Kingdom Hearts III will not be using Square Enix’s own Luminous Engine, director Tetsuya Nomura announced recently. Instead the company has opted to use Unreal Engine 4; Nomura mentioned only that a “variety of reasons” were behind the change. However, he added that Epic Games had been cooperative during the transition, and that this change has not hindered development progress.
Kingdom Hearts III is coming to the PS4 and Xbox One. A release timeframe has not been announced.
A recent interview with Tetsuya Nomura about Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix briefly put the spotlight on Kingdom Hearts III, revealing a few more details about the latter title. In particular, Nomura stated that development on KHIII is proceeding as planned. Visual rendering in the engine has proven somewhat challenging, but writing and world development are currently on track.
Furthermore, Nomura said they’re looking to keep the time between 2.5 and III‘s release as short as possible. Kingdom Hearts Chi‘s scenario is closely tied to Kingdom Hearts III, to the point of the titles being written concurrently. More is planned for the series beyond III, but no further details were given at this time.
Speaking with Famitsu, Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto said that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will not be at this year’s E3. Hashimoto spoke positively of Final Fantasy XV‘s development, and that “we are working diligently on Kingdom Hearts III,” but stated that new information for either game would not be present at the show.
In a recent interview, Square Enix producer Shinji Hashimoto stated that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are not in simultaneous development. “Both have Tetsuya Nomura as their director,” said Hashimoto, “so we can’t create these two big games at the same time. It’s a difficult job, as we want each game to be perfect in terms of quality.”
The announcement for Kingdom Hearts III, he added, was specifically to address speculation on the sequel, though a timeframe for development was not clarified. Hashimoto emphasized that there is still much work to do. Both titles will see a PS4/Xbox One release, though neither has a known release window at this time.
While they had Tetsuya Nomura sitting still for Final Fantasy XV, they also questioned him about Kingdom Hearts III. The details are as follows:
- Nomura is co-directing the title along with Tai Yasue. Rie Nishi is producing, and Yoko Shimomura is serving as composer (Shimomura is also composing for FFXV.)
- Plotwise, the game once again follows Sora and company across multiple Disney worlds, searching for a key to return hearts; this serves as the final episode in the “Dark Seeker” chapter, and is a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. The exact Disney worlds to be used have not been finalized.
- Nomura did not deny the possibility (but also could not confirm) of Riku and Kairi being playable.
- A playable demo exists internally; the hardware in use was not specified.
At a press event in Tokyo, Kingdom Hearts lead producer Tetsuya Nomura finally announced Kingdom Hearts III. Though the first two numbered entries were on the PlayStation 2, the third entry is moving to the Wii. Nomura explained:
With the success of the Wii, we thought it would be a better fit for Kingdom Hearts III. I am also very excited to use some of the motion controls for battles, especially for bosses. I think it will be very exciting and fun.
Details on the plot are scarce, but Nomura said that Riku and King Mickey would be taking center stage. Sora will show up, but he will not be the lead character. More details were promised for E3 in June, but unfortunately, there will not be a playable demo.