On 28 March, 2002, Kingdom Hearts was released and spurred into a multi-game franchise that has sold over twenty-five million copies worldwide. Over thirteen years later, a third entry in the main series has yet to have a definite release date despite being teased as early as 10 June, 2013. Tetsuya Nomura, the current director of Kingdom Hearts 3, stated his regret on the matter, saying, “Since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2, I believe that many fans were feeling impatient due to our continuous releases of spin-off titles, so we decided to announce it at the same time as Final Fantasy XV. However, looking at the current development status, I think we may have announced it a little too early.” Considering that not even a release window for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been announced, it is fairly simple to count Nomura’s statement as an understatement.
However, this does not mean that fans must wait until then for a Kingdom Hearts game. Kingdom Hearts X, originally a browser-based game, will be coming to smartphones in North America sometime in 2015. The game’s story supposedly contains events set before the infamous Keyblade War that instigated the plot of the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Obviously, this will satisfy fans growing requests for a new Kingdom Hearts game, which is what is desired instead of the recent remakes that have been coming out under the titles Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX (which contained the original games in glorious HD along with Final Mix content previously unreleased in North America). –That is, if fans wanted a new smartphone-only game with micro-transactions and subjectively eye-sore inducing artwork.
If otherwise, it is very possible that the upcoming game Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue could satisfy angry fans with an HD remake of the 3DS exclusive Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, a series of HD cinematics with new information regarding the history of the series entitled Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, and finally a short episode set immediately after the Final Mix’s ending of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep which will reportedly last around the same time as a single world in an average entry in the Kingdom Hearts series under the name Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep-A Fragmentary Passage. The full game is set to release in 2016 and, until then, fans will most likely continue to wrap their heads around the game’s absurd title. Nomura did state a reasoning for the number 2.8, observing that the actual HD remake of the 3DS title is considered 2.6 while the additional Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep story is worth around 0.2, and the absence of Sora in the planned HD cinematics makes them equivalent to 0. Adding these numbers together does in fact add up to 2.8, but it is still a mouthful to say Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.
The future of the Kingdom Hearts series is as mysterious as its origin. The very idea of Square Enix characters mingling with those of Disney is still an absurd one and, in the past, the story has not been afraid to take influences from Star Wars. Surely, considering the overwhelming support thus far, fans will wait with bated breath for the next entry, and it is up to them to respond to what can only be described as a hostage situation regarding Kingdom Hearts 3.
What do you think about the newest “Kingdom Hearts” game heading to the Playstation 4? How long have you waited for Kingdom Hearts 3 and how much longer can you wait until you give up? Make sure to share your voice in the comments below. Tune in next week for more!