Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally, truly happening, but the Final Fantasy-meets-Disney game from Square Enix has slipped past the previously expected 2018 release date to early 2019. Overall franchise and Kingdom Hearts 3 director Tetsuya Nomura has now explained exactly why.
"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 told IGN in a translated interview. Essentially, hitting a worldwide release in 2018 would have been problematic thanks to the holidays and regional differences.
"For Kingdom Hearts 3, 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.1comments
And that's how the game ended up with a January 29, 2019 release date. If that date sticks, it would mean the game is set to release just under six years after it was officially unveiled at E3 2013. Nomura also told IGN that an earlier release date had been considered, but that the team decided against trying to rush development.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is scheduled to release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 29, 2019. E3 2018, which is currently ongoing, has included numerous tidbits from the game, showcasing various worlds and characters.