Kingdom Hearts 3 Director Says Disney Approvals Became “Increasingly Difficult”

Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally coming out early next year, almost 13 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2. In that time, a lot of things have changed at Disney and according to KH3 director Tetsuya Nomura, getting Disney’s permission for the use of their properties wasn’t as easy this time around.

Speaking with USgamer, Nomura explained that getting approvals from Disney has been “increasingly difficult,” which he says is mainly due to using more recent properties that still had their creators and creative teams present at the company. In previous Kingdom Hearts games, some of the creators or teams for the properties they used were no longer present at Disney, making it a lot easier to get approval to use and build on them.

Nomura used Aladdin as an example for using older Disney properties compared to more recent ones, saying “since there isn’t anyone that we could ask about adding more areas to Aladdin, it was actually easier because we could just create them on our own.”

According to Nomura, “Each team would have a different set of rules and guidelines and they would say different things, or they would look at different things.” He adds that the team for Monster’s Inc. had, “More guidelines that we had to follow, and were a little more clear cut in the details.” He went on to add that Frozen had the most guidelines for them to follow.

Nomura also said the difference was also due to Kingdom Hearts 3 being a bigger title than its predecessors, adding that for the previous games a lot less people at Disney were familiar with the franchise. He went on to say, “But now that it’s become a bigger title, a lot more people have been involved in [sic] than before. In that sense the relationship with Disney has changed quite a bit.”

Kingdom Hearts 3 is scheduled for release on January 29, 2019, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.