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Kingdom Hearts III is being developed on Unreal Engine 4 By Erren Van Duine on October 6, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Kingdom Hearts III will not be using Square Enix’s Luminous Engine as previously announced. Instead, development continues now on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 director Nomura confirmed to Famitsu. In the full interview, which largely focused on Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, Nomura said that development on Kingdom Hearts III was moving along as planned based on their schedule, however, the game has switched over to Unreal Engine 4 for various reasons unknown.

Because of the switch from Luminous to Unreal, Nomura says they are currently having rendering issues, although they are closely working together with Epic Games to iron out those problems.

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  • Mugen

    Interesting…wondering if they’re having issues with their Luminous engine, because IIRC, FFXIII development took a long time because of them trying to get the Crystal Engine running well. Maybe the same with Luminous this time around, perhaps why FFXV is taking so long as well.

  • Wazi the pa

    The Unreal Engine 4 has been praised for it’s outstanding visuals! If you guys aren’t amazed of what the engine can do, go look for this PS4 game called Rime. The use of the engine is PERFECT for Kingdom Hearts with it’s style! Just you wait guys. You will be amazed.

  • I just saw the demonstration video for the Unreal Engine 4 and… wow.

  • raruna

    Well, this shouldnt be a reason for worry. It’s very early in development, and Unreal Engine is a very good one. I find this especially nice because if they are using an engine other people use, they can ask for guidance from others instead of just spinning their tires in the mud and hoping that their problems will get solved.

  • Pure

    This is interesting, but Square Enix later blamed graphical faults in The Last Remnant as a direct result of using a off the shelf engine instead of their own, Unreal Engine 3.

    So, it’s something to watch, not sure if it’s something to be happy about though, especially if they have Luminous worked out, they have XV staff to get advice from.

  • stevenm281

    So Square Enix is still having trouble with their game engines…. nothing new there. I thought they made Luminous very user-friendly but they must have been wrong because they had to ditch it for UE4.

  • Jesus Christ

    I did some research on the Unreal Engine 4 on YouTube and I’m very impressed! The visuals are realistic and gorgeous. But, perhaps that’s the problem if the KH team is going for a more Disney look with the Kingdom Shader?

  • Caliburn

    Do not judge based on such little information about something you most likely know almost nothing about.

  • Daniel Masterson

    took the words right out of my typing mouth.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Sounds kinda exaggerated from my part. But I wonder if Nomura is trying to dissassociate himself from anything related to the development practices used in XV out of some level of spite from being removed from that project. I wish they were a little more open with the so called “unknown” reasons for the engine switch. Either way, after looking at how UE3 was able to render both photorealistic and cel-shaded games (like Guilty Gear Xrd) i wouldn’t be surprised if they can actually play with some shading techniques in between which have been used in the previous KH games. I just hope this doesn’t mean more technical hurdles for FFXV, but after seeing the developers new open attitude towards the game I highly doubt the decision of switching KH3 to UE4 was purely technical.

  • stevenm281

    Well they did say that they made Luminous to be used for all their new games, no matter the platform. If they cant use it for their second best franchise…. something is fishy..

  • ZenTzen

    well at the time, epic didnt even have a japanese branch, things are different now, and UE4 was specifically designed for better console implementation as well

  • ZenTzen

    Luminous is still an engine thats pretty much still in development, so much so that the Luminous R&D people got pratically integrated into the FFXV development team, so i’m guessing that because of FFXVs ongoing development they really cant spare any man power for their other projects.

    so instead of delaying projects even more, better get a 3rd party engine and continue allong with things on schedule

  • loudman

    Guess this explains the technical issues we heard about a little while ago, as well as why we haven’t seen any gameplay since the alpha footage from D23 2013. Perhaps they just didn’t want to spread out the devs working on Luminous out over 2 major projects.

    UE4 seems very flexible, though; Tekken 7 uses it, and gameplay wise that looks no different from any of the previous titles. The visuals look great too, and they’re only half done from what I understand.

  • ZenTzen

    tekken 7 in terms of graphics are only at 60%, like character lighting, skin shaders, etc, while the game overall is only at 50%

  • Sathil

    UDK4 is pretty legit for what it is. Easily available, flexible, and powerful. But as long as KH3 progresses at a steady pace, I’m happy.