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‘Kingdom Hearts 3’ Release Date, Spoilers, Latest News & Updates: Alleged Theft Leads to Leaking of Gameplay Plot

Sora is seen cooking with the help of Remy, the rat from 'Ratatouille,' in the latest trailer of 'Kingdom Hearts III.' Image credit: Square Enix via YouTube

Leaked images, plot, and all sorts of information have, unfortunately, become a common thing in the gaming industry. The latest victim is the upcoming title “Kingdom Hearts 3” that still has more than a month left before its official release date.

The “Kingdom Hearts” video game series is popular for its story-driven approach. Since the upcoming game is regarded as the ultimate series finale, it is expected to hold vital plot pieces, which have unfortunately been leaked. However, the case of "Kingdom Hearts 3” is a little bit unique since an alleged case of theft is what originally caused the leaks.

A Twitter thread by user @MysticDance said the perpetrator is reportedly based in North Carolina and is “tied” to a local gang. The Twitter user claimed to have personally seen the online ad for the allegedly stolen copies of “Kingdom Hearts 3” for Xbox One. Up to 30 copies were said to have been put up on sale through the Facebook Marketplace priced at $100 each — $40 higher than the original pricing from Square Enix.

The illegal seller reportedly shared a video from the “Kingdom Hearts 3” gameplay only to prove that they have a legitimate copy. However, it was later grabbed and re-posted by many online users onto other platforms such as Reddit and YouTube with the purpose of spoiling the game that took almost a decade in development.

Developers somehow confirmed that the information circulating online is really part of the game. “Kingdom Hearts 3” character design lead and director, Tetsuya Nomura, has issued a statement encouraging fans not to support the spread of the leaks. “We would like to ask that you do not share these videos. … We want everyone to be able to equally experience the full game after its release, so we ask for your continued support on this matter,” Nomura said.

Meanwhile, Polygon reports that platforms like YouTube and Reddit have made their own efforts in taking down posts containing the video spoiler. The original ad for the $100 “Kingdom Hearts 3” Xbox One copy has also been removed, as of this writing.

Following the leaks, Nomura announced that the epilogue and a “secret movie” to complete the “Kingdom Hearts 3” tale are planned to be “released at a later date” by Square Enix. The game can now be pre-ordered and will go live on Jan. 29, 2019 on Xbox One and PS4.

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