khlogoWhether or not you like its doofy writing or calculated Disney licensing, Kingdom Hearts has always been refreshing in the face of the stridently grimdark self-seriousness of other big-budget console games. Soon, the industry's collective unicorn chaser will be available on the go: in an interview with Japan's Famitsu Weekly, veteran series director Tetsuya Nomura let slip that a Kingdom Hearts game is in the works for mobile.

While discussing possible announcements at Square Enix' upcoming D23 Expo later this year, Nomura explained that "Development on Kingdom Hearts III is going smoothly, but there will also be new announcements connected to it."

"As one of those new announcements, I think we should be able to announce a smartphone-specific development for the series in short order."

It's never a guarantee that Square Enix localizes his Japanese iOS titles, but Kingdom Hearts is one of its tentpole series: I'm guessing it eventually comes westward. Nomura was a producer on The World Ends With You [$17.99 / $19.99 (HD)], which was excellent, but he also produced Final Fantasy: All the Bravest [Free], which was vile. When and if we catch sight of Sora and Riku on American soil, temper expectations accordingly.

Here's the Kingdom Hearts III announcement trailer from last year's E3, just for reference.

Surprisingly, this isn't Kingdom Hearts' first attempt at a mobile game. Kingdom Hearts coded was a puzzle game that came out in 2008, exclusively for users of NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese cell phone provider. (It was later re-made for the Nintendo DS and called (lol) Kingdom Hearts re:coded.)

More recently, news came out last month of a canceled Kingdom Hearts game for iOS and Android, subtitled "Fragmented Keys." The game was axed early in development in 2013, but would have featured Disney properties like Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, and the recently-acquired Star Wars

The highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, meanwhile, is being developed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Played Kingdom Hearts many years ago on PlayStation loved it. What's with the link to the World Ends with You? I thought it'd been terminated and it's not in my store in Australia? Is it back again?

    • bored2death

      Something to do with dreams and peoples thoughts being connected or something like that. I beleive both themes are connected closely from both games and this becomes apparent in another 3ds kingdom hearts game dream drop distance. Haven't finished the game as it's still in the backlog but that's what I could gather.

  • Dueler

    Can you just let the all the bravest thing die? It was no frills easy to pick up during a short break and wasn't too heavy, yes the payed characters was a bumber but get over that and the games pretty fun grinding through everything and collecting all the items. Sure it's no record keeper but I don't always have 20 minutes to dedicate to strategising for boss fights.

    Anyway looking forward to this, I'll play it all in Japanese if I have too with the google translate app at the ready xD

  • AZNn1nJa

    Yes! I love Kingdom Hearts! I can't wait for Kingdom Hearts 3!

  • RandallPeek

    Never having played Kingdom Hearts, I'm curious if the original game used the same engine as any of the Final Fantasy games that have been released for iOS. If so, is it possible they'd port the full first game, or is that just wishful thinking?

    • Shaun Musgrave

      No, it used a custom engine, and nothing SE has produced for iOS is on KH1's technical level save perhaps Dragon Quest 8. And we saw how *that* went.

      I can't see them porting the first game to iOS anytime soon. It's not a big loss. Outside the fanservice (which is really well-done), the series really didn't start to pick up until the PSP Birth By Sleep.

      • Based Xatu

        What? KH2 was awesome.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        Beyond the fanservice? It was just a button-masher with weirdly-implemented contextual actions. The fanservice was *outstanding*, but they didn't start trying to make something of the battle system until BbS, as I see it.

      • TJF588

        Though this stance nearly flips in the speedrunner scene, where KH2 makes use of just about everything -except- Reaction Commands (which in boss battles are lengthy cinematics), whereas Birth by Sleep Final Mix HD's Aqua Critical (w o r d s) runs devolve into using items to spam Spellweaver finishers; wanna say other categories alao get their trump cards early, though it's always neat seeing Dash attacks used for traversal.

      • Xenomorphking

        I loved KH 2 for the forms, those were damn fun to use. However, I also love KHBBS's battle system. It would be awesome just to put the two together. I own every single game in the KH franchise. This franchise is my favorite for action Rpg's. The funny thing is I put down KH 1 for years until I found out how to get past that part on the island with all the shadow heartless. Then I made a friend who had gotten past the beginning part of the game and I have enjoyed the franchise since then.

  • spader623

    As I said in the Lara croft article, no please God no.

  • SpoomMcKay

    Kingdom Hearts is my favorite video game of all time. And while I wouldn't like them to butcher the name, I am perfectly okay with this.

  • AdamBoy64

    I wonder if it'll be a new title,
    or a port of an existing game in the series.

    Either way, I'm interested.

  • Xenomorphking

    As long as it is a payed app with no IAP I am in. If it is a Freemium game, Square Enix go to hell.

    • Intendro

      Oh, yes, I seriously hope there's no bad freemium stuff, no Internet requirement, no timers.
      *searches for an appropriate quote*
      "Open the door, lead me into everlasting timers!"

      • Intendro

        "There's more to a game than just money and hate, don't you remember?"

      • Xenomorphking

        I remember when it used to be like that. I fortune

      • Xenomorphking

        Last comment was not full post. I accidentally hit post.

  • imuddy

    Please no endless runner.

  • djstout

    One of my favourite games ever!

  • TJF588

    Still wondering when KHx[chi] will get localized. Unless they wanna back out on their "This leads to Kingdom Hearts III" message, I don't expect this to be a continuation like Re:coded technically was, but a gap-filler, like Days. (Watch it be a port of the V CAST version, though!)

    • Shaun Musgrave

      I'm expecting a F2P social RPG, to be honest.

  • TJF588

    Also: Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, AND Star Wars confirmed unconfirmed! This bodes ominous...

  • Big Papa

    As much as I want to be wrong, my money is on some sort of F2P match three or card battler. I sure hope I'm wrong, but I seriously doubt we'll get a proper Kingdom Hearts.