Disney and Final Fantasy fans are some of the most loyal, dedicated groups out there. These two brands carry a weight that few can match, so when Kingdom Hearts released years ago on the PlayStation 2, you could almost hear the cheers of millions of people who’ve kept their Sephiroth-themed backgrounds on their laptops from miles away. Each subsequent release brings in excited members of the community in droves, but the continued success of the franchise has never been a guarantee. In the eyes of series director and creator, Tetsuya Nomura, spin-off games had to be made to keep the brand alive.
Speaking with RPG Site, Nomura admitted that the many Kingdom Hearts games we’ve seen without a “3” on the end were made so that people wouldn’t forget about his believed action-RPG.
“The main reason why we had so many spin-offs for Kingdom Hearts is because we couldn't start preparing for Kingdom Hearts III for a while – for a long time – because… well, because of some reasons, basically,” he said. “However, if we didn't release any Kingdom Hearts games after the second at all, people might forget about the game, might forget about the series.”
We may never know what these “reasons” were, but it’s fortunate that they’ve been resolved. Kingdom Hearts 3 is now in the works, and that could have only been possible through the many non-numbered releases.
“Obviously, I didn't want to do that – that's why we decided to make a spin-off game until the preparation for Kingdom Hearts III was ready to do,” Nomura continued. “So, in a way, because of this, if there were no spin-off games, there was no Kingdom Hearts III.”