The fan favorite Kingdom Hearts series is going to switch to the Unreal Engine 4 according to developer Square Enix. The change sheds light on the recent statement that the developer was having some design problems due to engine-related issues. The issues mentioned were caused by the decision to switch from the internally developed Luminous game engine to Unreal Engine 4.
“Due to having switched to Unreal Engine 4 for various reasons, we’re having trouble on some parts as far as rendering goes, but with help from the folks at Epic Games, progress is going safely” was the official statement made by Tesuya Nomura, the Kingdom Hearts III Director, in an interview for Siliconera.
The Luminous Engine is currently being used by Square Enix in the creation of Final Fantasy XV, but it seems it’s not exactly what is needed for Kingdom Hearts. “Various Reasons”, as the director put it, is not the most detailed explanation in the world for an engine switch, especially mid-development, however it is a clear indicator that Enix is not confortable with their in-house engine. Perhaps even the mentioned Final Fantasy game will suffer the same switch.
In related news, Disney decided to drop quite a collection of their games on Steam, inluding Epic Mickey 2 and Split/Second. Square Enix has also taken a much more active interest in Steam -the quiet release of Final Fantasy IV on the digital distribution platform – and confirmed that Final Fantasy XIII will be released for PC this month. With the switch to one of the most popular cross-platform engines on the market, Kingdom Hearts III on PC could become a reality.