Square Enix has published a financial report detailing the company's recent performance, and its expectations for the immediate future. Thanks to the document, we have a slightly better idea of when we can expect two of the studio's biggest upcoming releases; Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
However, the news might not be exactly what fans were looking to hear. Both Kingdom Hearts 3 and the remake of Final Fantasy 7 are expected to launch in the financial year of March 2018 and beyond, thwarting any optimistic ideas about either title receiving a surprise release before the end of 2017.
The report explains that Square Enix plans to release both of these titles "in the next three years or so." That might be a little vague for fans who've been anticipating these games, as Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced at E3 2015, and it was confirmed that Kingdom Hearts 3 was in development all the way back at E3 2013.
While there's sure to be disappointment among certain sectors of Square Enix's fanbase, this news isn't all that surprising. Earlier this week, the studio published a call for developers to work on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, citing the enormous amount of work that still had to be done.
Meanwhile, it's previously been stated that Kingdom Hearts 3 was unlikely to see release in 2017. Indeed, while we have seen a bit of footage from the game and a selection of screenshots, we still haven't been subjected to the onslaught of coverage that you might expect from a high-profile sequel nearing the end of production.
Still, it's easy to see why fans are tired of waiting for these games, particularly in the case of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. That title will apparently be an episodic game, so there's a chance that Square Enix's estimation of a potential 2020 release date will see the final chapter hit shelves even later.
Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake are definitely hotly anticipated titles — but its difficult to see how Square Enix will maintain hype levels with such extended development cycles.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is in development for PlayStation 4.