For all the twists and turns that the Kingdom Hearts franchise has seen, there’s still more to come. Square Enix announced Kingdom Hearts 4 during the series’ 20th anniversary and confirmed that Sora would be returning (along with Donald and Goofy). Quadratum is the setting, at least initially, and the game will be developed on Unreal Engine 5.
The gameplay from the announcement trailer was developed in Unreal Engine 4 though with the promise that Unreal Engine 5 would take the visuals “several levels higher.” When can we expect to see Unreal Engine 5 footage? According to director Tetsuya Nomura in an interview with Famitsu magazine (details via Ryokutya and translation by DeepL), “We’re developing with Unreal Engine 5, so this may be the only time we see Unreal Engine 4 footage. I think the next one will be using Unreal Engine 5.”
Nomura also noted that it’s a secret whether The Nameless Star (who appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory) would be in Kingdom Hearts 4. But it’s confirmed that she was originally a character from Verum Rex. The Lost Masters have also been described as an antagonistic force like Organization 13.
Along with Nomura, Masaru Oka and Akiko Ishibashi are confirmed as scenario writers for the sequel. Oka has been working on the series since Kingdom Hearts 2 while Ishibashi wrote the scenario for NEO: The World Ends with You. Also, the team will be focusing on development so don’t expect new information any time soon. Stay tuned in the meantime.