RPG Site have published an interview with the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here, Nomura discusses Kingdom Hearts III, revealing new details such as the reasoning behind creating so many spin-off titles. Thanks to RPG Site, we have quoted the Kingdom Hearts-related questions from the interview below. For the full interview, check it out on RPG Site.
Tetsuya Nomura: Well, as a creator I always create something new - I keep challenging myself to create something new. Looking back on my old games and everything I was involved in, I often think to myself 'I could have done this' or 'I could have added that,' and stuff like that. It's part of the process.
Right now, though, for Kingdom Hearts specifically - the original game was released more than ten years ago now, but looking back, the original Kingdom Hearts Final Mix... I don't feel like I should add this or that, or any more. Back then, it was perfect as it is.
Even though I've played this HD version of the game knowing its age, I don't feel that it's very old when I play it. I can still feel the passion I had back then in this original game - so, yeah. If we remake a game, maybe we then go and think about adding new elements and sequences and stuff like that, or making large changes - but I think a HD remaster, with the visual upgrade, is the right thing for this particular game.
RPG Site: After the E3 announcement and showing, a lot of people online are defining FF15 as having Kingdom Hearts style combat. When 15 was Versus, I always figured it as an experiment - that your team would then go on to KH3 after completing that - but now Osaka is on KH3, which also looks to have that signature gameplay style. Does that concern you - that the two games could end up too similar in gameplay?
Nomura: Okay, so... [pauses] Two games. Both directed by myself. [laughs] However, both games are developed by two completely different teams. The two of them - they don't fight, but they compete - in a friendly way - and they try to create better things together. Both sides are, of course, developed for next-gen consoles as well.
KH3 and FF15 share some base action RPG gameplay mechanics, it's clear, but Nomura seems unphased. There's a difference between the two, of course; Final Fantasy XV is a numbered title - the big history behind Final Fantasy, the task they have on their shoulders is huge, because it's the latest Final Fantasy game and has to live up to that history.
For the Kingdom Hearts team there is less history, but there are thousands of people around the world who are so passionate about the Kingdom Hearts series and have been for years - and this of course is the first announced numbered Kingdom Hearts title in many years, as well. People's hopes and expectations are very, very high there, as well - so that is on their shoulders as well.
So, the two teams have different kinds of tasks, different kinds of missions they have to complete and accomplish. That's the most important thing for both teams.
From the user's point of view, I don't think they worry about these things, or think 'which is better?' or anything like that - both teams look in a different direction. The most important thing for me is that they focus on the tasks - the missions - that each team has.
RPG Site: It's appears it's all about sequels and spin-offs now. There were many Kingdom Hearts titles between II and III, while on the FF side we have sequels - X-2, XIII-2, Lighting Returns - and you've already announced FF15 will have sequels. How does planning for multiple titles at a time instead of just one effect you as a creator?
Nomura: To start, the reason why we have had so many Kingdom Hearts spin-off games... well, look - it's above your imagination, seriously, believe it or not - creating a HD game is unbelievably difficult. [laughs]
People think it's easy - even a HD remake like 1.5, they think 'Ah, easy job' - but it actually isn't like that at all. Everything is difficult in the process, even with a HD remaster of a game. For 1.5 for instance, when we decided to make it, we had to decide where we were going to concentrate because it was so difficult, there was so much work involved.
We'll likely spend the better part of the console generation with FF15's core cast via sequels. The main reason why we had so many spin-offs for Kingdom Hearts is because we couldn't start preparing for Kingdom Hearts III for a while - for a long time - because... well, because of some reasons, basically. However, if we didn't release any Kingdom Hearts games after the second at all, people might forget about the game, might forget about the series.
Obviously, I didn't want to do that - that's why we decided to make a spin-off game until the preparation for Kingdom Hearts III was ready to do.
So, in a way, because of this, if there were no spin-off games, there was no Kingdom Hearts III. It was kind of needed to have all those spin-offs - a lot of spin-offs - because the time was quite long before the Kingdom Hearts III preparation started.
With Final Fantasy, each game has a different reason why we decided to do sequels and stuff - for Final Fantasy X, for XIII... Of course, with Final Fantasy XV, we announced at E3 that there will - probably - be a sequel to this game, as well.
There's a lot of different reasons, and they all depend on the game and the situation as well. Of course with FFXV I wanted to release the previous version of the game constantly - but it was very, very difficult to do so.
Now we have re-revealed the game, I'm excited to bring more information in the future.