I knew I would love 999 before I ever held it in my hands. A mysterious adventure game from the writer of Ever17 was the sort of thing I’d have to enjoy. I felt the same way about Virtue’s Last Reward, and it was the first game I bought for my 3DS.
Recently, in a flurry of tweets, creator Kotaro Uchikoshi stated that the future of the Zero Escape series was uncertain. Although the series has always had a diehard fanbase, its sales have struggled, particularly in the east. Unless investors are somehow convinced that Zero Escape III will turn a profit, it’s as good as cancelled.
I thought reading this news would make me feel miserable. One of my favorite game series was coming to an abrupt end, and one of my favorite game writers couldn’t finish the story he wanted to tell. But while I was disappointed, the announcement didn’t make me all that sad.
Uchikoshi has done a spectacular job with the Zero Escape series, and both games stand on their own. 999 had a few hanging plot points, but was still completely satisfying. Virtue’s Last Reward wrapped things up beautifully, and leaves very little unresolved. If this is where the story ends, it’s a good stopping point.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to play Zero Escape III, and I hope it does happen. The game’s fan campaign, Operation Bluebird has already received a lot of support, and I’m super excited about it. The fandom for this series is fantastic, and I really believe they could make the game a reality.
Still, if Zero Escape III never materializes, Kotaro Uchikoshi has nothing to be ashamed of. He’s already told a spectacular story, and for this fan, that’s more than enough.