Kingdom Hearts 3 was a name that was thrown around for years. In fact, Square Enix reportedly began thinking about it and planning as early as 2006. But after years of speculation and rumors, the game was finally unveiled in 2013 at the E3 Conference in Los Angeles. Fans went crazy.
Since then, we've heard various tidbits of information about a game that will most likely be getting a release date in 2017. There's bound to be plenty of events in the future that will reveal more and more about Kingdom Hearts 3, so we thought we could start with a chronology now and update it as we go along. Let's see what we know so far.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' - Everything We Know
'Kingdom Hearts 3' @ E3 2013
Square Enix revealed that Kingdom Hearts 3 does indeed exist and that it'll be a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2 from 2005. The trailer below showed a beautifully rendered Sora, a new keyblade (possibly Eraqus's keyblade) and some new combat. The brief gameplay segment showed Sora's new acrobatic abilities and intriguing new attack methods. Though brief, it was a great sigh of relief for fans who were delighted to see their patience pay off.
The Look Of 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
In October of 2013, Tetsuya Nomura discussed the visual style of Kingdom Hearts 3 and how it hoped to channel the magic of Disney's 2D artwork:
"We don't have an official name for it, but we have something called the 'Kingdom Shader.' We showed it in the E3 trailer, but it's our attempt to 'Express Disney's 2D brushwork in 3D.' When deciding on the graphical direction for Kingdom Hearts III, we talked with [Square Enix's Takeshi] Nozue and the rest of Square Enix's visual development department, Visual Works, and had them prepare several different styles. Some were in a 'brushwork-like style' and they were developed into what you saw at E3. We have a development base where Visual Works makes a pre-rendered movie that we convert into a real-time render."
D23 Expo Japan In 2013
A few months after the reveal of Kingdom Hearts 3, Square Enix was present at the D23 Expo in Japan in October and were delighted to have another trailer to satisfy fans' desires for more. We were treated to some more of the game's beautiful combat and also two remarkable segments that showed how Sora's keyblade can transform into a pirate ship to attack his enemies, as well as a magical flying train that battled one of the Titans from Disney's Hercules. Loving it, Square. Loving it.
More 'Kingdom Hearts 3' Footage
There have been various periods of silence during Kingdom Hearts 3's development and the start of 2014 was certainly quiet. However, fans were able to get a brief glimpse of Kingdom Hearts 3 in a trailer for the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX. It only arrives at the end of this trailer, but it features a voiceover discussing the origins of the Keyblade War. It was simply a hype builder before the main event, because E3 was one week away.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' @ E3 2014
HOWEVER, we then discovered that the short segment that covered Kingdom Hearts 3 in this clip was actually the opening for the game and the first thing that we'll see on its release date. Nice! But it was a serious tease for fans who were dying to see more gameplay.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' On Unreal Engine 4
In early October 2014, Tetsuya Nomura conducted an interview in which he revealed that Square Enix weren't using their own in house engine to develop Kingdom Hearts 3. They were in fact using Unreal Engine, stating that the game was far more ambitious than they'd anticipated and required a far more powerful engine behind it in order to realize the team's dreams for the project.
"Development is steadily proceeding as planned. Due to the impact of changing the game engine to Unreal Engine 4, which we did for various reasons, there is some difficulty rendering images. And with the full support of Epic Games, we'll be able to progress smoothly."
'Kingdom Hearts 3' @ E3 2015
After a long hiatus, fans were finally treated to the greatest trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 they could have possibly imagined. New combat, beautiful new worlds, stellar visuals, an insight into the enormous size of areas, all underscored by the wondrous music of Yoko Shimomura. Check out the trailer again below to fill yourself with gladness all over again.
'Kingdom Hearts 3' - Confirmed New Disney Worlds
Along with this glorious trailer, Square Enix revealed two of the new worlds we can look forward to on the release date of Kingdom Hearts 3. Tangled and Big Hero 6 were the two biggest announcements to come from the event and we couldn't be more delighted to see these two stellar Disney movies alongside Sora and the gang. Anyone else a massive fan of Tangled?
New 'Kingdom Hearts 3' Footage
In December of 2015, Square Enix put out a new Kingdom Hearts trailer that showcased the series’s upcoming 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue release and ends with a couple of minutes’ worth of Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay. It's still beautiful and demonstrates some of the ridiculous lengths that the developers are going to in order to fill the game with remarkable attack patterns and abilities.
This is all that we currently have on Kingdom Hearts 3. We'll update the article accordingly as more news comes from within the offices at Square Enix. Are you excited for this game's release date? Let us know in the comments!