After years of almost absolute silence regarding the future of Kingdom Hearts 3, game director Tetsuya Nomura is making up for lost time. The past few days have seen a deluge of Kingdom Hearts 3-related information, with Nomura seemingly willing to talk to just about anyone about the direction of the sequel and how its development is coming along. While fans hardly knew what the game would look like over a year ago, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally beginning to take shape in the public eye, with a number of dramatic changes to the Kingdom Hearts formula coming on the horizon.
Nomura recently sat down for a Japanese interview with magazine Famitsu, and it appears even more changes are coming to Kingdom Hearts 3. Nomura suggested in the interview that the high density of Disney worlds included in Kingdom Hearts 2 would be shaved down in the sequel, with the development team wanting to focus more on higher quality, denser worlds rather than attempting to include as many Disney licenses as possible. Nomura demonstrated the focus on deeper worlds by discussing how piloting a mech in Kingdom Hearts 3‘s Toy Story world will only be one feature in a much bigger experience, with multiple floors of the toy store harboring new gameplay variations for players to uncover.
For those wondering, the Disney world count in Kingdom Hearts 2 was 12, while the original Kingdom Hearts featured 9. It’s likely Nomura’s team will arrive somewhere in the middle of those, although given the production quality on display in the Toy Story world, the number might be even smaller as the team attempts to craft the best environments possible.
Fans disappointed by the news that there will be less Disney worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3 likely won’t need to worry too much, either. Although Square Enix and Nomura have played coy so far, there seems to be decent chance of Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC worlds being developed post-launch – a feature that seems like a perfect fit for the series. Even if that rumor turns out to be false, it’s hard to imagine too many fans disappointed with the more limited number of Disney worlds if they all look as good as the Toy Story one that was on display at the D23 Expo.