One month out from the first big release of 2019, and leaks have already struck the much-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. In light of the terrible incident, Game Director Tetsuya Nomura has taken to social media via the official Kingdom Hearts Twitter account to address the situation. In the post, Nomura recognized the severity of the situation and assured fans that the team has been investigating the occurrence. Notably, though he didn’t give any explicit details, the director and his team are also “aware as to how this has all happened.”
One of the most significant news to come out of this PSA is Nomura’s reveal of an epilogue and secret movie that most likely act as a “secret” or “true” ending of sorts for the title. Regrettably, due to the scope of the damage caused by the leak, the developer has announced that the epilogue and movie, which represent the “biggest spoilers in this game”, will be delayed to a later date.
“We want everyone to be able to equally experience the full game after its release, so we ask for your continued support on this matter,” Nomura further described in the post.
— KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) December 16, 2018
Interestingly, this means that the extra ending to the game will come in the form of a downloadable patch. This type of situation is exceedingly rare in games, especially in such a narrative-driven RPG. Though unfortunate, the implication is that those without an Internet connection, or does not have adequate speeds if the patch turns out to be sizeable, will be left without the means to experience the game in its entirety.
Games with “always-online” requirements have often earned the ire of their fanbases, and with this action treading that line, Square Enix must have weighed the costs and benefits of this decision before going forward with it. Avoiding the risk of having massive spoilers ruin potential sales is understandably a bigger priority than catering to the minority of gamers without access to any Internet connection.
Nomura then goes on to thank gamers for their vigilance in warning others about the spoilers and wishes for everyone to enjoy the game fully on its actual release date. The leak no doubt has put a damper on what was supposed to be a glorious launch years in the making. But like many of the speed bumps in game development, this is just one of those things that requires flexibility and adaptation on the part of the developers. With that in mind, Square Enix has done an adequate job in addressing the issue and rolling out a compromise fairly quickly.
Kingdom Hearts III releases January 29, 2019 for the Xbox One and PS4.