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Zero Escape

Zero Escape started on DS a decade ago with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. Virtue’s Last Reward continued the franchise on 3DS in 2012, followed by Zero Time Dilemma in 2016.

It’s now been three years since the last Zero Escape game. Kotaro Uchikoshi, the series’ director, has also moved on to work on the new IP AI: The Somnium Files. What does that mean for Zero Escape?

Uchikoshi appears to be open to working on the series once more. In an interview with Japanator, he said: “If the fans desire it, there’s always a possibility.” That’s not definitive by any means, but perhaps we could see a fourth entry in the future.

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Aksys Games, SCRAP Entertainment, and Spike Chunsoft have announced an escape room based on the Zero Escape series. This will open on April 15 at Weller Court in Los Angeles.

“Real Zero Escape: Trust on Trial” will offer “an all new custom scenario centered in the Zero Escape universe and puts players inside a locked room with a mere 60 minutes to escape”.

Tickets for Real Zero Escape go on sale on February 29. Access the official website here.

Source: Aksys Games PR

Zero Escape director Kotaro Uchikoshi has high hopes for the series. Speaking with Gamaustra, he mentioned how he wants it to reach the same sort of success as TV dramas like Lost and 24.

Uchikoshi also said that wouldn’t be satisfied with Zero Escape only being a cult hit, and he’d like for the franchise to “appeal to mainstream gamers.”

Uchikoshi’s comments in full:

“Compared to other media, I feel like fans support us feverishly. It’s very humbling and I appreciate it very much. The full impact is just beginning to hit me.”

“… if you look at TV dramas such as Lost, 24, and Prison Break, those are considered to be very successful. You have to be that big to consider yourself to be successful. I know you might laugh, thinking, ‘Wow, you’re comparing yourself to a different scale,’ but with my development staff, [publisher] Aksys’ help, and our fans’ continued support, I feel like it’s a possibility to reach that level.”

“Rather than being ‘a cult hit that only core players know,’ we are constantly thinking how we can appeal to mainstream gamers. Therefore, if we want to make our project even bigger, we need to work on it.”

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Spike Chunsoft has registered trademarks for “Zero Escape” in both the US and Europe. The European application was filed in July, whereas the US trademark was filed on October 2.

What do these trademarks mean? At the moment, no one knows unfortunately! It’s certainly a possibility that nothing will come from either filing.

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The third game in Spike Chunsoft’s Zero Escape series appears to have been put on hold. Series creator Kotaro Uchikoshi took to Twitter earlier today and confirmed that the game will be “difficult to realize” at the moment.

“A lot of budget is needed to make ZE series. We have to persuade the managers in order to obtain it,” Uchikoshi explained. Some “managers” at the company understand the franchise’s importance in the west, but the first two titles “are in the red” in Japan and did not meet sales expectations.

Despite all of this, Uchikoshi isn’t giving up. “For example, if the title which I make next bring about a good result, the wind might shift to another direction,” he said. “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.”

Uchikoshi concluded with the following words for fans:

Now’s the time to save on Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. Aksys has officially announced a discount for the game, lowering the price by to $29.99.

The $10 drop is reflected at online and retail outlets nationwide. On the eShop, Virtue’s Last Reward can be purchased for $24.99.

Source: Aksys PR