A new story arc for one of the 21stCentury most popular light novel series, Sword Art Online has been revealed. The new act will begin for the series in 2017 as revealed on Reki Kawahara’s Sword Art Online light novel series 18th volume, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lasting.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lasting is the 18th volume of the light novel’s last volume “Alicization Art” and Yen Press describe its story as follows:
In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online – a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other – opens its virtual doors. Now players can take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the game world by manipulating their brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience.
When the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG: a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one-hundred floors of Aincrad to regain their freedom. In the warped world of SAO, “game over” means death – both virtual and real…
The light novel inspired two TV anime adaptations, an anime special as well as an upcoming anime film. It also inspired multiple manga series, game adaptations and a virtual reality demonstration in Japan. It was also announced by Skydance Television that a live-action TV series based on the novels has been green-lit.