Kingdom Heart 3’s Tetsuya Nomura Touches On Making Games, Working With Disney, And Rumors

Are you curious to know more about Tetsuya Nomura and his thoughts on Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy VII Remake, working with Disney, rumors and more? Well, all of that and more was shared not too long ago during an interview with another publication site.

Firstly, website caught wind of an interview from publication site, and translated the piece containing the site’s interview with Nomura during the recent expo — better known as E3 2018.

The first question translated inquired to know about Kingdom Hearts 3 development and the team, below lies Nomura’s response:

“We’re steadily approaching the end of the development cycle, so I won’t deny it’s a very busy and stressful period personally speaking. Even with E3 going on right now, I’m still receiving requests to review elements of the game. There’s never a quiet moment; regardless of what time it is, I’ll have things from the team that needs to be checked and approved, messages to be answered, and numerous requests for feedback.


Now that we have announced the release date, we must absolutely hit that date and not delay the game any further. Everyone is giving their all and pushing themselves to the limit, not only because of the release date, but to also deliver an excellent game. With it being so late in development, I try to not give feedback that would require too many changes, because I’m convinced it would create more stress and anxiety in the team. I’m personally trying to remain as calm as possible.”

Another question seeking an answer from Nomura wanted to know how Kingdom Hearts as a series came to be:

“This event took place during the period between the development of Final Fantasy VII and VIII. It was after the release of Super Mario 64, when the industry was transitioning from 2D sprites to polygonal graphics. When I played Super Mario 64, I was very impressed by the world and how you are able to move freely in an open environment.


As I worked on Final Fantasy, I thought our combat system could work perfectly in such an environment, so I began to think about the possibility of creating a 3D action game. I spoke to my colleagues about the idea, but there was a problem: Mario is a famous icon all over the world, and to create an equally recognizable game, I’d need to use characters that are on that same level such as Disney characters. When I heard that the executives at Disney and Square were considering working on something together, I immediately put my name forward. I knew I had to do it or else I’d never have another opportunity. There’s no other reasoning behind it.”

The interview went on and wanted to know what Hironobu Sakaguchi had to say to Nomura about Kingdom Hearts, here’s his response:

“When I started working on the first Kingdom Hearts, Sakaguchi gave me a little suggestion. He had asked me what kind of game I was going to create, and I told him that I wanted to make a simple adventure, at the end of which the protagonist would have defeated a witch. He told me it was not a good idea, and I needed to create a story that would appeal to fans of Final Fantasy, so there was no need to keep things so simple. That was the only warning he ever gave me, and he never gave me any feedback after the game was released. Before leaving, he simply told me: “I do not need to play your game because I know it will be done well and it will be fun. You do not need any suggestions from me.”


Sakaguchi is considered the father of Final Fantasy, as the one who created the series. In our office, few people have met him and many who work on Final Fantasy have never worked with him. My generation is probably the last one to have worked directly with Sakaguchi. Maybe at the time I was not too nice, and I imagine that he may have seen me as someone that is difficult to work with. He has had many students, and among all I was “the strange one”, but I think I was also the only one who inherited and continues to carry on his spirit of making games. But these days, we are no longer in touch and it will have been a few years since we last heard from each other.”

The next question revolves around Kingdom Hearts adding Toy Story to the mix and if this was due to the company’s relationship with Disney and Pixar at the time. Nomura answer lies below:

“I have always wanted Toy Story in Kingdom Hearts, and even as we were making the first game, I was hoping to include a world based on a Pixar film. So I asked our staff to prepare something in the event that we managed to get approval from Disney. Unfortunately, we were not given the opportunity and these ideas never went into production.


Since they were found in the code, people believe Toy Story was originally included but got cut during development, but that’s actually not the case. We just prepared those assets so that we could present them to Disney and see if it was possible to create something with them. However, we were immediately told that we couldn’t use those properties, without being provided with any specific reasons.”

The second to last question during the interview touched on release dates and leaks/rumors of Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake. Nomura relayed:

“Deciding when to announce your game to the public is always difficult. I understand why some companies wait as long as possible, and I definitely think it’s a good thing for them. But in our case, we receive pressure from the fans even when we do not announce anything. They’re always asking us “are you working on this?” or “why don’t you make a sequel for that?”. Even after the announcement, the situation does not change, because then they’ll move onto asking us “when will it release?” or “when will you show a new trailer?”.


People are waiting for new information regardless of whether the game has been announced or not. It’s great when we manage to keep it secret for as long as possible, but these days, a lot of important projects become victims of rumors and leaks. Honestly, I prefer that we officially reveal our games instead of seeing a leak or a rumor circulating online. Especially when part of the development is outsourced to other companies, there is always the risk that people outside the in-house team will spread information and images online. It is even worse when, during the development, a fake rumor sprouts that people start to believe, and it becomes necessary to decide whether to answer and deny.


The same thing happened with the remake of Final Fantasy 7. I am well aware of the fact that we announced it too early, but even in the industry, word was beginning to spread that we were working on the game, so we just decided not to keep it more secret and officially reveal it.”

Lastly, Nomura was asked if the E3 2018 trailer revealed too much, he assured that there are still many surprises waiting for fans. Additionally, he claims the E3 trailer only showed a small portion of stuff and that there is much more that hasn’t been shown.

Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch for PS4 and Xbox One on January 25th, 2019, across the East, and January 29th, 2019, in the West.


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