Kingdom Hearts 3 now has a release date target, and fans who have already been waiting three years for the latest game in the Disney series will have to wait quite a bit longer.
It was back at the E3 2013 that Square Enix announced the 11th installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, which is also the final chapter in the Dark Seeker saga. The game has reportedly been in some phase of development since at least 2006, though it was not officially announced until three years ago.
The game features protagonist Sora along with some familiar Disney faces — Donald Duck, Goofy, and King Mickey — in their attempt to stop Master Xehanort from starting another Keyblade War. Fans have been searching for tidbits about the release date for Kingdom Hearts 3 for more than three years now, and finally developers have given some time frame for when it will be released.
Many had hoped that the game would be released this year, the Morning Ledger noted, but instead the developer scheduled Kingdom Hearts 2.8 for a December release as a backdrop for the upcoming release.
As the Morning Ledger report noted, that has pushed the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 deeper into 2017.
“Movie News Guide reports that the title will likely be available in Japan before it’s up for gameplay in the west. Although Square Enix has not officially announced a date of release, according to its latest financial report, it’s been confirmed that KH3 is slated to be released – at the earliest – April 2017.”
While the developer is remaining tight-lipped about the exact release date, other gaming news outlets have deciphered some clues about exactly when Kingdom Hearts 3 might be released. The Master Herald noted that Square Enix may have tipped off the exact date with an orchestra tour that runs from next spring to early summer.
“Square Enix has already scheduled a Kingdom Hearts Orchestra world tour from March 10 to June 24 next year, which somehow lends credence to the previous reports that the game would officially make it to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One early next year.
“It is no use having a world tour for the game if it has not been released yet on the gaming consoles so it is likely that “Kingdom Hearts 3″ would come out before March 10, 2017.”
There had been some hope that Square Enix might announce the Kingdom Hearts 3 release date at last month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), but instead the lack of a solid date left many fans frustrated. It’s not uncommon in the video game world for some larger projects to take a long time in development, but gamers following the series kept mostly a good sense of humor, including joking online about how long it’s taking for the game to come out.
Glad to know when Kingdom Hearts 3 will come out. Only have to wait till Dec 31, 9999 pic.twitter.com/REVld7ZV2Z— Best Video Games (@BestGamezUp) June 30, 2016
But fans left waiting for the official Kingdom Hearts 3 release date to be announced are at least assured that the game won’t be lacking for action or content. Square Enix director Tetsuya Nomura told Famitsu (translated by KHInsider) that the release of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 won’t be taking anything away from next year’s full release.
“‘KH3’ is overwhelmingly big, so it’s not that content has been shaved off,” Nomura said.
Nomura also said that the game will get right to the action, as Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will be serving as the introduction of sorts.
“We want to enjoy the adventure right away, so I decided to try and keep the opening exposition part of ‘KH3’ as short as possible,” he said.
So while there are plenty of details trickling out about the game and when it will likely come out, the official release date for Kingdom Hearts 3 likely won’t be released for several more weeks or months.
[Image via Square Enix]