Kingdom Hearts III

Gamers have been waiting patiently, for years, for Square's Kingdom Hearts III. The game has been in development for quite some time now and the game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, has finally revealed where development currently stands.

Speaking with Famitsu [via Gematsu translation] about the matter, Nomura explained how far along they are with Kingdom Hearts III and how far they have to go...

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.

This does not bode well for what many presumed of Kingdom Hearts III's development. Originally people thought that the game would be released in 2017 for home consoles. However, if there are still worlds that they haven't even touched -- and that would mean that they haven't designed these levels yet -- that means that they still have to do geometry design, develop art assets, script in the objects, set up the story nodes, develop the cutscenes and QA test the heck out of those worlds. That doesn't sound promising for a 2017 release... at all.

However, Nomura seems to have suspected as much, which is why during the interview he explains that Square has a full slate of Kingdom Hearts games due out this year to (potentially) compensate for the extreme delays of Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura runs through a list of games on the horizon, such as Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue releasing in January for PS4, and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix arriving just two months after in March. They also have plans on starting a tour featuring the music orchestral versions of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack, similar to what Square put together for Final Fantasy.

Now, there is some bit of promising news for fans still holding out hope for Kingdom Hearts III. Nomura explains that they may have something planned and ready to showcase during Disney's annual D23 event. He doesn't commit to any promises, but maybe we'll get a better scope of how far along they really are if we can get a look at some of the content at Disney's showcase.

For now, it appears as if gamers will have to settle for the Final Chapter Prologue or HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix bundles to get their Kingdom Hearts fix for 2017 unless Nomura is being coy and they're actually much further along than he lets on? Given that we haven't seen much from the third numerically sequential game in the series, I tend to doubt that he's just teasing the audience and it's likely that the game really is moving at a very slow development pace.

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