Earlier in June 2018, Director Tetsuya Nomura spoke during E3 2018 about why the studio can’t manage releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 during 2018, due to several different factors. In a more recent interview, Co-Director Tai Yasue went into more detail as to why the game took so long to release. Keep in mind Kingdom Hearts 2 originally released back in 2006 for the Western audience, with Kingdom Hearts 3’s official announcement coming during E3 2013.
According to Yasue, one of the main setbacks was the studio’s decision to switch their game engine during development, which naturally took the development team some time to “adapt and adjust” to. He continued to apologise to fans of the franchise, and hopes what they have done meets everyone’s expectations.
One of the main factors was the decision to switch the game engine to develop the game. Our current engine is great in terms of developing a high end AAA title, but because there was a change in technology and work flows, it took some time for the team to adapt and adjust.
I’m truly sorry to have kept everyone waiting for so long! It took a while, but we really wanted to make sure the game met everyone’s expectations. I hope, more than I’ve hoped for anything else in my 20 years of making games, that you all enjoy it.
Kingdom Hearts III releases on January 29th, 2019 for PS4 and Xbox One.