In an interview with GameReactor during the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Kingdom Hearts series co-director Tai Yasue took the opportunity to speak about the development of Kingdom Hearts III, while also touching upon the team's plan for the future. Yasue mentioned that one of the primary goals during development was to understand and learn what players wanted out of Kingdom Hearts III.
On the game's upcoming Critical Mode, Yasue said that the development team wanted to "do it the right way," instead of solely altering HP and damage values. They decided to implement new abilities that will resonate with a more technical playstyle, and also focused on making players think about their actions both inside and outside of battle. In addition, Critical Mode will feature AI adjustments to prevent it from feeling unfair, but it will still push players to their limits and encourage them to utilize the game's full array of options, such as cooking meals to gain stat benefits.
"It is balanced in a way that you could clear it without leveling up, for example, but you really have to think it through. For example, you have to think about the timing of your guarding and using your counter in order to make battles easier to clear."
Yasue stated that the team is very happy with the warm and positive response that Kingdom Hearts III has received from both fans and critics, especially since the team was very worried about how fans would react. He said that they really focused on exceeding fans' expectations and wanted to do as much as they could. While other games end up cutting various elements due to cost or time constraints, Yasue feels confident that the team was able to accomplish everything that they wanted to implement. He thanked the fans for their encouragement throughout the development process.