It's not been a good week for Kingdom Hearts 3 (opens in new tab). Square Enix's upcoming action RPG isn't due to release until January 29 next year, but the game has already made it out into player's hands (opens in new tab) after Xbox One copies were allegedly stolen and sold online from someone involved in the distribution process.
Already, videos, images, and posts about the game's story have surfaced across the internet from those in possession of Kingdom Hearts 3, which has caused concern for fans wishing to go in blind come release day, without fear of having a single detail spoiled for them.
Square Enix and Kingdom Hearts 3's Director Tetsuya Nomura released a statement over the weekend to allay these concerns, revealing a curious detail about what will be included in the game on launch day. The statement, which you can read in full below, confirms that the company is aware of the leak, and asks the Kingdom Hearts community to avoid sharing spoilers in advance of January 29.
An important message for #KingdomHearts III from Director Tetsuya Nomura: pic.twitter.com/j9aVRFTS5BDecember 16, 2018
Nomura also said that Kingdom Hearts 3's "epilogue and secret ending, which are the biggest spoilers in the game, are planned to be released at a later date just in case, so they will not be shown before the game's release", which naturally raises an eyebrow or two.
Did Square Enix always plan to release Kingdom Hearts 3's true ending after launch to mitigate the consequences of a broken street date, or is it because the studio needs more time to work on it? Can we expect this crucial part of the story to release on day one of release, or in the weeks and months to follow? And what exactly does Nomura mean by the "secret ending", anyway?
In any case, Kingdom Hearts 3's final trailer is also releasing today, a full 24 hours ahead of its scheduled launch as Square Enix tries to clean up the collateral damage left by this devastatingly early leak. You can expect to see it pop up online soon.
Will Kingdom Hearts 3 land in our list of the best RPG games (opens in new tab) of all time? We'll have to find out once we officially get our hands on it next month.