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Kingdom Hearts 3 Development Is Huge, Many Surprises Still To Come

02/26/2018 02:42 pm EST

If you’re probably wondering why it’s taking so long for Square Enix to release Kingdom Hearts III (it has been a few years since it was formally announced), it’s probably because the project is a lot larger than you might realize.

During the recent D23 Expo event in Japan – where the new Monsters Inc. trailer made its debut – Tetsuya Nomura and members of his team discussed the kind of development that the game is going through.

According to the KH13 site, Nomura has noted that progress is being made on the game, and it’ll look even better than the preview footage we’ve seen for it thus far. He also talked about how deep facial expressions will be this time around to give characters some better emotion, as well as the expansion of dynamic elements within the game. One example – how Rapunzel’s hair manages to flow with the wind.

But then Nomura talked about the state of development. With the game slated to release sometime this year (maybe – a release date hasn’t been finalized just yet), he noted that the game has been divided into three main eras with its development. The first one is actually about 90 percent complete, while the second is about 60 to 70 percent done. (He didn’t make note of the third.)

He also added that the Kingdom Hearts III development team is the largest at Square Enix, although there is some outsourcing for parts of the game – he didn’t detail what, though.

“The background, among the ten worlds and other things that were being worked on, are divided into three major areas: the beginning locations, mid-level locations, and the final locations,” the KH13 report noted. “In the beginning locations, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story are included, and are about 90% completed. Mid-level locations, including Tangled, are about 60 to 70% finished. The background team is probably the largest in Square Enix, and, in addition to the Osaka and Tokyo teams, there are orders being carried out by outsourced foreign company employees.”

One final note – Nomura stated that, despite everything we’ve seen thus far, there are still surprises to come within Kingdom Hearts III. “The Kingdom Hearts is a bit different. One world is equivalent to one (previous) game, and the things to do for each world are vastly different. My favorite world has not yet been announced, so please look forward to it, too,” he said.

Kingdom Hearts III will release sometime this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

(Hat tip to WCCFTech for the info!)

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