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Sega's PSO 2 Confirmed For North America, Europe

By - Source: Sega | B 8 comments
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Sega's just-launched free-to-play MMOG Phantasy Star Online 2 is heading to the States and Europe next year.

Sega confirmed on Monday that Phantasy Star Online 2 will arrive here in the States and in Europe in 2013 as a free-to-play PC gaming title. The open beta test for the Japanese version just concluded last week, and the game -- which is the official successor to the hit console-based MMOG released back in 2000 -- finally went live on July 4.

"The original Phantasy Star Online helped to usher in the age of the MMO while introducing SEGA and Phantasy Star to a new generation of gamers," Sega said on Monday. "Phantasy Star Online broke new ground while resolutely doing its own thing -- in particular, weaving action-based multiplayer combat through a deeply-entrenched story."

"Now, the story continues for a new generation of online games and new ways to play and explore, while embracing a free to play model and building the game around that," Sega added. "There are, of course, lots of details to be revealed about this model -- we know everyone has questions about how 'Free to Play' will work for the Western version of PSO2, so stay tuned!"

According to the blog, players will join the "Arks" organization as part of the Oracle Fleet – a group of spaceships traveling through the far reaches of the galaxy, with the mission to explore and research newly discovered planets. The game taps into what made the original so fun to play: adventure, discovery and teamwork -- but it is also designed to allow players to quest on their own, at their own pace.

As with the original, gamers start in a central hub -- a futuristic living space where they can learn about new missions, meet other players, and set off to explore new worlds. The game reportedly features an "insanely powerful" character creator: play as CAST and re-arrange your parts to your heart’s content to build the robot you want to be.

"The game features three different classes to start as: the Force class with their mastery of Photon Arts, the up-close-and-personal combat prowess of the Hunter, and the long-range tactical genius of the Ranger. Leveling in PSO2 is class-based: you level up classes as you choose, allowing you to try out different ways of playing," Sega said.

The player's exploration will include randomized dungeons and special random encounters – custom-event challenges that happen during the course of a mission, designed to test skill, nerve, and teamwork capabilities (for non-solo players). The MAG is also making its return, a customizable combat assistant that seemed to have disappeared in latter PSO installments.

Phantasy Star Online 2 will be the second time Sega's popular franchise has arrived by way of Windows PC here in the States. Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst was launched in June 2005 in North America and Europe, but it was a port of Phantasy Star Online Episode I and II for the original Xbox console published three years prior.

In addition to Windows PC, Phantasy Star Online 2 is slated to arrive on Sony's PlayStation Vita in 2013 supporting synched characters between the two platforms. The game is also slated to arrive on iOS and Android in 2013 as well.

For the full-blown report from Sega, head here.

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  • 5 Hide
    silverblue , July 11, 2012 11:48 AM
    I have fond memories of PSO on the Dreamcast. So much so, I rerolled and played offline recently. Certain rare items are only available based on the composition of your name, but that's extra replay value. :)  The original was also Free to Play, assuming you could set up your connection to use a free ISP and not Dreamarena.

    Just a shame the Dreamcast wasn't mentioned in the article. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    nukemaster , July 11, 2012 12:51 PM
    Sold!
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 11, 2012 1:30 PM
    PSO Ep I&II for Gamecube is still my favorite game of all time. Dumped 1000+ hours into it over 6 or so years and I still come back to play it every now and then (even after a corrupted memory card).

    I really hope this doesn't flop like PSU did, but it's all up to Sega and their support (or lack thereof). If this doesn't run and receive updates in parallel with the JP servers, I foresee it going downhill quickly, just like PSU. I don't have much hope for Sega, but I'll reserve judgment until I play.

