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Disney, Square Enix delay RPG compilation 'Kingdom Hearts 2.8' to 2017

Square Enix’s PlayStation 4 RPG compilation Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will miss its targeted December launch date and is now set to premiere in January of 2017, the Japanese publisher announced this week.

Series creator Tetsuya Nomura offered an explanation on Twitter (via Destructoid), revealing that members of Kingdom Hearts 2.8‘s development staff put the project on the back burner in order to finish up work on Final Fantasy XV.

Related: Modification adds Sora from ‘Kingdom Hearts’ to ‘Super Smash Bros.’ for Wii U

Kingdom Hearts merges Disney’s cartoon characters with heroes, villains, and storyline elements from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise, resulting in a uniquely themed crossover RPG. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is the latest remastered release for the series, following up on the recent PlayStation 3 remakes Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX.

Announced last year, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is a PlayStation 4 remake of the 2012 Nintendo 3DS series sequel Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. The package also includes an all-new narrative chapter, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep: A Fragmentary Passage, which fills in storyline gaps surrounding Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep protagonist Aqua.

Players can get further insight into the Kingdom Hearts universe with the compilation’s third included chapter, Kingdom Hearts: Back Cover. Delivering its story snippets via non-playable HD cinematics, Back Cover serves as an introduction to the upcoming series sequel Kingdom Hearts III, which itself has been delayed multiple times since its was initially revealed.

Square Enix’s Nomura revealed this week that Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will support Sony’s upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro console at launch. Players who own the new hardware can expect to see higher-resolution textures, more consistent framerates, and HDR imaging across all supported titles.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will launch first in Japan on January 12, and localized releases will hit North America and Europe on January 24, 2017.