The potential of Kingdom Hearts 3, thanks to Disney's fat wallet

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jun 12, 2013 08:44 AM EDT
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E3 2013 is prime time, ground zero for developers and studios to reveal what they have up their sleeves, and Square Enix certainly didn't disappoint, formally announcing that the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 is in development, set for release on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

In the event that you're not aware of this series that's spanned 6 systems and almost a dozen titles in the past 11 years, it's an action RPG that blends together various Square Enix properties like Final Fantasy with various Disney worlds and characters in a wholly original story. As Square Enix is the developer of some of the most critically acclaimed RPG's in gaming, and Disney is definitive animation house, when you join the two together, you get a combined gaming experience that hits you right in the childhood.

In the off chance that you're reading this, and you wouldn't describe yourself as a gamer, you're no doubt aware of current events, and you know that Disney has been extending its reach over the last few years, making headlines with various purchases. In 2006, Disney bought the powerhouse Pixar studios for $7.7 billion, making Disney the new owner of CGI films like "Toy Story 3" and "Finding Nemo," which are counted among the 50 highest grossing films of all time. Three years later, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, bringing characters like Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and all their associated groups like The Avengers and The X-Men into the Magic Kingdom. More recently, Mickey and company went jedi, buying Lucasfilms for another $4 billion, putting them in charge of "a galaxy far, far away."

Beginning to see the implications? What it means is that the pool for Square and Disney can draw from for Kingdom Hearts 3 is no longer a pool, but rather, a deep, vast ocean. It means that Sora can telepathically communicate with Professor X while he swims with Nemo and Namor in the waters of Naboo. Jabba the Hutt and the Blob can trade dieting tips on Genosha while Donald Duck and Goofy try to keep up with Tarzan swinging from vine to vine in the Savage Land. Buzz Lightyear gets a new Iron Man styled space suit courtesy of Tony Stark to stop a team up between Emperor Palpatine and Master Xehanort, while Sephiroth and Darth Vader look on. See where I'm going now?

And most importantly, it's one more place for Stan Lee to make a cameo appearance.

The only forseeable bump in the road is that Disney has already seen fit to ink an exclusivity deal with Electronic Arts. EA is now the studio responsible for all development and publication of all future Star Wars games, so it's difficult to see how anyone from "a galaxy far, far away" could, or will, make an appearance. A crossover could still be negotiated, especially if there are chances for money to be made, but even if it doesn't work out, there are still plenty of Lucasfilm and LucasArts properties up for consideration that could make a great addition to Kingdom Hearts: Indiana Jones, Labryinth, even some cult-classic video games like Grim Fandango and The Secret of Monkey Island. Don't count on Howard the Duck though.

With the tech of two new consoles at the development team's disposal, coupled with Disney's expanded properties, there's even more potential for the Kingdom Hearts series than ever before.

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