IGN and Game Informer have published new interviews with Kingdom Hearts III director Testuya Nomura, who discusses various topics ranging from the game’s delay to 2019, Final Fantasy characters, Remy from Ratatouille, and more.
Get the tidbits below.
Nomura on the Delay
“The timing of release that we were actually looking at, we were told by many people, including hardware manufacturers, marketing teams, sales teams that it just wasn’t a good timing in the year,” Nomura said regarding their previously planned 2018 release date, explaining that the differences in holiday lengths and how stores operate in different regions were a concern.
“…For Kingdom Hearts III, the [Square Enix] western offices had requested to release the game as simultaneously as much as possible between Japan and America, so we were no longer able to just think about Japanese issues and retail situations,” Nomura said.
“We of course considered maybe speeding up development to release earlier than when we were told wasn’t good, but the development team said that ‘No, we just couldn’t do that. We could delay it, but we couldn’t make it any sooner.'”
The positive of the delay is that the team can now spend more time to polish the game before its release, Nomura said.
Nomura on the Big Hero 6 World
“…We pretty much have finished creating all the gameplay within that world, but we’re just not finished with the cutscenes yet,” Nomura said.
Nomura on Whether Final Fantasy Characters Will Appear
“I can’t really talk about any of the characters that have not been announced or shown yet, but just looking at Kingdom Hearts 1 compared to when that was released, there’s so many different titles with Final Fantasy characters or where all of these characters come together,” Nomura said. “I don’t feel that much of necessity of bringing these characters together like I did before. However, if you could look forward to information in the future, that would be great.”
Nomura on Remy from Ratatouille
According to Nomura, the scene in one of the recent trailers where Remy from Ratatouille appears is a cooking minigame. Nomura said that there will be a lot of these in the game and in this one you collect ingredients throughout the game and take them to Remy to cook a meal. If you succeed, your stats will increase for a limited period of time.
Nomura on the Aqua Reveal
“We had that scene with Aqua in that announcement of Frozen, and I was actually just surprised that there was the same or more buzz surrounding Aqua because Frozen was supposed to be the big reveal,” Nomura said of Aqua’s appearance in one of the recent trailers. “I was just surprised when people were surprised she had fallen to the darkness. I, of course, know the entirety of the storyline, so in fact, there are more surprises and some even bigger than that. I just wonder if everyone will be okay.”
Nomura on the Gummi Ship
“We will have new features with the Gummi Ship, we just haven’t disclosed [them] yet,” Nomura said. “What you saw yesterday [in one of the recent trailers], we just wanted to confirmed it exists.”
Nomura on Other Playable Characters
“There will be some times in the game where you’re able to control characters other than Sora, but I just won’t say which character at this moment,” Nomura teased.
Kingdom Hearts III is due out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan and Asia, and January 29 in North America and Europe.
Update 11:45 a.m.: Here are a couple of additional tidbits from a separate IGN article:
Nomura on Downloadable Content
“In this day and age, most major titles do have some kind of content releases after their release,” Nomura said. “So since I considered Kingdom Hearts III to be one of those major titles, I do want to have something to add to your enjoyment of Kingdom Hearts III, so maybe you could continue to play a little longer than release, but we haven’t really thought of anything in detail yet.”
Nomura continued, “We don’t have any customizability that you did have in 0.2 in Kingdom Hearts III,” Nomura said. “…The development team does need some kind of extra time on their hands to be able to do something like that. Because we are so busy trying to complete Kingdom Hearts III, we just don’t have any time to do that right now. But I think there is potential to maybe do something like that after release.”
Nomura on Kingdom Hearts Collections for Xbox One
Asked whether Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix or Kingdom Heart HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue are planned for release on Xbox One, Nomura said “We obviously would need to discuss with Microsoft if we are to do this or not, but we haven’t even started the conversation yet. So just not at this moment.”