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KH4 Development Timeline



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Luminary

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Magic is in the making everyone! But just how long is it going to take to brew this newest entry in the KH franchise?

What we know: The game is in early development and will be transitioning from UE4 to UE5. However, this is a more seamless transition than the switch from Luminous to UE4 that KH3 had to undergo, resulting in the team essentially starting from scratch. We are also seeing real time gameplay footage already whereas KH3 used pre-rendered footage for its announcement.

What are your desires/expectations for a release timeframe and do you think it is a fair time to allow for a AAA game to be developed? Or do you think Square Enix needs to pick up the pace? How do you feel about the game still being in early development even though production likely started in 2019?

I am optimistically considering a January-March 2024 targeted release window with FFXVI sometime in 2023 and FFVIIR later in 2024. This is a 5 year turnaround which is on par with most AAA games and lines up with KH3’s length of development not including their lost year.
 

KeybladeLordSora

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Here's the thing

They say "early development" and most people are quick to say that this means the game is e a r l y

even tho "early development" is a term for the one of the stages of development and not legit early. My phrasing makes it sound weirder than it is.

And knowing how Nomura is a tad bit more cautious about leaks now, for all we know the statement of it being in "early" development may be a red herring.

Like, Osaka has been working on this since at least mid-to-late 2020 or smth
 

Luminary

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Here's the thing

They say "early development" and most people are quick to say that this means the game is e a r l y

even tho "early development" is a term for the one of the stages of development and not legit early. My phrasing makes it sound weirder than it is.

And knowing how Nomura is a tad bit more cautious about leaks now, for all we know the statement of it being in "early" development may be a red herring.

Like, Osaka has been working on this since at least mid-to-late 2020 or smth

Yeah I agree. As stated in another thread, the “early development” period can easily be the longest portion of any project. A good analogy I thought of is how you drive by a construction site and it seems to be taking forever and no progress is being made. But then all of the sudden a house seems to spring up overnight.

My point is that the planning and groundwork stage generally takes the longest and then execution in the mid to late stage of development can happen pretty quickly if a good foundation has been established early on.

Also agree with it possibly being a red herring. It makes sense he would want to temper expectations.
 

Chaser

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I'd also like to mention that KH3 went gold in November 2018, so with their December 2014 comment about their shift to Unreal Engine being complete, KH3's development took place over 4 years (not including pre-production and planning which would add to that but it's hard to properly pin that time frame down since it happens in conjunction with a bunch of other stuff in other departments).

For KH4, I really thought that while pre-production was happening on it (world selection, plot and script etc) the Osaka Team focused on patches and Re Mind and then some stragglers worked on MoM's cutscenes in mid-2020. That would then place the start of KHIV's dev in 2019, so it's been 3 years.

But with their "early development" and "selecting worlds" comment, I'm not sure when things were properly moving for KH4. We had that report from one of the Disney+ show people that Frozen II discussions were happening in November 2020, which could help narrow down a rough time frame but it is way later than I would have expected.

NVIDIA's leak had September 2023 on it. That is still another 18 or so months away and KHIV's had a lot of work done on it already to be showing us a really good looking, in-engine trailer with models like Sora and Strelitzia that look well done (especially compared to early Unreal Engine Sora). Donald and Goofy also have had touch ups done to their models so that's something.

I think we're going to hear the next round of IV news in September, for the second part of the anniversary. I'm not sure when they'll be shifting to UE5, whether it's happening now or in a month or two's time, but I imagine they'll have done enough work to really justify revealing a world or two, what platforms it'll be on (I imagine this was withheld the other day in case they're trying to justify PS4 / Xbox One or not?). That would be a year out from the date on the leak.

KH3's date was revealed in June 2018, 7 months prior to release, so I don't think they'd give KHIV a concrete date in September.
 

HakaishinChampa

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I personally think the Quadratum stuff and story beats is mostly done, it's just the Disney worlds that are in early development
 

Silver_Soul

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Well they have an advantage that they are much more familiar with the unreal engine. The migration to UE5 is also complete from what we heard. I thought UE5 just released. do developers have early access?

The whole selecting worlds does make me do a double take, but who knows what it actually means. how early into the process is world selection?
 

Luminary

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Well they have an advantage that they are much more familiar with the unreal engine. The migration to UE5 is also complete from what we heard. I thought UE5 just released. do developers have early access?

The whole selecting worlds does make me do a double take, but who knows what it actually means. how early into the process is world selection?
Yeah my understanding is that it’s been used by certain developers that partner with Epic for a while now but only just fully launched where anyone is able to use it.
 

Silver_Soul

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Q4 2023 seems super likely to me - so more likely January 2024. It takes about 4-5 years and it's been 3 since KH3 released so that's what I'm basing it on. I pretty much agree with everything KeybladeLordSora said
January 2024 doesn't seem to bad.

At least we have Missing link to hold us over. and possibly the Union X remake ;)
 

Katsagu

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I went digging for the KH3 interviews, and this is what gets me worried...


This is an interview from 2013. Reveal year. And look how Nomura says "The selection of worlds isn't finalized yet.".

Jump to the Q&A about KH4 and nomura says: "World selection is currently in progress." On reveal year.

We can also look at the "I feel we announced it too early maybe" on KH3 reveal. And the "We announced it early to avoid leaks" on KH4 reveal.

dcvcozy-796d38f7-68ca-4d52-8825-4f49bf8890cf.gif


And that terrifies me.
 

2 quid is good

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I went digging for the KH3 interviews, and this is what gets me worried...


This is an interview from 2013. Reveal year. And look how Nomura says "The selection of worlds isn't finalized yet.".

Jump to the Q&A about KH4 and nomura says: "World selection is currently in progress." On reveal year.


dcvcozy-796d38f7-68ca-4d52-8825-4f49bf8890cf.gif
tbf to KH3 it seems like they'd decided on worlds by 2015, it's slightly worrying that they're at least 2 years into dev time and haven't finalised it. But on the other hand it's the reveal and we know Star Wars ad Olympus are in, which is a lot more than we knew at E3 2013, more than we knew even at D23 2013
 

the red monster

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Q4 2023/Q1 2024. they likely picking the last bunch of disney worlds at the moment, but the story itself is probably done or at least very close to finish.
game already looks really good even for current ps5/xbox series gen, and it will only look better from now.
i think the planning phase already started at 2019 and development early-mid 2020.
 

Katsagu

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tbf to KH3 it seems like they'd decided on worlds by 2015, it's slightly worrying that they're at least 2 years into dev time and haven't finalised it. But on the other hand it's the reveal and we know Star Wars ad Olympus are in, which is a lot more than we knew at E3 2013, more than we knew even at D23 2013
I don't want to believe we will see another 7 year dev cycle unfold before our eyes. But I would have wanted them to come into this reveal with a bit more certainty behind it. Like maybe a release year or something.

Instead I'm finding a lot of parallels to KH3's situation.
"World selection phase" -> "Early reveal" -> "Now in development/Magic in the making"
 
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