Virtue’s Last Reward Director Says Anticipation Higher From Western Fans

By Ishaan . September 29, 2012 . 5:00pm

Aksys have posted an internal interview conducted with Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward director, Kotaro Uchikoshi, on the game’s website. You can read the full interview at this link, and here are  a few of the more interesting excerpts from it:


On western fan anticipation:

“Also, before the release of the Japanese version of VLR, we released our PV and OP videos on YouTube. Most of the comments we received on them were in English. We analyzed the access logs, and a mere 30% of visitors were from Japan. The remaining 70% were from the English-speaking countries. In the Japanese game industry it is extremely rare for such things to happen—especially before a game is even localized. This made us realize that 999 was a work that was loved not only in the US, but all over the world.”


On “Game Theory” in 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward:

“To the best of my knowledge, though, there’s no accidental intervention in game theory, which is—to me—the most charming thing about it. With roulette, or dice, or shuffled cards, the outcome is just probability. The fun in this theory comes from the logical prediction of an individual saying, “I think the other person is going to take this type of action so I’ll do this.” But at the same time, humans don’t always make logical and rational decisions, and if everyone aims for their personal gain and makes a rational decision based on that, not only will it cause a disadvantage for the group, it’ll also cause a disadvantage for them personally. This title depicts that dilemma, which is what I think is particularly interesting.”


On what to expect from Virtue’s Last Reward, puzzle-wise:

“In VLR we have various puzzles. There’s a slide puzzle, a code puzzle, a logic puzzle, a math puzzle, a panel puzzle, a line puzzle, a scale puzzle, a dice puzzle, an hourglass puzzle, a clock puzzle, a cocktail puzzle, a billiard puzzle, a dart puzzle, a jukebox puzzle, a DNA puzzle, a pH puzzle, a jellyfish puzzle, a Zero III doll puzzle, a slightly perverted puzzle, and several others. That is just a small portion of what’s inside. There are a lot more than just that. Escaping the escape part in and of itself is a big puzzle, and there are 16 of those. For those who like puzzle games, it’s a game you’ll drool over, guaranteed.”


Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward will be released in North America in October. A European release from Rising Star Games will follow in November.

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  • riceisnice

    I wonder what constitutes as “selling well” concerning visual novels in the west.

    • The anticipation is so high probably because we only have so many compared to Japan.

  • Paradox me

    In the Japanese game industry it is extremely rare for such things to happen—especially before a game is even localized.

    I wonder how common this practice is, to look at that sort of data. I regularly see more English comments on Japanese YouTube trailers. 

    In fact, I rarely see more than a few Japanese comments on most videos, period. It always led me to believe Japanese gamers were just going elsewhere for trailers. English-speaking gamers, on the other hand, like to flood comments with localization pleas.

    Actual comments probably don’t reflect visitors too well though.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    You know he feels very proud of his work in this case. Glad to hear it, and I’m totally pumped and ready to buy it.

  • nirvana123

    I may have heard wrong but aren’t they already working on a sequel ?

  • scratchbach

    I am so totally pumped for this to come out. I’m counting the days.

  • You guys need a contest to get the watches for this game too!!

  • Detrimont

    why cant they release an english trailer already?

  • oh boy, oh boy! I loved 999, so i can’t wait for that game! *o* want it bad!

  • AJ

    I hope it doesn’t disappoint.  999 was one of my surprise game of the years, if not game of they last 3-5 years not counting the equally fantastic Ghost Trick.

    This sequel is one of my most anticipated games in a very long time.  The catch?  I don’t have a system to play it on.  I might get a 3DS at some point, but not now.

  • Kefkiroth

    Glad to see the Western love for 999… we really need more Japanese visual novel/adventure games like it.

  • Go2hell66

     so developers actually do pay attention to youtube comments!?
    *mind explodes*

    • AJ

      I’m more suprised that YouTube comments are considered helpful by anyone, anywhere.

    • In fact just go check out some of the Utube comment on VN trailer….. Most of times the english comment is more than Japanese comments.

      Tht should say something.

  • negineBIT

    YES! I’m sure more visual novel based game from Japan will be translated in the near future~!

