While the Play Live presentation at Disney’s D23 Expo revealed a new Toy Story world for Kingdom Hearts III, as well as the long-awaited release window of 2018, there was, even more, detail explained behind-the-scenes by series director Tetsuya Nomura. During a group interview, Nomura teased the long-awaited game could include DLC in the form of new worlds.
According to Nomura, while all previous Kingdom Hearts titles have been transparent before launch about which Disney-themed worlds will be playable, it seems adding new worlds down the line isn’t off the table for the development team. “I don’t think we’ll be keeping any worlds secret until the game is released. I think we will be introducing them leading up to launch,” he told GameSpot. “Nowadays games can add content on after the fact through DLC content, so there’s no need to hide any worlds.” The idea of additional areas coming after launch is a difficult one to fathom, as the series has always used the narrative themes of the Disney worlds to slowly push the core plot along, especially with the introduction of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts II, where the Organization members would play pivotal roles in each world. Perhaps the new worlds could be seen as side quests, much like Disney Town in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, where mini games can be played but nothing major in the plot occurs there.
While Nomura did introduce the DLC conversation through his answer, he also seems to back away from it after being pressed for more information. “Nothing is set in stone, and I’m afraid we can’t go into details, but I have told the team: Just be prepared to be able to accommodate for something like that,” he said. Most likely Nomura and the team are well aware that DLC has become standard practice and wanted to keep the idea on the table, but it doesn’t seem to be a confirmed feature moving forward.
Nomura also explained the current development focus is on quality over quantity when it comes to the worlds included in the story. Previously in the franchise, the first entry had nine worlds and the second had twelve, while later titles like Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance held back on oversaturating the game with Disney content. In an interview with Famitsu, Nomura stated the number of worlds seen in Kingdom Hearts III will be less than the other main entries, as each world will have more content than before. He used the Toy Story world as an example, noting players will move from Andy’s house to Galaxy Toys, where several floors to the store will be accessible. Currently, the worlds announced for Kingdom Hearts III are Tangled, Toy Story, Hercules‘ Mount Olympus, Twilight Town, and Big Hero 6, which is already an interesting mix of new Disney properties and return to Square Enix original worlds.
Still, the most exciting news from the panel was the confirmed release window of 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, meaning more world announcements and gameplay features will be sure to fill the remainder of the year.
Source: Game Rant