Danganronpa creator went into debt for The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy after the strategy RPG was canceled at its original publisher

The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy
(Image credit: Aniplex)

The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy might be the long-awaited collaboration between Danganronpa's writer and Zero Escape's creator, but it was already canceled at one publisher, and the studio took out an incredibly risky loan to see it through.

Revealed at yesterday's Nintendo Direct, The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy appeared to be yet another murderous adventure set in a school from Danganronpa's creator. It turns out the project is actually the first collaboration between Danganronpa writer Kazutaka Kodaka and Zero Escape creator Kotaro Uchikoshi, but despite this, it's faced incredible difficulties.

Kodaka, the writer and director of The Hundred Line, reveals in an interview with Famitsu (translated by Automaton Media) that the development of the game started around six years ago, right after Too Kyoo Games was founded. The Hundred Line was meant to be published by another company, not Aniplex, but the game went through "numerous difficulties" and was ultimately scrapped.

The Hundred Line was originally an "indie-scale game," recalls Kodaka in the Famitsu interview, but as the concept, characters, and scenario expanded, Too Kyoo Games realized it would require a far larger scale of development. "We decided to take the plunge and take out a loan," Kodaka adds, revealing that even if Too Kyoo Games staff had sold their shares and invested all their money, it wouldn't have funded the game itself.

The studio would ultimately end up going into debt over The Hundred Line's development, although how much debt isn't clear. Thankfully, the studio caught a break in new publisher Aniplex, who was willing to work with Too Kyoo Games even if it was in debt. Developers Media.Vision and Jet Studio also signed up to help with development - the latter studio is working on The Hundred Line's RPG elements.

Worryingly, Kodaka reveals to Famitsu that Too Kyoo Games is still in debt because of The Hundred Line's development. He adds that staff are "risking their lives" for the game - "it was tough both financially and mentally, but I may never have another opportunity to put this much effort into a project." Kodaka adds that the entire thing was a "great experience" for him. I hope everyone else feels that way.

The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy is set for release in early 2025 on PC and Nintendo Switch. I sincerely hope Too Kyoo Games is able to recoup its development costs from the new strategy RPG.

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Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.