Now that Kingdom Hearts III is less than three weeks away from its initial release, Director Tetsuya Nomura has been opening up about the game’s numerous delays, which he partly attributes to a change in engine.
In a new interview with EDGE magazine (via Wccftech), Nomura revealed that the switch to Unreal Engine 4 was decided by higher-ups at Square Enix, and it set development back by at least one whole year.
We had our own company reasons, essentially. It wasn’t something that we had anything to do with, it was decided higher up.
It was a whole year that we had to kind of rewind and restart. As a dev tool, Unreal Engine 4 is kind of an all-in-one – it’s got all of the stuff that is needed in it, it’s used around the world, and we also got really great support from Epic Games. They were very helpful through the entire process.
It would have been a different story if the team making Luminous had been members of the Kingdom Hearts team. But they were a different team, so that did make things a bit more difficult.
Nomura has said in the past that he often gets blamed for Kingdom Hearts III‘s lengthy development and delays, which “hurts” him because he has no control over the management’s decisions.
“The company makes the decisions, so unfortunately sometimes it is out of my control,” he told fans in July 2017.
Rest assured, Kingdom Hearts III will release for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan and January 29 worldwide.