The Sixth Day of Crossmas
In this seasonal series, the good people of Crossfader detail what they want pop culture to get them for Crossmas this year. This time around it’s…
The Release Date of KINGDOM HEARTS III
When little eight-year-old Kate Brogden picked up the September 2002 issue of Disney Adventures Magazine, she had no idea that her life was about to change. Yet, there it was: an advertisement for the release of KINGDOM HEARTS. Its promise of colorful Disney characters teaming up with the many brooding, multi-zippered members of the Final Fantasy franchise piqued her interest, but the chance to frolic through Halloween Town with her personal hero Jack Skellington really sealed the deal. She bought it for 40 bucks at Toys ‘R’ Us and embarked on a journey that sparked her passion for storytelling and filmmaking in the form of fanfiction and AMVs that no one will ever find. It was, for lack of a better term, magical.
Say what you want, she’ll go on to edit THE AVENGERS 9
When 11-year-old Kate was too sick to go to Sixth Grade Sleepaway Science Camp in March of 2006, she begged her mother to take her to Best Buy to pick up KINGDOM HEARTS II – which, coincidentally, released the day she would have left for camp. (I maintain that I really was sick, but you can believe whatever you like.) Kate had progressed into her eyeliner phase at this point (which anyone could’ve foreseen given aforementioned personal hero Jack Skellington), so she could appreciate the fine-tuned game mechanics and huge improvements in graphics and animation. It was the magic of KINGDOM HEARTS all over again, but better.
It’s the end of 2015. I’m a senior in college. I’ve seen KINGDOM HEARTS releases on Gameboy, Nintendo DS, 3DS, PSP, and goddamned mobile phones. I’ve replayed the reboots. I’ve even celebrated the official announcement at E3 in 2013. This is the video game release equivalent of the dinner party veggie tray. I’m tired of raw broccoli, Tetsuya Nomura. I’m ready for the beef. When is it? When will the release date of KINGDOM HEARTS III be announced?
“…” – Nomura, and every male protagonist he’s created
I remember sitting down to watch the fateful E3 Sony conference, jokingly threatening to “flip the table” if KINGDOM HEARTS III was announced. When it happened, I was too excited to even flip the table. Not even the lackluster “Now In Development” title could get me down in that moment – we had a trailer and we had a promise that it would come out on the PS4 and Xbox One. Nomura, ever the dream crusher, later said that they made the announcement because fans were “feeling impatient due to our continuous releases of spin-off titles,” but based on where the game is in development, “I think we may have announced it a little too early.”
I am sympathetic to the delays in production. The release has been pushed back several times due to Disney’s insistence on including some of their more popular recent franchises. These officially include TANGLED (2010) and BIG HERO 6 (2014), but let’s be real, they’re gonna get FROZEN in there. If Tarantino’s recent brush with the Disney juggernaut is any indication, Square’s insistence on pushing the release forward would probably result in Disney selling their character rights to Kim Jong-Un – and we all know how much dictators love Disney characters.
And heavily implied homoeroticism
Invalidating an announcement we’ve been waiting on for years is one thing, but passive-aggressively blaming the fans for being “impatient” is another thing entirely. This attitude of placating impatient fans has been alive and well since the announcement in the form of several non-trailers featuring interviews with Disney Animators and annoyingly similar minute-long clips of gameplay footage. One such “trailer” released this past weekend as a “Christmas Present” to fans included more plot details for the upcoming eight thousand spin-offs than it did for KINGDOM HEARTS III, of which we only saw more battle footage in TANGLED world. Whee. Fans waited over a decade for DUKE NUKEM FOREVER, they’re waiting that long for HALF-LIFE 3, and they’ll certainly wait that long for KINGDOM HEARTS III. Quit jerking us around.
I know this is a lot of hubbub over a game most famous for 90 percent of the content on DeviantArt, but doesn’t it say a lot that we’re so upset about it at all? Who knew that the story of a boy with extreme bedhead whacking monsters on the head with a giant key (and also Mickey Mouse and Sephiroth are there) would take off like this? As much as I say that I’m starting not to care with each “Now In Development” non-announcement, I know it isn’t true. I care a lot. I care enough to predict that, since KINGDOM HEARTS III was announced for the PS4 and Sony puts out a new console roughly every six years, we can hopefully expect the game before 2019.
The longer we wait, the more of these we’ll create
Nomura, it’s Christmas time: a time for peace on earth and goodwill to everyone. I’m giving you a pass. I’m not going to ask for the release of Kingdom Hearts III this year. All I want is a definitive release date. Hell, not even a date; “Fall of 2035” will do just fine for me. I’ll play RE:CODED if you want. I’ll catch up on the lore, which is so convoluted that the writers of LOST are scratching their heads. Just please give us the date, so I can know definitively whether or not my grandchildren will at least know the fate of Sora, Riku, and Kairi.