who reeeeaaally likes the way the visuals look. To me at least, it seems like a natural evolution of the series’s graphics.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Nope, I like them too. It was VERY surprising at first, given the similar style they’ve had across the games on all of the other platforms, but I don’t feel like it’s a bad choice. If anything, I’m interested to see what it will make things look like in different worlds.

  • Cloud AC

    I do like the visuals as well. Reminds me of the CGI openings and endings from past games. It looks next-gen without ditching the cartoony style.

  • Anime10121

    Though they did take the graphics in a direction I didnt expect, I still like the outcome.

    I expected real time graphics to look at worst like the high poly cutscene model here


    or here


    or more like the CG model from 2 as seen here (which honestly I would have preferred a lot more)


    compared to what we actually have with this


    I actually like it though as I think other than the CG model from 2, its actually the best Sora’s ever looked!

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    Oh I know, I’ve played all the games to death and had a blast! I just hope it has a good storyline that stands on its own and adds to the franchise. We know what to expect after 3D, but I want there to be plenty of surprises along the way. Obviously it’ll allude to the past, but I hope it introduces some decent new characters and non-Disney worlds to explore! The portable games have been fun but it’ll be so good to play a proper sequel again.

  • Stealth

    typical square, showing something when its barely started

  • EX+

    This game is gonna run better on PS4 anyway. Just one question for discussion: Does anyone think that this is just a one time deal?

    Yoichi Wada is the guy who made this decision most likely. He’s just a chairman now, so he won’t be making any big decisions. I think we all know that this game is gonna sell best on PS4 just like FFXV. The sales on the Xbox One version are gonna be kinda pathetic in comparison to the PS4′s. Square Enix also has reported huge losses. They NEED to make this a multiplat to squeeze as much money out of it. The gen hasn’t even started yet so they need to start getting to know the hardware (On PS4 especially) and make it on PC and then port it to the PS4 and Xbox One.

    Also we know the PS4 is more powerful then the Xbone. In 2-3 years, when games use more and more RAM (including GDDR5 meaning just less games for Xbone), the Xbox Done is gonna get some seriously watered down ports or just less games, from Japanese devs especially will ditch it later. So when the games after KH3 and FFXV come out (KH4,KH5, FFXV-2, and FFXVI) they’ll be exclusive to PS4, because they won’t be able to run on Xbox One and because Square will know that they won’t sell well enough on the Xbox One (Yes I know it might come to PC but it probably won’t with their development costs high enough and if they did it would still sell best on PS4)? Keep in mind that Sony could’ve locked those 2 games as exclusive but they didn’t because they’re focusing on 1st party right now (for now 1st party exclusive will be the main focus). Don’t forget, Tetsuya Nomura also loves his exclusivity. I really can’t any game apart from KH3 and FFXV that are multiplats. Both this and FFXV will probably be out by 2015, when like I said games will be using higher specs and amounts of RAM. Also, I know this is a very low possibility, but don’t you thin Sony could pay square enough to make it fully exclusive to PS4 and announce it at E3 2014. What do you guys think?

  • Ehren Rivers

    They want to port games to whatever system can properly use them. Essentially, Square Enix has realized that exclusivity helps the console-making companies more than it helps them. There are plenty of XBox-using people out there that might be interested in Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, but are unwilling to go out and buy a second system. By making the game available on a system they intend to purchase, they can make their product more widely purchasable, especially by those who will only have the money to buy one console for several years. I don’t think the Xbox One is a good system in the slightest, but there are people out there who think it’s going to be great and will prioritize it. I know several of them myself.

    The PS4 does appear to be more powerful than the Xbox One, but we don’t know how hard Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will push the software and hardware involved. The games will definitely be gorgeous and will probably be a fantastic leap forward from the current generation, but to be so intensive that they’d consider not putting the game on the Xbox? I’m not so sure about that, and I think it might even be short-changing the XB1 a little bit.