    Also, Blue Burst wasn't an Xbox port. Blue Burst included episodes 1 and 2 in addition to the new episode 4, which was not included in the Xbox version. It also changed drop charts among other things. The Xbox version is actually a straight port of the GC version, IIRC.
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , July 11, 2012 2:05 PM
    I had a black screen of death and lost my DURANDAL, the very first special weapon I earned online. :( 
  • 1 Hide
    Misdissident , July 11, 2012 3:53 PM
    I still play Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst on a private server (And not that piece of scht one). Good times! Looking forward to playing this in English next year :) 

    tlm manPSO Ep I&II for Gamecube is still my favorite game of all time. Dumped 1000+ hours into it over 6 or so years and I still come back to play it every now and then (even after a corrupted memory card).I really hope this doesn't flop like PSU did, but it's all up to Sega and their support (or lack thereof). If this doesn't run and receive updates in parallel with the JP servers, I foresee it going downhill quickly, just like PSU. I don't have much hope for Sega, but I'll reserve judgment until I play.Also, Blue Burst wasn't an Xbox port. Blue Burst included episodes 1 and 2 in addition to the new episode 4, which was not included in the Xbox version. It also changed drop charts among other things. The Xbox version is actually a straight port of the GC version, IIRC.


    Huh, PSO EP I&II is also one of my favorite games! I also really liked EP III a hell of a lot - a very good game once you get past the "wtf card games this game suxx xD" phase. As for Blue Burst, as far as I know, the engine is lifted off of the XBOX version; doesn't mean there isn't new content, obviously.

    PSO2... I wouldn't get my hopes up in terms of the updates staying parellel. I would be fine if we were only a month or two behind, though, but please SoJ, don't shove SoA back a whole year...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 11, 2012 4:42 PM
    MisdissidentI still play Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst on a private server (And not that piece of scht one). Good times! Looking forward to playing this in English next year Huh, PSO EP I&II is also one of my favorite games! I also really liked EP III a hell of a lot - a very good game once you get past the "wtf card games this game suxx xD" phase. As for Blue Burst, as far as I know, the engine is lifted off of the XBOX version; doesn't mean there isn't new content, obviously.PSO2... I wouldn't get my hopes up in terms of the updates staying parellel. I would be fine if we were only a month or two behind, though, but please SoJ, don't shove SoA back a whole year...


    Ah, I didn't know about the engines being similar. I actually never played the Xbox version, personally. Still, "port" is typically associated with a straight carbon copy with no additions or changes. BB was sort of a half-remake, half-sequel kinda deal.

    And I share the same concern. At this rate, if US PSO2 isn't up to speed with JP at launch, we will already start with (at least) a 6 month gap in content. And knowing Sega, it will only go downhill from there.

    I don't really expect them to stay on top of supporting the US servers, given their track record and the new F2P model. I more expect it to go the way of games like DFO, where the US servers are 1-2 years behind and the cash shops are filled with $10 shirts and $5 for a pack of healing items...
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , July 12, 2012 12:28 AM
    make the game a 1 time purchase, no monthly fee, as i can not justify 10-15$ a month for a 4 player multiplayer for any game.

    than also, don't lock multiplayer and force a single player story to be played to play multiplayer, i dont like being forced to play a character i dont care about to unlock where i do care about my characters.
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , July 12, 2012 12:42 AM
    tlm manAh, I didn't know about the engines being similar. I actually never played the Xbox version, personally. Still, "port" is typically associated with a straight carbon copy with no additions or changes. BB was sort of a half-remake, half-sequel kinda deal.And I share the same concern. At this rate, if US PSO2 isn't up to speed with JP at launch, we will already start with (at least) a 6 month gap in content. And knowing Sega, it will only go downhill from there.I don't really expect them to stay on top of supporting the US servers, given their track record and the new F2P model. I more expect it to go the way of games like DFO, where the US servers are 1-2 years behind and the cash shops are filled with $10 shirts and $5 for a pack of healing items...
    I played the Dreamcast original, V2, and later Ep I and II on Xbox. Blue Burst has everything in the Xbox version and then a ton more - like another Episode.

    Anyway, so far PSO 2 is looking really awesome. From what I've seen detailed of their F2P model, it's much better than most of the Korean F2P MMORPGs. It doesn't look like Pay to Win, by any stretch of the imagination. I myself will probably spend a few bucks to get an extra character slot or two, maybe a few dollars monthly to access My Room function, and a couple dollars here and there on costumes. But from everything I've seen it looks like playing for free is quite viable, for those unable or unwilling to pay. My main concern is character transfers, but they're talking about adding them at a later date.

    I follow http://bumped.org/psublog/ to keep on top of what's happening with PSO2.