E3 2013 was a gaming event occurring June 11-13, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Kingdom Hearts III was officially announced at the event, featuring a new trailer and various press updates including intervews and website updates. We have summarized all Kingdom Hearts III content from the event below for you.
Tetsuya Nomura appeared at Sony's press conference via a video and showed a short, beta trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.
Platform: PlayStation 4 & Xbox One
Status: "Now in development" (early stages)
Release date: No announcement yet
Details from press events & releases
Details from "Square Enix: The Future" press event:
- Kingdom Hearts III is being developed with DirectX 11, meaning that it can be easily compiled for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
- Kingdom Hearts III will follow a mature Sora adventuring with Mickey, Donald and Goofy. New Disney worlds for the series will be included.
- Kingdom Hearts III is being developed by the "Osaka team", the team responsible for Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D.
Details from press release:
Story of KINGDOM HEARTS III
Believing light and darkness must remain in balance, Master Xehanort seeks to spark war against the ‘tyranny of light’ to restore equilibrium.
In an effort to undermine Xehanort’s plot, Sora, Donald and Goofy search for seven guardians of light and the “Key to Return Hearts,” while King Mickey and Riku search for previous Keyblade wielders.
Square Enix launched official websites for Kingdom Hearts III in various regions. These websites are linked to below. These don't contain much as of yet, but expect them to be updated in the future.
New details from interviews
Tetsuya Nomura took part in various interviews throughout the week. We have summarized all of the new Kingdom Hearts III information from these interviews below. Or, if you're interested, you can read the full interviews here.
Story, worlds and characters
- The battle against Master Xehanort and Organization XIII will end in Kingdom Hearts III. Kingdom Hearts (the location) will appear in Kingdom Hearts III.
- The world selections in Kingdom Hearts III will contain some stable choices, as well as some surprising factors. There is a particular surprising world.
- Kingdom Hearts III will contain Final Fantasy characters.
- Sora's outfit is yet to be unveiled.
- Whenever Nomura hears about a new Disney acquisition (Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc), he contacts Disney and sees if it's something that he can use in Kingdom Hearts. Nomura says that the answer is sometimes 'absolutely no', but sometimes 'we don't know'. No more details were given.
- Nomura sees core games (KH1, KH2 and KH3) as having "evolving gameplay", and other games as having "experimental gameplay" (new challenges and new skills). Kingdom Hearts III will follow the evolving gameplay formula, ie. the gameplay will be similar to KH1 and KH2, however, it will also draw inspiration from well received experiments in other titles, such as Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D. KH3D was noted as having lots of inspiration drawn from it.
- Summoning will return in Kingdom Hearts III, but it will be in a very different form.
- Multiplayer elements and online capabilities are both being considered. More details about this will be announced later.
- Nomura recognizes that people want to play as King Mickey, and that will be taken into consideration. Sora will definitely be the main character to play, however, but it is possible that there will be multiple playable characters. In Kingdom Hearts III, you will have a three person party, but depending on the world NPCs will also join in fighting
- The gameplay is described as "some very flashy action". Nomura says "you'll be flying through the sky, unfolding into air battles without landing", as with the trailer.
- The enemy AI is becoming rather elaborate. Nomura is aiming for coordinated action to flow from enemies and allies alike. There is already a vehicle-like enemy, and Sora is able to ride that enemy all around during battle.
- Kingdom Hearts III is in a very early stage of development, and Nomura feels that it was a bit early to be announcing it. Despite this, the game visuals already have a solid direction. The visuals are referred to as 'Kingdom Shader'. This is a technique they have developed for the game, where the shader will adjust depending on the world.
- Kingdom Hearts III is being developed on Luminous Studios, ie. developed using DirectX 11, allowing for easy compiling to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The trailer did not contain any actual gameplay, actually, the gameplay portion of the trailer is a FMV that represents what gameplay might look like. Development is at a stage where they have a demo version running on existing equipment, and the way the demo moves is said to be similar to the way the FMV looks.
- Square Enix is exhibiting at Tokyo Game Show 2013 (September 19-22, 2013) and D23 Disney Japan Expo (October 12-14, 2013). Nomura expects that Kingdom Hearts III will be shown at these events, and that more information will become available around those times.