Charting the Kingdoms Between

Building Transmedia Universes and Transnational Audiences in the Kingdom Hearts Franchise



Kingdom Hearts, Synergy, Cross-promotion, Disney, Square Enix


An Introduction to the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise as a prime example of the new generation of synergistic, multinational and transcorporate transmedia.

Author Biographies

James McLean, University of Hull

James is a lecturer in media production. His academic research is informed by over ten-years’ experience of media industry production. His work commonly explores how media producers make sense of the creative, commercial, and cultural forces that shape their practices and ongoing output. Research into production cultures has been analyzed through the lenses of adaptation, media franchises, transmedia, fandom, and genre theory.

James' PhD thesis argued for closer scrutiny of the uses, values, and meanings of genre in the creative practices of British factual television production. It applied an integrated methodology that combined semi-structured interviews with participant observation and industry-focused textual analysis.

Dean Bowman, Norwich University of the Arts

Dean is a scholar specialising in the fields of narratology, cultural studies, production studies and game studies. He teaches theory on the TIGA award winning Games Art and Design course at the Norwich University of the Arts. He has a PhD from the University of East Anglia analysing innovative storytelling in the indie games sector and has book chapters in Rerolling Board Games by McFarland Press, Crank It Up! Jason Statham by Manchester University Press and Gender in James Bond by Emerald Press. He lives in Norwich with his collections of Synthwave records and board games.