Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 Helped Square Enix Prepare for Kingdom Hearts III

Audiences finally got a first look into the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III at 2013’s E3 convention and while the teaser trailer for the game hyped up Kingdom Hearts fans all over the world, it also left people wondering what to expect from the new installment in the Square Enix series.

Though still left without an official launch date, Kingdom Hearts III’s co-director and designer Tai Yasue has recently given insight into how the development of the game is going. Yasue explained the process of developing Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III in his interview:

“We have been working on 3 and 2.5 at the same time, so a lot of people are crossing over and doing both. There are also a lot of new people working on both. In a way, we’ve learned what was good about our previous Kingdom Hearts [games] by making 2.5.”

“For 3, we want to evolve it in a new direction, but at the same time we don’t want to change what is fundamental about Kingdom Hearts. We’re hiring new people continuously, so they are learning about Kingdom Hearts through making 2.5. It’s a good learning experience.”

Additionally, Yasue detailed the trials and care that Square Enix tried to put into creating Disney-based characters and worlds seen in Kingdom Hearts II:

“There’s a lot to get used to working with the Disney content. You have to have a lot of dedication and respect for their visual IPs for example, and when you play Kingdom Hearts 2 you see that: when you summon a character or use a spell there’s a lot of love and care that goes into the presentation. When you see Stitch coming out of the screen, for example, it’s very true to the original movie. That dedication is something you learn through the process or remaking 2.”

“As Square-Enix, if someone else was making a Final Fantasy or a Dragon Quest, we’d be very protective of that too. So we really understand the importance of not changing the brand and respecting the fans. We want to make it true to Disney – we don’t want to change it fundamentally. We always strive to make original content, but with Kingdom Hearts you have to really respect the source material, and that’s something people really like about the series.”

“As someone who creates games I think the constraints make you really think. They are what make you strive to come up with new ideas – ideas that are acceptable to Disney, and also fun. That balancing act leads to a lot of surprises. It’s very challenging, but we work on it daily. We continuously talk with Disney and see what they think is acceptable… but we constantly want to surprise our players, too, so we need flexibility. It is challenging and makes you think.”

Kingdom Hearts III is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

My Opinion:

As a Kingdom Hearts super fan, I like hearing that 1.5 and 2.5 were big influences on Kingdom Hearts III’s development! One of the things I’m most terrified about with this new game is the chance that it might look and play too differently from the rest (which is already an issue I have with Square Enix having the series on four different platforms). However, Yasue’s interview reassures my confidence that the game will come out just as good, if not better, than the past games. Now if only the game had a release date!


Audrey Lips is one of MONG’s Associate Writers and is currently balancing a Journalism major while secretly hoping to get her Hogwarts acceptance letter. You can follow her TMI posts on Twitter.

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