Some time back during 2012, Sega released the sequel to Phantasy Star Online, entitled Phantasy Online 2. This was a true sequel to my beloved console MMO , not that steaming pile of crap known as Phantasy Star Universe that Sega pushed on us previously. In fact the mere mention of that game makes me feel dirty, so I won’t talk about it anymore. But back on the subject here, so Sega announced that PSO2 would be released in Japan (2012) and the North American markets later in 2013, and as such I was already getting hyped as I spent tons of time on the original title on the Dreamcast, Gamecube and even the PC. Yeah, I was really hooked on that game, but for good reason and it was my gateway drug to mainstream MMOs.
Anyway, the time came and for some odd reason it wasn’t released for the North American market, but Sega kept assuring us that it still was coming. Well, despite their best smoke and mirrors efforts, the fans (including myself at the time) weren’t too happy about this, yet Sega continued on saying that it was indeed coming. The time has long past since then and while the Japan version has gotten tons of extra content, we’re still sitting here in the dark with nothing other than Sega’s word that “It’s coming!”, which was back in September 2014 and we’re almost at September 2015. That’s three years Sega!
And just recently, they go and announce that Phantasy Star Online 2 was getting a release…. for the PlayStation 4 and guess what, it’s only for Japan. Yep, they’re doing it again. It’s only for Japan? No mention of the supposedly North American release? Are we still ignoring one of your biggest fan bases, Sega? But I’m sure if we ask them again, they’ll attempt to assure us yet again that the North American version is still coming.
Sure I could download the English fan-made patches, but they’re far from being correct at times and while I understand that many people are just playing with the patches to get their fix, there’s just something about reading a mission that you know simply isn’t worded or translated properly. I can’t get behind that, though at the same time I’m happy to see that someone out there is doing something for the fans, that’s a more than Sega’s doing for us. Not to mention that Japanese PSO2 players don’t take kindly to North American gamers on their servers and it’s been a off/on issue with Sega blocking ip addresses outside of the Asian market , more info on that here. Honestly, at this point though I’ve gone from caring from 2012 – 2013, to somewhat optimistic in 2014, to just not care anymore. It’s transparent as well what Sega thinks about its North American fan base and we should retaliate as such.
And it’s a shame, especially for me. I cut my teeth on the Phantasy Star RPG’s, starting on the Sega Master System and later moving on to the remainder of them on the Sega Genesis. While everyone was off playing Final Fantasy (well I did too, just not as we much), I was playing Phantasy Star and falling in love with its storytelling, its graphics and it’s ability to immerse me… well with the exception of Phantasy Star III. That marriage and legacy system was a bit too much for me. Sadly it seem that series died back in 1993 with phenom that was Phantasy Star IV (second only to Phantasy Star II), with the management of Sega scratching their heads on what to do with the one great RPG series.
So yes, I’m a bit frustrated but I was told a while ago that I was foolish on thinking that Sega would ever bring over Phantasy Star Online 2 to North America, but that’s ok. I’m foolish about a lot of things, I’m still a big kid. But what I can’t get my head around is why Sega is continuing to tell its fans that it’s coming but then showing nothing in return. Sure I have a few reasons of my own on why Sega won’t bring it over, but let’s just end this rant by saying that perhaps Sega is just scared or nervous about the state of MMOs over here and the fact that their gem likely wouldn’t get the proper shine to show off.
That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!