Kingdom Hearts III, the highly anticipated new entry in the beloved Square Enix and Disney crossover franchise, is out in the wild, with copies leaked over a month before the game’s January 29, 2019 release date.
Somehow, somebody acquired the Xbox One version of Kingdom Hearts III, and started uploading images of the game’s packaging. The leak apparently happened somewhere within the disc-printing or distribution process.
Heads up, Kingdom Hearts fans:
The full version (!) of KH3 appears to be out in the wild (some screenshots and videos exist that I won't share here)
But yeah, be careful on both social media and YouTube pic.twitter.com/6QKhu31IaZ
— Nibel (@Nibellion) December 15, 2018
Players are concerned that the leaked copies of Kingdom Hearts III will result in spoilers being distributed on social media. Will there be a need to go offline until late January, just to be able to avoid prematurely finding out about the game’s story?
Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s director, took to social media to respond to the situation.
— KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) December 16, 2018
Nomura, who acknowledged that several copies of Kingdom Hearts III have leaked ahead of the official release date, said that his team has been working to solve the problem. Meanwhile, he calls for the support of Kingdom Hearts fans to not share images and videos that spoil the game.
Nomura expressed gratitude to the players who have helped in preventing spoilers from spreading online. Gamers across websites such as YouTube and Reddit have been vigilantly taking down leaked Kingdom Hearts III content themselves, showing the community coming together to stop the spoilers.
Fortunately, it appears that Square Enix had prepared a plan, just in case something like this happens. Nomura said that the Kingdom Hearts III epilogue and secret movie, which he described as “the biggest spoilers in this game,” will be released at a later date, apparently through a day one patch. At the very least, leakers will not be able to spoil those elements of Kingdom Hearts III.
Kingdom Hearts III was first announced at E3 2013, meaning that there has been a nearly six-year wait for the game’s arrival. The last fully numbered game in the series, Kingdom Hearts II, was released in 2005, followed by numerous spin-offs and remixes.
Players who want to catch up to the long-running Kingdom Hearts series should consider Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far, a bundle containing all the previous entries in the franchise. Kingdom Hearts is known for its confusing timeline and story, so replaying the past titles will serve as good preparation for Kingdom Hearts III while distracting players from spoilers that slip through.