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Kingdom Hearts On Steam is Massive

I woke up this morning to perhaps the most important low-key video game news of the year. The Kingdom Hearts series is finally hitting Steam.


Those not in the know might shrug their shoulders at this news. There’s a good chance that most people in the know won’t give a damn. A hodge-podge of PS2, PS4, PSP and 3DS games reaching an app on a platform they were already available on? Yawn, right? Wrong.

This signals a change in priorities for the usually incognizable Square Enix. Their history of platform choice is legendary, and you can see it within the Kingdom Hearts series. You need half a dozen consoles to play every single game, a fact that sort of holds true because two of the games included in the remastered sets are presented as vdeoes.

Some more context. Kingdom Hearts 3 was a multiplatform release, but the HD remasters were not. You could only play them on PlayStation. Eventually these were ported across to Xbox. Switch owners were left waiting even longer, when the entire series came to their console of choice… via the cloud. Yes, these PS2 games were released as cloud editions on the Nintendo handheld. At around the same time they came to PC but, just to add to the confusion, they were exclusive to the Epic store. PC gamers don’t like the Epic store, so for many they might as well not have been released.

Only Square Enix could release a convoluted series in as convoluted a way as that. And that’s just one franchise. Their others don’t fare much better under scrutiny, even their blockbuster Final Fantasy series. Thankfully, all of that is about to change.

Kingdom Hearts: The End to Multiplatform Mayhem

Recently, Square said that it would be better exploring its multiplatform options in the future. This happened extremely recently and might not have very much to do with Kingdom Hearts coming to Steam, or maybe it does. The point is the same: for those that have become increasingly frustrated with Square’s exclusivity deals and inconsistent release cadences, things will hopefully change. They have realised that releasing games in a sensible manner might actually make them money.

So Octopath Traveller. You know the one? The Switch exclusive that came to Xbox and Game Pass but never released on PlayStation. And its sequel, which came to Switch and PlayStation, but not to Xbox? Yeah, weird situations like that might not happen anymore.

And Kingdom Hearts coming to Steam signals that Square are looking to treat their fans better. Symbolically, if not actually.

Honestly, it’s not a lot to ask. Bring the games to the places people want to play them. Hell, even Microsoft has started to understand that.

Square Enix was one of the last hold outs of this kind of platform jumping. Everybody else seems to have realised you put your games everywhere to hit as many people as possible. As sales of Final Fantasy have unfortunately slowed, Square have clearly asked whether exclusivity is giving them the boost they not only need, but deserve.

It might only be Kingdom Hearts on Steam (coming June 13), but it’ll hopefully grow into something much, much bigger.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott