Kingdom Hearts III was originally supposed to launch in 2018, until the reveal of a release date also revealed a delay to 2019. In a new interview, Tetsuya Nomura, director of the Kingdom Hearts series, commented on this delay. According to him, it actually didn't happen because of development woes. Instead, it boiled down to finding a good launch window that worked for the simultaneous Japanese and American release.
"The timing of release that we were actually looking at, we were told by many people, including hardware manufacturers, marketing teams, sales teams that it just wasn't a good timing in the year." — Tetsuya Nomura
Nomura went on to explain that there was concern regarding the holidays and how they may affect the retail situation across both countries. This may seem odd, given that normally companies badly want to have their best products available for the holiday season. But multiple companies have been delaying their Fall games as of late, and many gamers assume this is actually to avoid competing with Rockstar's upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2.
Of course, the development team could have possibly moved the launch forward to meet their goal of a 2018 release, but Nomura decided against that.
"We of course considered maybe speeding up development to release earlier than when we were told wasn't good, but the development team said that 'No, we just couldn't do that. We could delay it, but we couldn't make it any sooner.'" — Tetsuya Nomura
Rather than rush the development or give up a simultaneous worldwide release, Nomura decided that a delay to 2019 was best for the title.
On a related note, while we were treated to a plethora of reveals and announcements regarding the new title, something that was missing during this year's E3 was a previously-announced world that many fans expected to get a first look at: Big Hero 6. So far, all we've seen from the Disney and Marvel crossover world was a piece of concept art way back in 2015. When asked about why we didn't see it at E3, Nomura responded that while the gameplay for the world is complete, the cutscenes are not. Given how much Nomura loves using cutscenes during his trailers and reveals, it seems that's been a deal-breaker so far.
The game is still a ways off, but at least we now have a concrete date, which, after over a decade since the last numbered game, is a big deal. Kingdom Hearts III launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2019. How do you feel about the delay to next year, though? Let us know in the comments below!