Zero Escape Creator Kotaro Uchikoshi Talks About The Fate Of The Series

By Spencer . February 13, 2014 . 6:00pm


If you played Virtue’s Last Reward, you’re probably awaiting the next game in the Zero Escape series. Directory and story writer Kotaro Uchikoshi went on Twitter to talk to fans about what’s going on with Zero Escape 3.


"First, I appreciate from the bottom of my heart to the users who played 999 or VLR. Thank you very much! I have received the messages of encouragement or cheer from many users so far. I am really glad and happy. I offer my deepest thanks!


Well… I guess you have been curious about ZE3. In conclusion, unfortunately, I have to say that it is difficult to realize it "at this stage" yet, although we have done all we can. If possible, I’d not like to inform you of the news like this. But I decided to reveal it honestly.


A lot of budget is needed to make ZE series. We have to persuade the managers in order to obtain it. The managers know that ZE series is especially valued by many users outside Japan. Some of them think that they want to make a sequel just as we wish. But, "in Japan", 999 and VLR are in the red. They are not selling more than people think.


I’m so sad, but all the companies exist for profit-making purposes. If the profits can’t be expected, naturally, the project isn’t approved. We were not able to present a convincing reasonable basis to the managers. Of course, I can declare with confidence, "The next title will certainly get into the black!" However, it’s not considered that the word have credibility. It does not become the cause of green light. I am very sorry to all the users who are expecting ZE3. I feel ashamed of my own inadequacies. BUT! please remember. I wrote "at this stage". If the situation changes, ZE3 might be capable of being realized!


I still haven’t given up. For example, if the title which I make next bring about a good result, the wind might shift to another direction. Or, if someone with executive ability (financer, producer, publisher or millionaire!) propose the investment, everything could go well. If there is an great investor who thinks "Virtue is its own reward", I wish him/her to send me a message. If you know such a wonderful person, please induce him/her to cooperate. (Although we also examined crowd-funding like Kick Starter, we figured the idea is not quite persuasive enough…) I believe there is still hope. ZE3 will definitely be released somehow, someday! I will continue to seek a way out in cooperation with Allies. So, I would appreciate it if you could wait until then. Thank you!"


Spike Chunsoft is the creator of the Zero Escape series is also the developer of Conception II and Danganronpa. In Japan, Danganronpa is a breakout hit with an anime series and a new Vita game in development. NIS America just released the first game in North America. Spike Chunsoft’s other major business is localizing Western games like Saint’s Row IV and Terraria for Japan.

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  • ZEROthefirst

    That made me a bit sad reading this, but at the same time as he said hopefully it will come out one day.

  • TsunTsunAndi

    I feel really sorry for him. I hope he can make Zero Escape 3 in the future. It was really heart-breaking to read that today.

    He also just posted this.
    I really hope people will keep supporting him.

    • alixraen

      It’s great to see so an outpouring of support for him! I’d take a screenshot as well but I don’t own any physical copies…

      Also, lol at third down on the left. I’d buy ZE3 just to see that alone.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    My tears.

  • Dianatos

    This is someone who puts all his love into his work, and it shows. It’s really sad to see this happen. Also, I respect his decision to be honest about the current state of the third game instead of leaving fans in the dark for years.

    • This. Lots of respect for Uchikoshi here.

    • Alex Shadov

      Like with FF XV…

  • Luis Es.

    Hmm I wonder why Danganronpa is so popular but ZE isn’t quite making the cut. Anyhoot i love ZE and danganronpa. SO i hope he gets the opportunity to make ZE3. some day and that we will get Dangan ronpa 2. I think they should at least attempt kick starter. I think they maybe underestimating the community or maybe making ZE would just require way more money then what they can probably get from kickstarter. Anyhoot I”LLL BE PRAYING FOR HIS SUCCESS AND FOR ZE3!

    • Dansar

      Well, I remember hearing that some people in Japan thought that the 999 was a horror game, so they didn’t want to get it. It’s weird, but yeah.

      • Luis Es.

        That is a bit weird. Where did you hear that from? And it’s surprising because series like Resident even are way more horror then this but yet that is pretty popular in Japan.

        • Dansar

          Here’s a link where the creator talks about it. It’s Q71 (Warning: SPOILERS)

          • Luis Es.

            Wow. Thanks a lot for the link! And I still think that is odd because Dangan ronpa deals with murder as well but maybe because it’s more wacky and has a less serious tone because of how outrageous the game is it’s not taken as hard as 999.

          • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

            Because the creator doesnt offer anything new to JP players, i mean you can think the series is unique but in Japan is “more of the same” because he is very predictable.

          • Luis Es.