  • shame i couldnt get my hand on the limited edition watch >.<

  • CirnoLakes

    They have waded through what is undeniably one of the scariest places on the internet.

  • Shiki

    If 999 and VLR are SMASH HITS .. why not bringing more VNs in the West ?
    I can’t always rely on my japanese for reading , so english VNs will be better
    And they can ensure ( probably ) good sellings if they release VNs related to anime , right ? “COUGH” Steins;Gate “COUGH”

    I’m so excited for VLR , i can’t wait to get the game .. AND MY WATCH! X)

    • shuratan

      Well I would think that because 999 and VLR are not like most other VNs in that there is a large puzzle and problem solving element incorporated into the game itself, therefore making it seem far more accessible and interesting compared to other stock standard VNs.   

      • Shiki

        That’s true , but i think the anime fandom is huge , and from what i saw about fan-translating VNs like Oreimo and Haganai , a lot of people seemed very interested in it , so why not earning these people money by officially releasing it ? I dunno if people will still pay for it , especially since PSP is dead , but there are many other ways to bring VNs to the West ” PSN orand Vita ? ”

        • Merveilles Lespace

          You’re fighting an uphill battle when it comes to Sony America and visual novels, as they don’t consider them to be actual games.

          As far as I can tell, SCEA will at least approve of games like VLR and Corpse Party as they have actual gameplay, but a lot of the straight-up text VNs are gonna get shot down.

          • Shiki

            That’s stupid seriously XP
            If there are many people who would pay for VNs , does it even matter if it does have gameplay or not ?

    • I feel your pain bro.

      I do notice tht most english VN have some sort of gameplay like CP, 999 and Fate/Extra… Though VNs like Ever 17 and Hakuoki is available in english too.

      • Shiki

        Yeah , and that’s the sad fact XP
        I love VN because it’s a VN , why would i care about gameplay ?
        Many people would pay if they release a VN that these people love , that’s just stupid!

        I actually bought Hakuoki ( even though it’s Otome ) because it’s rare to find a pure VN , LOL , and i liked the anime .. a little x)

  • Speedo Redempteur


    Preordered since april , ready for VLR ..
    You bet my anticipation is high

  • OFC anticipation is higher from western fans…999 was a blast! It was a shame it was never released in Europe actually, but I was super glad I gave in and imported. Perhaps one of the best games I ever imported, it was worth it. It was so worth it, I got every ending possible, I didn’t stop until I did everything I could in the game. A game that manage to scare me and reflect upon my decisions, with tons of fun puzzles? It’s one of my favorite DS games as well!

    I can’t wait for the sequel, I’m getting it day one, more so when it’s now releasing in Europe as well, finally! 

  • Triplicity

    Slightly perverted puzzle, eh?

    • Julien_N

      I look forward to encountering this puzzle. =3

  • passthegrenadeplease

    Can’t wait to get this bad boy on the Vita, this looks really good in my book. 

  • lorelai4cuties

    what happened to the watch that will come with the preorder?!!
    amazon sent a message about it when i signed it all sold out in 1 hour?!!!! WTF

  • .

    Mad that I missed out on the preorder watch, but I was going to buy this game just to support it (I don’t have a 3ds or Vita yet). Good to see that its fan base is already doing a good enough job supporting the game where even its creators acknowledge its audience outside of Japan. Too bad I was working that day…I even stayed up past midnight for the preorder…

  • Göran Isacson

    While I admit I didn’t see that coming, I find myself curious to the sales numbers now. Where did it SELL better, Japan or Europe/America?

  • Actually not surprised by this. 999 was an (allegedly) decent game in a niche genre that’s extremely sparse in the West, but not all that uncommon in Japan, so it kind of makes sense that it would find more dedicated fans here than there.

  • Ferofax

    I’m already slobbering. Git it here already!

  • i hope the watch will be available on european pre-orders too…


    But youtube is a western video sharing site, of course more westerners commented on there. I am sure if it was Nico Nico videos things would be different. I have the impression that youtube is not as well known or well used in Japan as it is in the west.

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