Now, see, this is why we can’t have nice things. In the light of the Kingdom Hearts III leak, we may not see any more simultaneous worldwide launches from the game’s director.
We all hate spoilers, don’t we? They’re unavoidable, really, with the internet and all, but that doesn’t mean it’s ever okay. It’s irritating enough that movie trailers seem to take it upon themselves to show you every single interesting moment of the movie, saving you the trouble of going to see it in the first place. We don’t need people on internet message boards going out of their way to ruin the latest Avengers outing just to be trolls.
It’s always going to be a thing, though. Somehow, leakers are going to get their hands on a much-anticipated game and blow it wide open. Take Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, for instance. In the weeks leading up to launch, cutscenes from the game and other spoilers were out there in the wild. Nintendo were not amused and set about issuing copyright strikes to the YouTube channels that were uploading the content, but the damage was already done.
One of the big-ticket releases of 2019 so far, Kingdom Hearts III, was also the victim of an unfortunate leak. Back in December, a full retail copy of the game surfaced, and the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, warned fans to be vigilant so as not to have the experience ruined for themselves. These leaks are surely disheartening to developers, but now we’re getting to see just how much the Kingdom Hearts leak affected Nomura.
In a recent interview with Famitsu, he had this to say on the subject: "The risk is higher with simultaneous worldwide releases… because of this incident I can't help but reconsider what I'll do for my next games, including simultaneous worldwide releases of physical copies at the very least."
This does not bode well, for several reasons. Firstly, we in the West are used to getting games about seven centuries after their release in Japan (if ever), so simultaneous releases are rare and precious. Throw in the fact that he specified physical copies (which are also highly prized by many gamers) and that the Final Fantasy VII remake is one of Nomura’s games (when will we see that in the West now?) and we’ve got a rough situation.
Darn it, leakers.