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.
Nomura: So, yeah, last year something happened that determined Kingdom Hearts direction moving forward.Yoko Shimomura: *Confused*Nomura: *Doesn't elaborate on stage*Kingdom Hearts fans: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??? Nomura: Anyway bye. pic.twitter.com/9vZsvj1UYvMarch 19, 2023
KH fans when Nomura shows up at an event and reveals mysterious info without any context to drive us all crazy 🤣 #KingdomHearts pic.twitter.com/lHCaz5CC34March 19, 2023
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."
"Guessing Disney will leave Kingdom Hearts."'You do realise Disney owns Kingdom Hearts? Square Enix might be the ones who create the games but its basically a Disney IP. Without Disney, there's no KH. They here to stay.March 20, 2023
Also KH is still bringing Disney elements.Just saying pic.twitter.com/2cz1QMqHDIMarch 19, 2023
Kingdom Hearts is not removing Disney because Kingdom Hearts is nothing without Disney. The whole base and foundation is littered with the Mouse’s hands. That bond is forever.March 19, 2023
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.