As part of the special 20th-anniversary celebration for the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Square Enix officially revealed the first look at Kingdom Hearts IV in April 2022 with a new trailer, along with a few other projects coming in the more immediate future.
Our first look at KHIV shows Sora awakening in a more-modernized world called Quadratum that features an art style reminiscent of Square’s more recent Final Fantasy titles. This will be an important location in the game as Sora embarks on a new storyline in the upcoming installment, called The Lost Master Arc.
A new character named Strelitzia makes her appearance and seems to act as a guide for Sora before he rushes out to face a giant shadowy boss in the middle of the city. Donald and Goofy also make a brief appearance, though the nature of the story and where Sora is actually located is still a mystery.
For the game itself, Square did not reveal any key information about its development timeline. This means no release window was given for KHIV, though the new mobile spinoff Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link will be hosting a beta on mobile sometime later this year to further expand on the franchise’s lore.
Fans might be a little disappointed with no release date, but even getting a trailer that shows what looks like early gameplay is a good sign that KHIV is progressing well in whatever stage of development it is in.
By comparison, KHIII was officially revealed at E3 in June 2013 with a similar trailer, though the gameplay shown off at the end was less dynamic. That game was released on Jan. 29, 2019, which should give fans hope that they could potentially see KHIV launch within the next few years, likely in a Spring 2024 or 2025 window.