Square Enix series Kingdom Hearts has captured the imagination of players all across the world for over a decade now. Originally released back in March of 2002, the first Kingdom Hearts game opened up the collaborative world of Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios, as the two brought various Disney locations to video gamers who would take on the role of Sora. Searching for his friends in different worlds, he would come across a variety of unique characters from Disney, Final Fantasy and The World Ends with You.
Eight games in the Kingdom Hearts series have been released to-date, with more planned for the future, and one of those upcoming releases is the official third episodic addition to the franchise, Kingdom Hearts III. The game is something that has been talked about for over six years now, but still we haven’t seen anything too substantial from the team behind it.
However, director of Kingdom Hearts III, Tetsuya Nomura provided an update on the game’s status during an interview in the latest issue of Weekly Famitsu (via Gematsu). Asked about the state of development, he said:
“While I can’t make a sweeping statement because the development process is different from what we’ve done so far, there are still worlds untouched. Production is progressing on unannounced worlds, in a state that we cannot show them off. In terms of the state of development, there is still some way to go.”
The news, while disappointing, likely won’t come as a shock to fans of the Kingdom Hearts series, as Square Enix are known for taking their time between releases in their various franchises. What is worrying though is that these comments suggest that the third full installment to the Kingdom Hearts franchise won’t make it to release at any point this year, as was previously expected.
Of course, in a couple of days we will see the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2.8 released, and new features included in that game could apparently make their way on over to Kingdom Hearts III. It’s not all bad news knowing that we’ll be able to delve into the Kingdom Hearts world again very soon - and if the development team behind Kingdom Hearts III are taking their time simply because they want to deliver the best game experience possible to their fans, then who are we to judge?
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will be officially released on January 12th, 2017. Kingdom Hearts III is still expected to be released by retailers at some point this year.