The director behind Kingdom Hearts 3 has explained why the highly anticipated Disney RPG has taken so long to arrive, following confirmation of a 2018 launch for the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Kingdom Hearts 3 release delays explained
Speaking at Disney’s D23 expo over the weekend, Tetsuya Nomura revealed the main cause of the delay is down to the fact Square Enix, the game’s publisher, decided to switch game engines after about 12 months of development. Various timing and resource challenges within the company also caused further setbacks with the project.
“A lot of people have been mentioning and making it sound like ‘Oh, Nomura’s taking too much time,’ and it hurts,“ he said. “There was a decision made to change to an external [engine]…Unreal Engine 4,” explained Nomura-san. “So we switched over to that. Unfortunately there was a bit of time that needed to be rewinded and started over. So there was a bit of a setback there, but it was a decision that the company had to make, so it was inevitable.”
“We had a plan of the period that it’s going to take for us to create the content at the start of the project, and we laid out, after such and such years, we would need to add more personnel resources,” he said. “We had submitted it to our headquarters and had it approved, but internal personnel is very limited, and there are various different projects that happen within our company, so unfortunately timing did not work out. So we had to make due with the timing that was appropriate for the company…the company makes the decisions, so unfortunately sometimes it is out of my control.”
Nomura was quick to note that Kingdom Heart 3’s lengthy arduous production cycle wasn’t the result of any problems with development or a result of choices made by him or his team.
“I wanted to emphasize that it wasn’t a problem on our development teams," Nomura explained. "It just happened that way, and there were some decisions that the company had to make, and it just didn’t work out for certain timings that we were hoping to hit.”
“It’s kind of out of my hands,” he added. “I mean, yes, time has passed. But it’s out of my hands.”
Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC hinted
Elsewhere, Nomura strongly hinted that Kingdom Hearts 3 will receive downloadable content down the line, although made it clear nothing has been confirmed at this point.
“Nothing is set in stone, and I’m afraid we can’t go into details, but I have told the team: Just be prepared to be able to accommodate for something like that,” he revealed. “We can’t suddenly develop a system where we’re accommodating for downloadable content. So it’s not confirming or denying either way, but just so that the development team will be prepared, I have informed them of making the preparations.”
Square Enix confirmed over the weekend that Kingdom Hearts 3 will feature a brand new game world based on Pixar’s Toy Story franchise, featuring appearances by Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and other characters from Andy’s room. Nomura also recently explained more details regarding the game’s keyblade transformations.