Don't mislead yourself while reading fake news. Sword Art Online Season 4 is yet to be announced. The second part of Season 3, which many media outlets treat as Season 4 is nothing but the second cour of the current, 3rd season titled Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising. Generally speaking, SAO Season 3 contains 50 episodes that are split into four parts (cours [Japanese]). The current season covers the original bunko's ninth volume "Alicization Beginning" to 18th volume "Alicization Lasting." According to Kawahara, "it is going to be a very long series" since it contains four cours. In other words, once all the 50 episodes have aired, we might regard the third season finished.
The question remains unanswered, whether there will be Sword Art Online (SAO) Season 4? Fortunately, I have some ideas on the subject. To define will there be another television adaptation, we should take a look at the amount of source material. In fact, there are only 21 volumes in the original light novel series. As mentioned above, the current 50-episode season covers the novel series up to vol. 18. As a result, three volumes remain uncovered. Since the full season of fifty episodes requires nine volumes, we should wait until six more volumes are finished. Only in such a case, we might have enough source material for another television adaptation, which could be regarded as Sword Art Online Season 4.
Now, let's talk about the possible release date of SAO Season 4. If we pay our attention to the periodicity, according to which Kawahara releases his light novels, we might note that the nineteenth volume has been issued on February 10, 2017, while the 20th and 21st volumes were issued between September and December of 2017 and 2018, respectively. As a result, Kawahara requires about a year to produce another volume of the light novel series. Given the data above, it could take years to see another season of SAO. Fortunately, if we take a look at the previous seasons of Sword Art Online, it becomes clear that the two previous seasons consisted of 24 and 25 episodes, respectively. Therefore, the fourth season of SAO might contain only 24-25 episodes. In such a case, we have a chance to see Sword Art Online in 2022. Though such a scenario looks awful, it is not the worst one.
Summing up, now we have a good chance that Sword Art Online might return for Season 4. The next season still possible since there is at least a fourth part of necessary source material. According to the best scenario, we have a half of Season 4 completed in the form of the light novel. So guys, I suggest you cross the fingers and wait for the rest part of light novels. If Kawahara released three more, we have the firm confirmation of Season 4 (in the case of 25-episode, 2-cour season). In the worst case, we will have to wait until 2025, unfortunately.
The anime started off in 2012 on Tokyo MX. Subsequently, MBS, RKB, AT-X, and other Japanese networks picked up the series to broadcast. A-1 Pictures served as a developer of the adaptation. Aniplex acted as a licensor of the series in North America. SAO aired on Adult Swim in the US. Season 1 of SAO has received a positive response from the target audience. According to the data of MyAnimeList, the first season of the series has a score of 7.58/10 > 1, 000,000 votes. Season 2 of the anime debuted in July 2014. The second season was a success as well, given the positive statistics on MAL, 7.16/10 > 600,000 votes. The season concluded in December of 2014. Sword Art Online Season 3 debuted on October 7, 2018. The 3rd season currently have a score of 7.94/10 based on ~ 59,000, according to MyAnimeList.
What Is This Franchise About?First of all, it's worth mentioning that SAO is a successful anime adaptation of the Japanese light novel series of the same name by Reki Kawahara that is incredibly popular in Japan, as well as across the globe. By the way, the series is currently ongoing. Over nineteen million copies were sold globally.
The setting of the anime is the virtual reality world. The story is happening in the near future, where the technology moved to another level, allowing thereby for complete integration with the game process. The first VR game made using this engine was Sword Art Online (SAO). The day of launching promised to be the greatest in the whole game industry. Thousands of gamers connected their VR to join the MMORPG. However, an unpleasant surprise awaited them in the new virtual world. To exit the game, the players will have to pass through all of a hundred levels. If anyone would attempt to log out, this player must die in the natural world. Thus, ten thousand gamers logged in found themselves in a trap.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed "Kirito," was among them. To exit the game, he will have to use all his skills, cooperate with the allies, and deal with foes, in an attempt to survive. Fortunately, Kirito is an experienced player as he served as a beta-tester of the game for a while. This advantage allows him of rapidly becoming a leader, despite the fact that he used to play the games alone. He teams up with Asuna, who later becomes his wife. Their joint mission is to free all the rest player to allow them to exit the game. The subsequent story follows Kirito's adventures in the virtual world.