Kingdom Hearts 3 is out later this month. At one point, there were no plans to go with a sequel if the game director Tetsuya Nomura didn’t manage to get Pixar’s approval for Toy Story’s inclusion in Kingdom Hearts 3.
In the latest issue of Edge Magazine, Nomura talks about his plans for a new game after wrapping up production work on Kingdom Hearts 2. He started talks with Disney to get Pixar involved with the sequel but it was a rather uphill battle for them and the process itself took a long time to finalize.
“After we were done with Kingdom Hearts II and were starting to consider III, we started talks with Disney, I remember saying, ‘If we can’t use Pixar, then we can’t have a third game.’ It’s that important to the game series. The whole world loves Toy Story – everybody feels the appeal of that story and those characters. So yeah, at the very beginning I directly said to them, “If we can’t get this, I don’t want to do it’.”
Once Disney agreed, Nomura had to go through a lot of hurdles to get the approval of Pixar on the design for the world and characters.
“I wrote a general outline of the story and I submitted it to Pixar, It took them several years to okay the story and the character designs. Previous to Kingdom Hearts III, I think these companies kind of saw it more as like, secondary rights permissions. They saw it more as a product like you would a branded toy or something. This time, it was creator to creator – it was somebody who had made this animation, and somebody who was making this game. We were communicating with each other, myself and these people, so that added an extra level of complexity because each creator has their own desires, ideas, and concepts.”
There is a lot more behind the scenes story on Kingdom Hearts 3 featured in the February 2019 issue of Edge Magazine. You can grab a copy of it from the iTunes store and read the full story from there.
Kingdom Hearts 3 will be available on January 29th, 2019, for the PS4 and Xbox One.