Back in the early ‘00s, Disney and Square Enix got together to unleash Kingdom Hearts, a game that would go on to find immense success due to revolutionary game mechanics such as featuring all characters kids loved from both Disney and Final Fantasy properties. Despite spawning a series that keeps on boasting continually high sales numbers, this partnership must've been through some troubled water considering how Kingdom Hearts 3, the thirteenth game in the series (no joke), took more than a decade to come out. We've recently seen the reveal for Kingdom Hearts 4, so we know it's still going, but something looks off.

While the trailer shows Donald Duck and Goofy from Disney, it all has a much more somber tone to it. The world looks like the one from one of the more recent games in the Final Fantasy series, a stark departure from the irritatingly colorful Disney worlds from past games in the series. We wouldn't usually lose any sleep over this because looking weird is actually a sign of health when it comes to the Kingdom Hearts series, but there were a few recent developments that got us thinking that there might really be something extra-weird going down between Disney and Square Enix.

Square Enix, Disney

Something nearly as weird as this out-of-context screen from the original Kingdom Hearts.

Ever heard of a Life Sim? Neither had we until both Disney and Square showed their own separate and probably competing takes on the genre. The concept of a Life Sim game is still pretty new, so we're just gonna go and assume it's basically a survival simulator where we can't die. Who knows. On Disney's side, we have Dreamlight Valley, a game where we play live as a girl who has to do a bunch of chores and repopulate a town once inhabited by Disney characters.

And on Square Enix's side we have Harvestella, a life sim where instead of probably having to re-kidnap Disney characters who managed to flee the cruelty of Disneyland, we live as a girl who takes care of her town and fights off monsters.

It almost looks as if both sides are in pain for missing what the other did best (awesome anime combat and, uh, owning a lot of properties), and unsuccessfully trying to fill the void by signing up for a bunch of time-consuming chores – just like a real-life ex-couple would.

Top Image: Disney

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