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Kingdom Hearts II (キングダムハーツII) is an action role-playing game developed by Square Enix and published by Buena Vista Games and Square Enix in 2005 for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game console. The game is a sequel to the 2002 Disney Interactive and Square collaboration, Kingdom Hearts, which combined Disney and Square elements into an action role-playing game, though it is somewhat darker in tone than its predecessor. The game's popularity has resulted in a novel and manga series based upon it and an international version called Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, released in March 2007.
Kingdom Hearts II is the third game in the Kingdom Hearts series. It picks up one year after the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Sora, the protagonist of the first two games, returns to search for his lost friends. Like the previous games, Kingdom Hearts II features a large cast of characters from Disney films and Final Fantasy games. Organization XIII, a group introduced in Chain of Memories, also reappears to impede Sora's progress.
The news hit hard today with the most recent issues of Japanese gaming magazines VJump and Famitsu: Square Enix has unveiled no fewer than four titles currently under development for the Nintendo DS and Playstation 2. Alas, not a single one was Chrono Break. Read on
Evil overlord and Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi presided over the tenth annual Playstation Awards yesterday, where Final Fantasy XII received the Double Platinum Award for breaking the two million sales mark since its release in March. Meanwhile, Kingdom Hearts II was graced with the Platinum Award and Dirge of Cerberus came away with a Gold Award alongside Namco's Tales of the Abyss and Banpresto's wonderfully named Daiji Super Robot Taisen Alpha: Shuuen no Ginga he. It looks like Squeenix is on a roll.1
Despite more optimistic initial numbers, Square Enix has since lowered its projections for the 2005/2006 fiscal year, with net sales at 125 billion yen ($1.06 billion USD) and net profit at 10 billion yen ($84.67 million USD), the latter figure a whopping 42.9% lower than previous estimations. Although high-profile titles such as Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII helped to bolster sales, profits were damaged by the lack of top-sellers during the period from April through September. And despite the relative success of Final Fantasy XI, Squeenix's other MMO ventures have not gone successfully; likely the cause of their discontinued Everquest II support. What course will the company take in light of these events? That is difficult to say, but with the inability to point a finger squarely at Hironobu Sakaguchi, a renewed business strategy may be necessary.