Kingdom Hearts 4 got a behind-the-scenes pivot after its reveal, but its director won't say why

Kingdom Hearts 4
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Kingdom Hearts 4 director Tetsuya Nomura revealed that the upcoming sequel changed direction after it was announced, but didn't explain why or how. 

As revealed by Twitter user @aibo_ac7 (and translated by @aitaikimochi), Nomura made an appearance during the Kingdom Hearts Second Breath concert in Tokyo over the weekend, and revealed that something happened shortly after Kingdom Hearts 4's announcement which "determined the direction" of the series.

Joining series composer Yoko Shimomura on stage, Nomura said: "Last year after the Kingdom Hearts event, there was something that happened that determined the direction of the Kingdom Hearts series." This was apparently news to Shimomura who responded with: "Huh, what? What happened?" to which Nomura replied: "Oh you didn’t know? I’ll tell you backstage."

Understandably, this has sent fans into a frenzy and has left us all now questioning what happened after the 20th-anniversary event and what it means for the future of the series.

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One of the most popular theories floating around online is that Disney's involvement with the Square Enix series could have changed - this seems extremely unlikely though as if you remove Disney from Kingdom Hearts, you'll be missing a lot of key characters, storylines, and themes from the series so far. 

It's even less plausible when you remember that we saw Donald and Goofy (and maybe even Hades) in the Kingdom Hearts 4 announcement trailer last year. Not only this, but shortly after Square Enix debuted Kingdom Hearts 4's new, and much more realistic, art style, Nomura reassured future players by saying that Disney fans shouldn't worry about Kingdom Hearts 4 feeling "slightly different."

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It's possible that Nomura could have been making reference to the role Final Fantasy plays in the upcoming game. As we already know, Nomura isn't sure if we'll be getting more Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts 4, especially since there was a distinct lack of them in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Right now, we'll all just have to stay on the edge of our seats until we get another update on Kingdom Hearts 4.

In the meantime, find out the 10 Disney worlds we want to see in Kingdom Hearts 4.

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.