    Lastly, Nomura doesn’t really love exclusivity. He loves making games on unique systems with interesting capabilities, which by definition make them exclusives because there’s not a comparable system out there. Square Enix (and by extension, Nomura) knows that there are Final Fantasy fans that use the Xbox system from their experiment with making the Lightning Saga multiplatform. They know it’s there, so as long as the hardware can handle it they will probably continue to multiplat Final Fantasy games.

    Kingdom Hearts, on the other hand, would be a relative newcomer to the platform. Since KHIII is being developed in DirectX 11 and can therefore be ported easily to the Xbox One, it makes it an ideally effortless testing of the waters for this series. If it does well, then there’s a possibility they’ll port the 1.5 (and anticipated 2.5) collection to give Xbox players the full story, at which point it would join Final Fantasy as “Multiplatform whenever possible”.

    Lastly, I don’t think Sony could pay them enough to create exclusivity for the games. The potential new install base for the US is way too enticing.

  • EX+

    I agree with you that KH3 and FFXV will probably not push the hardware. I just meant the games that’ll come out AFTER KH3 and FFXV. And you’re 100% correct. Nomura loves making games on unique platforms. I took that into account, but then I wondered: Why was BBS exclusive to PSP? Maybe it was because of the power.

    Yes your correct that the install base is enticing. However the install base in Japan is what I think is most important thing to Square Enix. More than half the sales for KH3 and FFXV especially, will be from Japan. Meaning that maybe even more than 3 quarters of the sales will be on PS4, since the majority of the sales will be on PS4 in the west. I honestly think that MS will put the DRM back in when they sell enough units of the Xbox One.

  • Ehren Rivers

    BBS was exclusive to the PSP because it was a system Nomura hadn’t tried yet, and as with the DS it had no direct analogue among any other handheld. Internal features such as the ad-hoc multiplayer and the ability to install data for a smoother game were good motivators, despite it not being a particularly special-features-heavy handheld otherwise.

    And no, that’s counter-intuitive to the money loss you mentioned above. Their Japan market isn’t faltering at all, whereas their relationship with western markets (particularly the US) has been rocky in the last year due to Square Enix’s own admitted lack of understanding of said market. I also submit Final Fantasy XIII once again, which was initially a PS3 exclusive for Japan and then became multiplatform upon moving to the west. Because the game sold about equal numbers between PS3 and 360 in the West, they re-released XIII on the 360 in Japan and despite Japan giving 0 pigs about the Xbox they continued to release Lightning Saga games in multiplatform. The company concerns are multinational.

    It’s also doubtful that more than half the sales for Final Fantasy XV will come from Japan. When we look back to their last large outing with Final Fantasy XIII, Japan had an edge for the US PS3 sales with approximately 1.8 mil compared to 1.5 mil. When you take into account the 360 sales, though, the US jumps to 2.6 million copies. About 50% higher than that of Japan, if you’re keeping track, as Japan only sold between 10k and 20k copes on the 360. And that’s to say nothing of Europe, which sold about a cool million (PS3, half that for the 360 for a total 1.5) itself and is counted as part of the Western markets. This trend continued with XIII-2, where again the lion’s share was sold in the Western markets, with approximately a third sold in NA, EU, and JP each.

    All of these figures MIGHT mean platform exclusive games if there was any real effort involved with porting. However, if the games sell half, or even a third of their numbers on the Xbox One that they do on the PS4 they’ll have been worth more than the process of porting. Money is certainly not the issue here, performance is. The performances of FF XV and KH III wlll almost certainly fall within the capabilities of the Xbox One. If future games become intensive enough that they can run on the PS4 but not the Xbox One, then I (and Square Enix) have already covered that. As I said before, they intend to put their next-generation games out on any console that can handle them.

    The issue of Microsoft and their DRM policies may have an effect, but currently that issue has been removed and there’s no indication it’s coming back beyond people’s (admittedly deserved) mistrust of Microsoft.

  • EX+

    Yes you’re right. Just to clarify: I meant games after KH3 and FFXV, which both those. After those 2 games, there’s pretty much no doubt that Square will be reporting huge profits, pulling out of the losses they’ve been reporting. And I wasn’t saying their market and Japan was faltering. I just meant it’s most important to them.