Development of 999, Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward Sequel Hindered by Funding Issues
Development for the third and final game in the Zero Escape trilogy is on hold for an indeterminate amount of time due to financing problems. Kotaro Uchikoshi, writer and director of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward, announced that the proposal for the third game was denied funding due to the sales of the previous titles.
In a series of tweets directed at the series English-speaking fans, Uchikoshi expresses his appreciation and gratitude for those who enjoyed and supported the first two games. He hopes that Zero Escape 3 will become a reality someday, but at this point, poor sales of the first two titles in Japan have put the franchise “in the red.” As a result, funding for the third game was rejected, despite critical-acclaim and a following in the West for both 999 and Virtues Last Reward.
Uchikoshi is upset, but understands the publisher’s standpoint. “I’m so sad, but all the companies exist for profit-making purposes,” he stated.” 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.”
"I am very sorry to all the users who are expecting ZE3," Uchikoshi apologized. "I feel ashamed of my own inadequacies."
He hasn’t given up hope on Zero Escape 3, though. Uchikoshi states that crowd-funding through sites like Kickstarter is “not quite persuasive enough” due to the high cost of development, and is currently exploring additional routes of funding through private investment.
“If someone with executive ability (financer, producer, publisher or millionaire!) propose the investment, everything could go well,” Uchikoshi stated. “If there is a 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.”
"I believe there is still hope," he stated. "ZE3 will definitely be released somehow, someday!"