One of the most anticipated games of the decade has leaked over a month early, and outraged fans are trying to punish the person they think did it

Square Enix/Disney
  • “Kingdom Hearts 3” is due out on January 25, but physical copies of the game have already appeared on Facebook Marketplace – more than a month early.
  • Fans have been waiting for more than 13 years for a true sequel to “Kingdom Hearts 2,” and some are worried about spoilers hitting the internet before the game’s official release.
  • To quell the leak, angry fans have identified a suspect in the leak, reported him to law enforcement, and posted what appears to be his personal information on social media.
  • The game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, said that to prevent major spoilers the game’s epilogue and secret movie would not be released until a later date.

Ever since 2005’s “Kingdom Hearts 2” teased more story yet to come, fans of the series have been eagerly anticipating the release of a true sequel. After a 13-year wait, with many spin-offs in the interim, the publisher Square Enix is finally expected to release “Kingdom Hearts 3” on January 25.

But now, more than a month before the game is due out worldwide, physical retail copies of the full game have leaked to the public.

On Saturday, a Facebook Marketplace user with a profile in Gastonia, North Carolina, posted that he was selling the Xbox One version of the game for $US100, sharing pictures of the case and screenshots of “Kingdom Hearts 3” being installed on the console as apparent proof that he got the game early.

With “Kingdom Hearts 3” serving as the culmination of 17 years’ worth of storytelling across several games, fans are worried that the leaks from early copies will flood social media and YouTube with spoilers before the game’s release.

In response, outraged fans have identified a Walmart employee as the seller, reported him to law enforcement, and spread what appears to be his personal information through social media. The Facebook Marketplace post was removed over the weekend.

The “Kingdom Hearts 3” producer Tetsuya Nomura acknowledged the leak and confirmed that the development team was aware of the source. To assuage fears of major spoilers, Nomura said the epilogue and secret movie at the end of “Kingdom Hearts 3” were “planned to be released at a later date” to prevent them from leaking. This means they may be added to the game or unlocked via a patch on the game’s release date.

In the meantime, Nomura asked that fans refrain from sharing leaked footage of “Kingdom Hearts 3” online.

Despite the leaks, “Kingdom Hearts 3” remains one of the most anticipated games of the decade. The game blends Disney’s animated films and Square Enix’s popular “Final Fantasy” series, featuring dozens of cameos from both franchises.

In “Kingdom Hearts 3” players will visit worlds based on Disney movies such as “Frozen” and “Toy Story,” fighting alongside Donald Duck, Goofy, and a host of Disney heroes. You can check out the latest trailer below:

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