            More of the same doesn’t mean it’s boring or bad. Look at CoD and Mario. Those games are more of the same are they’re huge hits. And the story is a fun adventure to go through. And idk i couldn’t predict how the true endings would be for 999 and vlr from the start. But how the game plays out is it lets you learn more and more and put the pieces together so yeah they’re going to be predictable in that sense. But I still think the writing is good and fun and idk how it’s more of the same. Maybe because there haven’t been too many vn’s released in the states but what other games have story lines like vlr/999 that have that weird psychic morphic w/e field and what not. it’s all very cool and well put together.

          • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

            Anything that Kotaru worked on, Remember 11 is a good example i think. ZE has good puzzless though but not exactly the selling point of a VN

            I think Daganrompa has a much more crazy story.

          • Luis Es.

            Ahh i haven’t seen his other works other then 999/vlr. But I agree with you that Danganronpa story is a lot more crazy.

          • Thatguy

            Q55: What was Kyle’s favorite pastime when he was a kid?

            Angry Birds.

            Oh, well

          • Dansar

            And think about how far in the future this is.

          • Mugiwara

            I know that is 10 months old but…

            This kind make me sad, most of the answers are “This will be revealed in the 3rd game. I hope you guys look forward to it.”. T~T

  • hero371

    The cruel reality…

  • Aemette

    This is sad news. Sad but not bad. He didn’t say that the game would NEVER become a reality, more like “Give us some time” which I have absolutely no problems with. At least I know now the fate of ZE3 and where it stands.

  • Not to brag but, this is why series like Final Fantasy XIII keeps spawning until Lightning Returns. The investor in Japan doesn’t care about western gamers but instead Japanese itself. Having said that, I hope there is next ZE series. Love VLR. Haven’t play the first series yet but after I bought 3DS for my brother, I might play 999 someday.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      FF13 doesnt do well in Japan

      • If it doesn’t do well why Lightning popularity is hot there may I ask?

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          She’s not really that popular.
          The games barely do more than 350k lifetime

          • Japanese gamer doesn’t hear you. Anyway I’m being a jerk here arguing with haters.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Hater? Lol Im pointing out the sales of the games.

            Square does them because they cheap to reuse same engine.

            Same with mobile.

          • If about that then do you expect LR sell 500k when SE only sold 400k? I think there’s report in here.

        • Alexander Marquis Starkey

          Did you consider that she’s popular in both the east and the west?

  • neocatzon

    This is a wishful crazy thinking but could they release it worldwide first if Jp don’t care about it. Kickstarter makes sense if this become a possible option. But, I think there’s someone in OT posted a twitter answer how it’s an unlikely move.

  • DesmaX

    Bet he would be great friends with Yoko Taro

    Well, if the series isn’t selling in japan, that can really be a problem. It takes lots of time for the developers to start getting profits from here (And I’m not even sure if the series did fine here).

    Oh well, hope he can find a way

  • Raze

    So Japan like Danganronpa more than 999/ZE?

    I dunno what to say about this…I like both….

    That mean there will be more Danganronpa but less ZE…

    Seriously…I hope He find the way out about this and finished the ZE3…..

  • sharpshot909

    Put Zero Escape 3 on Kickstater then.

    I’d gladly pitch in.

    • Kristina Wright

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Kavyn

      I really hope they consider kickstarter for this project.

    • Me too!

    • admeister

      He should really push for a Kickstarter project. I’d support it in a heartbeat!

    • artemisthemp

      I glad to pledge toward Zero Escape 3 if, they put their.

    • fairysun

      Somebody tweet him. Ask him to put Zero Escape 3 on Kickstarter (or Indiegogo since Kickstarter does not allow Japanese project, I think). I don’t mind backing this game up. We can help spreading the word.

      • Infophile

        I’ve heard him discussing this a bit someplace, I think. He’s definitely looking into it, but Kickstarter doesn’t allow Japanese project leads at present. I think he might be looking for someone else to partner with. Keep your ears open though in case they do go that route.

  • ZekeFreek

    I’m kind of curious why Danganronpa took off like it did and Zero Escape doesn’t sell over there… DR is a lot sillier but in terms of content is about the same.

    To clarify, I love both series.

    • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

      Well apparently the series creator loves to rehash his stories and plot twists so probably JP knew what to spect from VLR and didnt bothered with it.

      • AkuLord3

        EHHH idk, doesn’t feel that way so i really doubt THAT’S the reason. Both very good, they have a very similar but different vibe with some things and Danganronpa getting an anime which increased more fans. Eh

  • Kevin Mai

    Kickstarter this shit. NOW.

  • MJLahey

    I really wish he didn’t make VLR have such a cliffhanger ending if they knew sales weren’t great and a third game might not happen if VLR didn’t sell well.

