We report the synthesis of a direct gap semiconductor, ZnSnN2, by a plasma-assisted vapor–liquid–solid technique. Powder X-ray diffraction measurements of polycrystalline material yielded lattice parameters in good agreement with predicted values. Photoluminescence efficiency at room temperature was observed to be independent of excitation intensity between 103 and 108 W/cm2. The band gap was measured by photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy to be 1.7 ± 0.1 eV. The range of direct band gaps for the Zn(Si,Ge,Sn)N2 alloys is now predicted to extend from 4.5 to 1.7 eV, opening up this little-studied family of materials to a host of important applications.