If there's one thing that's apparent in the gaming industry as of late, it's that fan hype is dangerous. One mention of No Man's Sky will be set ablaze gaming communities with harsh criticism and resentment. But we're not here to talk about how disappointing the aforementioned space explorer turned out to be. Instead, I'm suggesting that the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III could meet a similar fate.
The next main installment in the series has been in anticipation for more than a decade. The kids that played the first game are not kids anymore, have graduated high school, gone to college, and already live adult lives. They've gone through a lot of life changes and their worldviews have altered. The childhood innocence that they had playing the original game is gone now, replaced with a much more discerning mindset. It's hard to capture a childhood feeling and present to a new generation of adults, and Square Enix has a lot to live up to if it wants its sequel to gain approval.
More than 10 years is a long time, enough time for a series to burn out and be buried with the rest of video game's classics. Somehow, Kingdom Hearts survived through its spin-off and side entries, but its broader, profit-producing audience are those that care or know very little of what's happened in the series since Kingdom Hearts II. In this sense, Square also has the challenge of catering to hardcore fans who've played every entry relentlessly and those that know the series as something they played when they were kids – not something they continue to play today.
Case in point: this video is nearly one hour long.
And then there are the Disney acquisitions, namely those from Lucasfilm and Marvel. From my perspective, it seems unlikely that the house of Mickey will allow Square the rights to these properties, and from what we've seen so far, it seems the developer wants to maintain a more cartoon-influenced aesthetic. Though a Pirates of the Caribbean world was a thing, only time will tell how limited Nomura and his team are with development. In any case – and this is most assuredly a guarantee – a group of niche fans, say of Star Wars, will be disappointed when their favorite series doesn't appear in the sequel to one of the best games they played while growing up. It's a bit of a dangerous territory to cross, to say the least.
Also coming to III are gameplay changes much unlike the previous two main entries. Being much more open-world in nature and giving Sora more weapon versatility, it seems, may draw ire from devoted fans and casual connoisseurs alike, as the game breaks too far from tradition. Its in this sense that Square has another task on its hands – making the sequel relevant both to the post-millennial generation and to today's technological standards.
Personally, the fact that we're getting a Kingdom Hearts III at all is reason to be happy. Even if Utada doesn't return to do the game's opening (she's currently "in talks", according to her father) or gameplay is totally different from what I remember, there's reason to rejoice in the fact that fans are finally getting what they want after such a long time. Also, I'm just really siked we're getting a Toy Story world.
The opinion expressed in this article is purely that of the author and is not representative of KeenGamer as a whole. Follow David on Twitter: @ZenoCreator125