Square EA and Disney Interactive Release Kingdom Hearts in North America
Kingdom Hearts (キングダムハーツ?) is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 video game console.
The first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, it is the result of a collaboration between Square and The Walt Disney Company. The game combines characters and settings from Disney animated features with those from Square's Final Fantasy series. The story follows a young boy, Sora, as he is thrown into an epic battle against the forces of darkness. He is joined by Donald Duck and Goofy, classic Disney characters who help him on his quest.
Kingdom Hearts was a departure from Square's standard role-playing games, introducing a substantial action-adventure element to the gameplay. In addition, it has an all-star voice cast which includes many of the Disney characters' official voice actors. Kingdom Hearts was longtime Square character designer Tetsuya Nomura's first time in a directorial position.
The game was praised for its unusual combination of action and role-playing, as well as its unexpectedly harmonious mix of Square and Disney motifs. It received numerous year-end "Best" video game awards, was a dominating presence in the 2002 holiday season, and went on to achieve Sony "Greatest Hits" status. Since its release, Kingdom Hearts has sold over 5.6 million copies worldwide and has prompted two sequels. Three more titles are currently being developed, which have a connection to a future, unannounced game.