Myst III: Exile is the third title in the Myst series of first person adventure video games. While the preceding games in the series, Myst and Riven, were produced by Cyan and published by Brøderbund, Exile was developed by Presto Studios and published by Ubisoft. The game was released on four compact discs for both Macintosh and Windows PCs on May 7, 2001; versions for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 were released in late 2002.
As in previous games, the player assumes the role of the Stranger, a friend of Atrus. A member of the D'ni race, Atrus can create links to other worlds called Ages by writing descriptive books. In Exile, Atrus has written an Age for the D'ni to live on while rebuilding their civilization; it is stolen, however, by a mysterious figure. The Stranger pursues the thief in an attempt to reclaim Atrus' book.
The creators of the Myst franchise gave the task of creating the third Myst game to Presto Studios, known for its adventure game series The Journeyman Project. Presto sought to develop a diverse and logical approach to puzzles and Ages, and worked to make the villain sympathetically multifaceted. The developers hired Jack Wall to develop a musical style different from earlier composer Robyn Miller but still recognizable as a Myst game. The project required millions of US dollars and more than two years to complete.
Exile was received well by critics; British newspaper The Daily Telegraph called it the best game in the Myst series. Conversely, long-time critics of the series complained that Exile continued to prove that Myst's slower gameplay did not belong in the fast-paced modern game market; GameSpot editor Greg Kasavin described the Myst series as having lost its relevance. Despite selling more than one million units within the first year of release, Exile fared poorer commercially than Myst and Riven, which had sold more than 10 million units combined. Myst IV: Revelation, the fourth game in the series, was developed and published solely by Ubisoft.