With this March marking the 15th anniversary for the Kingdom Hearts franchise, news in the form of screenshot updates, interviews, and small hints from the creator himself, Tetsuya Nomura, have been coming out steadily ever since the release of the most recent game in the franchise, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue in January.
In celebration of both the release of this new game and the series as a whole for the 15th anniversary, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour kicked off on March 10th 2017 at the Tokyo International Forum. During these events, it has become common for Nomura alongside the Japanese voice actors for select characters to surprise attendees with special on stage performances for hidden scenes that tie into the story or motivation of some of the characters leading into the much-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. This year was no different as the voice actors for multiple characters like Xion and Aqua came on to say a few words. Most interesting of note, however, was from the voice actor for Kairi as we got to see where her head is at during the events leading into Kingdom Hearts 3, and what new developments may unfold in the future regarding her character. Still, the biggest announcement that was revealed first at this event was more information of the mobile game, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X.
Kingdom Hearts Union X (pronounced Union Cross) is a version update for Kingdom Hearts Hearts Unchained X (pronounced Unchained Key) coming out in late March in Japan. This update introduces a multiplayer mode in which up to six players can take on quests together and also includes new story chapters as well as a new origin story described as a “must play” for fans of the Kingdom Hearts lore. This new update however has been confirmed for the west and will be a free update that releases sometime in April. Also included in this update will be more customization options, new emotes, and a theater mode to rewatch important cutscenes within the story of the game. Fans who pre-register can also receive cool new smartphone wallpapers and in-game rewards.
However while this news may same a little on the small side for some fans, there may be hope for something bigger in the near future. In an interview with Famitsu, Nomura went on to talk more about the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour and the release of new information at select shows. After being asked about the possibility of more KH3 news during the duration of the World Tour, Nomura had this to say, “We announced that KH Unchained χ will become KH Union Cross right after the release of KH -HD 1.5+2.5 -ReMix-, so we have touched a little on KH3. Please wait for more information on this”. Now while this may seem like just another tease from Nomura, one of the showings for the World Tour will be in LA during E3 2017 this year.
Not to mention, Nomura, (in a different interview for a brochure sold at the concert) has stated he wants to make it for as many of the showings as he can and with the LA showing being held during the events of E3 that actually works out in his favor. So this confirms already that Nomura will be attending E3 in some shape or form this year. And being the director of both Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III, could this mean we’re in store for more updates on both games at this year’s E3? Only time can tell but the last concrete trailer that we got for Kingdom Hearts III was at E3 2015! So we’re definitely overdue for some new Kingdom Hearts information especially since according to Nomura it doesn’t look like KH3 will be releasing this year. Not to mention the fact that this is the 15th anniversary! And with E3 2017, D23, and Tokyo Game Show all on the horizon, there are plenty of different opportunities for Nomura to reveal more information on Kingdom Hearts III besides just the KH Orchestra World Tour. Of course these are all just theories from an insane Kingdom Hearts fan, so what do you guys think? Are we due for some big KH3 news in the near future or are we in for another KH drought in the news department this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and for the tech, gaming, and keyblade swinging goodness you crave for…keep it here on EMT!