Disney and Square tap an unusual studio to bring Kingdom Hearts free-to-play to PCs

Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance
The 2010s is shaping up to be a momentous decade for Disney as the company’s media empire balloons to include even more pop culture icons of the 20th century. Disney made waves last decade when it acquired Pixar and Jim Henson’s Muppets, but both purchases were nowhere near as momentous as when it bought comic book house Marvel or Star Wars maker Lucasfilm. Yet even as Disney’s pop culture reach has broadened in recent years, its strangest partnership endures: After ten years, the Kingdom Hearts series that combines Disney and Square Enix characters is still going strong. Now the series is jumping to PC thanks to a studio with an idiosyncratic history.

Kingdom Hearts X[chi] continues the series’ penchant for bizarre titles but breaks with its roots on portable and home game consoles. X[chi] is actually a free-to-play PC game that lets players move through a story and fight each other with collectible cards, a battle system that recalls the decade-old Game Boy Advance entry in the series, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

Disney’s Kingdom Hearts partner Square-Enix isn’t developing X[chi] itself. The game is actually made by Japanese studio Success Corporation. Success has never released a hit game, but it has made some notably strange and fun titles. Its resume includes PlayStation 2 role-playing game Metal Saga, the classic arcade shooter series Cotton, and the early Xbox 360 strategy game Operation DarknessOperation Darkness’s plot, involving a team of werewolves working with the US military to fight the Nazis in World War II, is even weirder than Kingdom Hearts’ sprawling narrative.

It’s no surprise in light of Square-Enix’s recent earnings report that the company and Disney are releasing a free-to-play PC game in the series. The company reported a $61 million loss for the first nine months of the fiscal year ending in March 2013, and the primary reason is slow console game sales. Browser games like Kingdom Hearts X[chi] are, according to the company, helping to mitigate those losses.

As of March 2013, it will be seven years since the last new game in the Kingdom Hearts series was developed for a home console. If X[chi] is successful, there may be no room for console Kingdom Hearts in the modern Disney and Square-Enix partnership.

Source: Siliconera


‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.