It may only have two mainline releases under its belt, but the Kingdom Hearts series has kept a high level of interest through spin-offs, mobile titles, and HD remasters. Each game has been tied back to the main series, albeit slightly, but most importantly they have given players new Final Fantasy and Disney worlds to explore.
However, as the Disney brand has grown many have wondered whether the Kingdom Hearts games might soon balloon to include the new properties under the Mouse House’s umbrella. Turns out, at least one Kingdom Hearts game was in development that fit that bill.
Although Kingdom Hearts: Fragmented Keys never actually made it past the early development stage, the mobile title apparently had some big plans as far as Disney tie-ins were concerned. According to fan site KH13, who saw screenshots from the cancelled Kingdom Hearts game, Fragmented Keys was to feature levels inspired by Star Wars, Wreck-It Ralph, and a Frozen world as part of its story.
While the site does not say why Kingdom Hearts: Fragmented Keys was cancelled, chances are the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3 played a part. Square Enix’s long awaited sequel is easily one of the most high profile games on their docket, and as a result expectations are high. So, releasing a mobile game may have diminished that impact some, especially since Kingdom Hearts: Fragmented Keys was actually developed by Disney.
It’s also possible that Square Enix decided to take ideas from Fragmented Keys and roll them into Kingdom Hearts 3. Both a Star Wars and a Frozen world sound like big tie-ins for the series, and are perfect fits for this highly anticipated sequel. Kingdom Hearts has always been a major player among the Final Fantasy crowd, but Disney fans have been a little harder to entice. Putting a billion dollar property like Frozen in the game, however, could be the ticket to increased sales.
The good news is that a new Kingdom Hearts game is in development regardless of Fragmented Keys’ cancellation. Where before gamers would have maligned missed opportunities for the Disney tie-in franchise, now they have a fully fledged sequel to look forward to. One that may release as soon as this year.
Whatever the case may be, don’t be surprised if Square Enix and Disney double down on their big acquisitions (Marvel and Star Wars are rumored for Kingdom Hearts 3) and franchises (Frozen, Big Hero 6) with this third iteration.
Would you have played a Kingdom Hearts mobile game? Do you think Square Enix is saving the big tie-ins for Kingdom Hearts 3?
Kingdom Hearts 3 is rumored for 2015 on current-gen platforms.
Source: KH13 (via IGN)