By Eric Tran
Kingdom Hearts III has finally released and Tetsuya Nomura, the director, and creator of the beloved Disney/Square Enix crossover is reconsidering simultaneous worldwide releases for future projects.
Full retail copies of KH3 leaked back in December of last year, a full six weeks before the game’s release date. Broderick Jackson, the person who leaked the game, posted videos of it online and was selling it on Facebook for $100 each.
Leaks in the video game industry are a common occurrence, especially for big AAA titles. However, these types of situations usually occur within a week or so of a game’s release, when copies are being distributed to different media outlets and retailers. It’s very unusual for a game to leak that early before its release date.
In a recent interview with Famitsu, which is also translated by Siliconera, Nomura shed a little more light on what had happened and how disappointed he was about the incident.
It turns out only four copies of the game were leaked by one source and what disappointed him the most about the situation was that “it brought sad thoughts to people who were looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III.” Nomura then stated that “because of this incident I can’t help but reconsider what I’ll do for my next games, including simultaneous worldwide releases of physical copies at the very least.”
It’s unfortunate that the highly anticipated KH3 was leaked so far ahead of its launch date. Preventing video game leaks are a tricky matter to deal with, but not having simultaneous worldwide releases won’t solve the problem either. If Nomura’s future projects are released in Japan first and then months later worldwide, then everyone outside of Japan could possibly have these games spoiled for them even sooner.
Despite KH3 leaking way ahead of its initial release, Nomura was able to keep the epilogue and secret ending from being spoiled. He decided to leave these videos out of the game incase a leak did occur. The epilogue was available to download for free on January 30th and on January 31st for the secret ending.
Players have to beat the game to watch the epilogue. However, players also have to unlock the secret ending by taking photographs of “Lucky Emblems” (emblems shaped like Mickey’s head) hidden throughout the game.
There are a total of 90 Lucky Emblems. If a player is on the easiest “difficulty mode” for the game, they will have to find all of them to unlock the secret ending. But, the harder the difficulty, the less emblems the player needs to find.
Kingdom Hearts III is available for PS4 and Xbox One.