It was inevitable that many Kingdom Hearts fans would be excited, when a new trailer for KH III was unveiled at the Disney D3 Expo in Japan. Whether you are a fan of this series or not, you can see the sheer amount of love, care, and high production values that has gone into this game. It really is quite impressive, and Kingdom Hearts fans have a lot to look forward to.

Regarding the "2018" release window, however, I'm not nearly as optimistic. While Square Enix claims they will announce the release date at E3 this year, that doesn't mean the game is shipping in 2018. Why, you ask? That's because Square Enix has also stated today how far along the game is, in terms of development.

According to Siliconera, Square Enix stated development on the game is currently split into three sections: early, middle, and late. There will be approximately three worlds per section, with the early section being 90% complete, the middle section being 60% complete, and the late section being undisclosed.

We know the entire Osaka studio is working on the game. We also know that 100 more developers from the Tokyo studio are also helping. However, it seems like a large portion of the game is still far from completion. We haven't even considered how much time will have to go into debugging and polish, so even a late 2018 release date seems rather unlikely.

Assuming the late section of the game needs the most time for development, as Square Enix refused to acknowledge how far along it is, it likely is less than 50% complete. That would suggest that quite possibly half of the game's content still needs to be completed, which is A LOT of work to do. To believe that they will finish that content, as well as polish and optimize the game in the next 10 months, is a lot to ask.

Kingdom Hearts III was revealed at Sony's Press Conference at E3 2013, almost five years ago. The studio has managed to complete most of the first third and a good portion of the second third. We all know that polish for games can take many months, and who knows what potential obstacles the studio could run into between now and E3.

I won't be surprised if this game slips to an "Early 2019" release, and I'd urge caution with a lot of excited KH III fans. You've waited for over 12 years for this sequel. Another year isn't likely to kill you. Maybe Kingdom Hearts III will have a miracle and somehow release before the end of the year. Personally, I'd rather the studio takes its time and releases a polished experience.

What are your thoughts regarding this recent development? Do you think it's still possible the game could release this year? Do you think Square Enix is being far too optimistic in hopes of a holiday release? Feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section below!