Patience is a virtue. But not when it comes to waiting on Kingdom Hearts 3.
Diehard fans have been waiting to get their hands on the next Square Enix/Disney crossover RPG ever since its reveal at E3 2013. A long wait was to be expected for the game’s eventual release, but it looks like we’re finally getting to the finish line. We now have a better understanding of Sora’s newest Keyblade transformations, the new Disney/Pixar worlds he’ll explore, and the gigantic bosses he’ll do battle with.
With E3 2018 right around the corner, it seems likely that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be making its final appearance at the annual gaming expo. With that in mind, let’s get into a few predictions as to what announcements will be made there and why.
Note: This article is speculative only. We are not claiming to have any official Kingdom Hearts 3 news, we are making educated estimations and speculating about the next Kingdom Hearts game and what to expect at this year’s E3.
A Final Release Date Announcement
So fans have known about the factual existence of Kingdom Hearts 3 since June 2013. Since then, updates from Tetsuya Nomura, one of the game’s directors, has trickled out. Along with those news tidbits, a bunch of gameplay and cinematic trailers have also been delivered. When it comes to an actual release date however, all we’ve been told is that Kingdom Hearts 3 is slated to come out in 2018. I’m expecting E3 2018 to be the final coming out party for this much anticipated JRPG.
I can envision Square Enix’s next major release getting a lot of stage time during Sony’s E3 2018 press conference. Tetsuya Nomura should be the one representing the development team behind the game, which happens to be Square Enix Business Division 3. After giving the audience a bit of backstory regarding the long process towards finishing the game (which is explained in a Square Elite blog post here), an epic new trailer should hit the screen. And once it comes to a close, a final release date should be the lasting image fans in attendance and at home will lose their minds over.
Recently, a reported release date for Kingdom Hearts 3 seemingly leaked out due a retail listing from Target. The release date they put out was originally shown to be November 1, but now it’s been reverted back to the placeholder release date of December 31. November 1 falls on a Thursday, which is a day that new video games rarely seem to launch on. If Square Enix sticks to its 2018 release window, Kingdom Hearts 3 should see a late Fall release date sometime in November or December.
A Brand New Trailer
Square Enix has a flair for the dramatic when it comes to presenting their unannounced and still-in-development titles. As I mentioned before, Kingdom Hearts 3 should get a big look onstage during Sony’s E3 2018 media briefing. An incredible new trailer should definitely be in the works for the event and it’ll surely appease fans who’ve been waiting for another extended look at the game. This dramatic trailer should be equal parts new gameplay mechanics and story development.
New & Returning Worlds
The main aspect of Kingdom Hearts 3 that fans have been keeping abreast of since its announcement are what Disney/Pixar worlds it’ll feature. A bunch of new and returning Disney/Pixar film franchises have already been shown off in great detail. It would make whole lot of sense to witness the debut of a new trailer for the game at E3 2018 and be treated to new world confirmations. Maybe two to three worlds at max will be revealed. If you ask me, there’s a good amount of new Disney/Pixar properties that could make for some great playable locales within Kingdom Hearts 3.
Super popular movies such as Frozen are a safe bet as a new addition to the game. The Jungle Book was originally slated to be a playable world earlier in the series, but it was removed for some reason. Kingdom Hearts 3 is the perfect opportunity to right the wrong of that mistake and bring that world to life. I’d love to see Kingdom Hearts 3 worlds based on the following Disney/Pixar films:
– Treasure Planet
– Atlantis: The Lost Empire
– The Princess & The Frog
– Inside Out
– The Incredibles (since E3 2018 and the release of The Incredibles 2 falls in June, a world reveal for this movie makes the most sense)
As for the worlds that have been confirmed for inclusion in Kingdom Hearts 3, refer to the list posted below:
– Classic Kingdom (will feature Game & Watch style minigames based on classic Walt Disney Productions Mickey Mouse cartoons, such as “Giantland,” “The Karnival Kid,” “Musical Farmer,” and “The Barnyard Battle”)
– Monsters, Inc. World
– Mount Olympus (Hercules)
– Kingdom of Corona (Tangled)
– San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6)
– Toy Story World
– Twilight Town
– Yen Sid’s Mysterious Tower
Confirmation of Exclusive PS4 DLC
While Kingdom Hearts 3 is slated for release on both the PS4 and Xbox One, the franchise as a whole is primarily seen as a PlayStation-centered IP. The first two mainline games were released exclusively on PS2, plus the HD remakes of both titles and the many spinoff releases are only available on the PS3.
Because of all this, some sort of announcement regarding exclusive PS4 DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3 seems likely. It would be ideal if Square Enix hit the Xbox E3 2018 media briefing stage to announce news of a Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX port, but that just sounds like wishful thinking on my part.