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Back in early May, we were thrilled to announce the confirmation of Kingdom Hearts 3’s presence at E3 2016, only to learn it was a mistake. It wasn’t actually confirmed for E3, just that Kingdom Hearts 3 news would come sometime around E3.

The possibility of no Kingdom Hearts 3 at E3 became much more real with the release of the trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. While the trailer focuses on 2.8 and the three pieces of content contained within it (Dream Drop Distance HD, a new playable episode called Birth By Sleep 0.2 – A Fragmentary Passage, and a cinematic movie called χ Back Cover), it ends with a brief reference to Kingdom Hearts 3:

“Upcoming announcements this winter”

Some fans still held out hope it might receive a little attention at E3, even if the majority of new information is saved for winter, but Kingdom Hearts was not shown at any of the E3 press conferences.

Square Enix will be live streaming throughout the rest of E3 week, and Kingdom Hearts 3 is not on its schedule. However, the 2.8 collection is listed, with a discussion set for June 15 at 4 PM Pacific Time / 7 PM Eastern Time.

Since Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is set to release in December 2016, that might be when we should expect Kingdom Hearts 3 news. Until then, Square Enix might prefer to focus its attention on the upcoming collection, since it is the most immediate Kingdom Hearts release. A Fragmentary Passage should also give us a better feeling for how Kingdom Hearts 3 will play.

Additionally, the majority of Kingdom Hearts games have included a sneak peek of what’s coming next, often in a form of a secret ending or teaser only unlocked if you meet certain requirements. Therefore, it’s highly likely Kingdom Hearts 2.8 will give players a glimpse of Kingdom Hearts 3.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is the last piece of the saga leading into Kingdom Hearts 3, and it will be especially important for fans who haven’t played Dream Drop Distance yet. We may not have learned anything new about Kingdom Hearts 3 at E3 2016, but Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is a valuable step closer toward its release.