    999 was a self contained story that didn’t require a sequel, but still led into VLR and I REALLY wish they made VLR the same way. At the end I felt like it was half a game. Just a set up for part 3. Which now may never happen :(

    • celery

      I agree; I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt this way.

      I love both titles, immensely so, but that cliffhanger in VLR really worried me for the reasons you stated. If VLR HAD to be the last game, I would be heartbroken, certainly, but at least it would have felt like it ended…now if VLR is the final game, it’s just not going to sit well with me. It doesn’t have a real “ending.”

    • Pedro Furtado

      I was pretty satisfied, the plot twists in the end were great. The questions it left also were good to raise curiosity, if the game ever does come out. If it doesn’t… Then it doesn’t. I think it was a worthwhile gamble to tell the story he wanted to tell.

    • SteveThompson1

      Sales in japan were weak. In the west the game sold well enough for Aksys games: the publisher, to be happy. They should just make the game for the west.

  • Rogerrmark

    Few people or game devs nowadays would dare to give that kind of declaration. It was really sad :/

    I still haven’t got VLR, ’cause 3DS version has that glitch that deletes the save (and I don’t have a Vita to play the ”good” version’), but it’s actually one of the first games that made me buy a 3DS :/

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Vita has the same glitch and VLR got that patch fixed.
      If you’re still paranoid about it, dont save in a puzzle room.

    • AkuLord3

      IF you know about the glitch then you’re fine just don’t do it and ur good

    • xzeldax3

      I think the glitch only happens if you save in the Crew Quarters and then try to load your save. Even though I had the Vita version, I just saved after I could leave the area.

    • SMT

      The glitch only happens during puzzles, but even then it’s quite rare. It mainly happens in one specific puzzle (PEC room). The US eShop version prevents you from saving in that room in order to avoid the glitch (Physical copies don’t have a patch and neither does the EU version which was released about a year before the US digital copy). If you only save during the novel sections and not in the middle of puzzles, you should be safe.

      You’re pretty safe playing the game, and you really should. “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to describe how good the story is (Both VLR and 999).

    • CozyAndWarm

      The glitch only happens if you save the game during the escape segments in the PEC Room or Crew Quarters. That’s all you need to worry about.

  • lunarsoul01


  • kylehyde
  • Rayhan PromisedGallery

    Make the game has more moe like Ever17 was. And bam, more sells in Japan.

  • Scipio

    If anyone’s interest, this is where all the photo’s came from (well they are from /v/, but that’s besides the point) Post a picture of your copy if you’d like and sent them:

  • Notquitesure?

    999 and Virtues Last Reward are the best games i have ever played. Up until the point that i played them i’d never played such a smart and well thought games. This is honestly depressing news for me, but im glad he is being honest. We really need to rally together is it possible to contact Spike soft directly so we can sway them.

  • fool

    I thought they’d been working on it this whole time :(

  • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

    Time for Nintendo to buy Dwango and Fund Zero Escape 3 then.

    Yes, Nintendo is buying NIco nico.

    Prepare your bodies for the WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

    • E.T.993

      If this happens, I will shit bricks.

  • AkuLord3

    Noone knows what the future holds but i do hope something good happens for a sequel. I loved 999 and VLR. The story, music, characters and feel of it are really good.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Wouldnt it be a mid way prequel?

  • Awwww man. I was really hoping they’d make the third and (maybe final) game. ZE2 ended good and it was already a good time to finally wrap it all up. I hope the situation changes for them.

    At least he was honest. It was better to let it out than to hide it up and not tell us what was happening behind the scenes. But he didn’t say “it won’t happen”. He just said that at the moment, it’s not yet in the clear to be made. But he’s working extra hard to make it happen. After all, after that ending in ZE2, I really want to see a wrap-up to the series. 999 and VLR still haunt my mind from time to time.

  • crimsonidol

    Some people over at Twitter contacted him and told him about IndieGoGo and Comcept’s way for a Kickstarter-campaign:

  • michel

    It’s sad that nonary games don’t make profit while a lot of trashware sells in the millions…

  • HassanJamal

    3DS and Vita owners, it is time to put aside our differences and show to the publisher behind this epic series to give the developers one more chance! Tweet and facebook them how much you want the final game on our handhelds!


    Managers are middlemen, for small projects like this it is better to cut out the middleman entirely and go to the source. Kickstart it.

  • Yan Zhao

    Yeah if ZE3 is on kickstarter i’m backing right away.

  • psycho_bandaid

    Could you imagine a ZE anime?

    …actually they would likely cut out most of the content and it would be horrible like the Dangaronpa anime. Never mind.

    • frumpus

      yeah, it’s impossible to have the kind of multibranch story like ZE be portrayed in an anime where linear stories are expected.

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