Epic Games surprised everyone recently by revealing that the Kingdom Hearts series is finally coming to PC on March 30…as an Epic Store exclusive.
In case you haven’t been following the PC gaming scene over the last few years, you should know that the subject of Epic Store exclusives has always been contentious. From those who simply don’t like the Epic Games Store to those who worry that such exclusives hurt the “open” nature of the PC gaming scene, Epic’s aggressive pursuit of exclusives has left some wondering if it’s better to wait to buy these games when they’re available on other marketplaces such as Steam.
So is Kingdom Hearts ever coming to Steam? The answer to that questions depends on a few factors that we’re going to examine in order to help you determine whether it’s better to buy the Epic Games Store versions of the Kingdom Hearts series or wait until they’re released on Steam and other platforms.
Why Is Kingdom Hearts Exclusive to the Epic Games Store?
“Money” is the answer you’re looking for, but if you want to see the official explanation, then here it is:
While the specifics of this deal are being uncovered (more on this in a bit), there’s currently no indication that Square Enix or the Kingdom Hearts team were under any contractual obligation to release these games on Epic Games Store over other digital marketplaces.
Along those lines, it’s also not entirely clear how Epic Games may have assisted the Kingdom Hearts team with these ports. That reference could just be a simple courtesy, but it’s certainly possible that Epic offered some kind of technical assistance when it came to the ports themselves.
Why Is Kingdom Hearts Price on Epic Games Store so High?
“Money” is the answer you’re looking for, and, in this instance, that does seem to also be the actual answer to this question.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX will set you back $49.99 via the Epic Games Store but can be found for about $20 on PS4. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is retailing for $59.99 on the Epic Games Store but can be purchased for under $30 for PS4. Kingdom Hearts 3 is being sold for about $45 more than it goes for on PS4. The only game that’s being sold via Epic Games Store for around the same retail price as it’s going for on consoles is Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory.
It’s certainly not unprecedented for ports of old games to new platforms to suffer through a price hike (it happens on Nintendo Switch pretty often), but the prices for the PC versions of the Kingdom Hearts series certainly feel steep. We’ll see whether Square Enix and Epic Games ultimately decide to lower the prices a bit before these ports are released, but I highly doubt that’s going to happen.
When is Kingdom Hearts Coming to Steam?
There’s no word on when (or if) Kingdom Hearts will eventually come to Steam, but the history of previous Epic Store exclusives offers a rough timeline of how long you should expect to wait.
With the exception of certain exclusives either developed or produced by Epic or titles from publishers who have separate deals with the studio, most third-party Epic exclusives last for about a year.
It’s possible that Square Enix decided to strike an extended deal with Epic Games that would keep the Kingdom Hearts franchise on the platform for a longer period of time (or indefinitely), it’s hard to believe that’s the case. Major games from Japanese developers (especially Sega) have done incredibly well on Steam in the past, so it seems like Square Enix could be leaving money on the table by leaving the games off that marketplace.
As others have pointed out, though, this arrangement does tend to suggest that if Final Fantasy 7 Remake ever does come to PC, it will likely also be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for some period of time. Again, though, we’re going to have to wait and see how that plays out.