Bootlegged copies of Kingdom Hearts III leak more than a month before its release
Facepalm: Somehow copies of Kingdom hearts 3 leaked out and were being illegally sold over the weekend. Square Enix knows how the bootlegs got out but would not elaborate. In the meantime, videos of gameplay and story spoilers are circulating. The leaker/pirate has reportedly been caught.
Kingdom Hearts III is not due out until the end of January, but it appears that copies of the game are already floating around the internet. Games can sometimes leak as their release date approaches. It usually happens after the studio sends out review copies.
However, with six weeks still to go on KH3, reviewers have not even received advance versions. So it is unclear how the game has made it into circulation.
A Facebook user going by the name Broderick Jackson was attempting to sell copies for $100 each over the weekend. He had also posted videos to prove what he had was real. Kotaku reached out to the pirate asking how he got ahold of the game so early, but he only said, “I am the man… plain and simple.”
An important message for #KingdomHearts III from Director Tetsuya Nomura: pic.twitter.com/j9aVRFTS5B
— KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) December 16, 2018
On Sunday, Square Enix posted a statement from KH3 Director Tetsuya Nomura on Twitter. According to Nomura, what is out there is only a “small portion” of the game and not the entire thing.
“We’re aware that a small portion of Kingdom Hearts III has been circulating online before its official release,” the director said. “We’re sorry to see this caused concern amongst our fans who are excited for the release.”
He urged fans not to share the videos and said they had intentionally held back the game’s epilogue and a “secret movie” in anticipation of such an event. He also indicated that they are aware of how the game got out but did not share details.
Last I heard they captured the guy responsible.
— Quinton Flynn Official (@quintonflynn) December 16, 2018
In fact, Quinton Flynn, who is the voice of Axel in the game tweeted that “they captured the guy responsible” for the leak.
The Kingdom Hearts subreddit has since banned any posts containing spoilers including links to video clips. They would like the forum to remain spoiler-free.
Kingdom Hearts III is due out on January 29, 2019, for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.