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Phantasy Star Online 2 Ignores Western Audience In Favor of 2014 Asia Release?

There is a new translated Japanese announcement for Phantasy Star Online 2 in Asia in 2014, but no sign of an NA release since it was pushed back in March.

by 9 months ago

“But... but what about me?”

(Update: a new career opportunity ad hints that a western localization might still be in the works, discussed here: Is PSO2 Finally Getting a Western Localization?)

In July 2012, Sega’s free to play Phantasy Star Online 2 released in Japan on Microsoft Windows, complete with Arks Cash shop page for in-game purchases made in real money. Later, in February 2013, it released for PS Vita, and is now tentatively scheduled for release on both iOS and Android sometime later this year.

Since the release of the first Phantasy Star on the Sega Master System in 1988 in the United States, a fan following was born. Subsequent years have only seen the fan love intensify as the franchise continues to balloon. With Phantasy Star titles featured on every single new Sega console, and remakes and new releases on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, and PC, it's no wonder that original announcements for PSO2 to be released "early 2013" were met in North America with high enthusiasm.

However, in spite being playable last year at PAX Prime, stateside disappointment ran high when Sega announced in March that the US version of the game would be delayed. No real reason was given for the delay. As a Sega spokesperson told Polygon, "We don't have any specifics but will update everyone as soon as there are more details to share."

Unfortunately, since the March announcement, it seems there have been no more details to share. No new news or timeline have been even tentatively announced for the North American release of PSO2.

Meanwhile in Asia...

What has come to light is an announcement of a PSO2 release in Asia in 2014, according to a Phantasy Star Fan Blog, which has a translation of the original Japanese post on Famitsu:

“Phantasy Star Online 2 plans to release in several Asian countries in 2014. Gamania Digital Entertainment will launch PSO2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. AsiaSoft will handle the Southeast Asia territories in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia. Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The localization process isn’t just limited to dialogue translations, rather, it will highlight the cultural differences of each territory through unique items and events. For example, players could see costumes and lobby events matching their native customs and traditions. In addition, some territories may re-record character voices to speak in their native languages.”

Early reports of this news came last month by roundabout ways announcing an English-language version, and many articles on the subject cited an investor relations report on AsiaSoft's site that no longer appears to exist. Now, at least, we are one step closer to a real confirmation, and a tentative release date.

Those readers in Southeast Asia may receive this news with lukewarm cheer, since AsiaSoft has managed to make its mark on the publisher blacklist with its ineptitude concerning Korean MMORPG Ragnarok Online 2, another long-anticipated online free to play sequel. 

For their sakes, we hope that Phantasy Star Online 2 is fraught with a little less drama.

But what does this mean for America?

Official English announcements may be posted soon to verify the much-translated Japanese news, but currently the news has been met with widespread North American disappointment and impatience. 

The questions have already started to fly. What will this mean for a potential PSO2 release in North America? Are we next? When will Sega have anything to say about it?

Many US players, impatient with the long delay and lack of official feedback on timelines, have been content to play the Japanese version with fan-made English patches. While this technically violates the game’s EULA, Phantasy Star Online is one of those franchises with a fanbase that won’t quit, and many players will do whatever it takes to get their game on.

Still, with more and more NA players losing patience with the lack of Sega’s communication and turning to these unofficial means of playing the Japanese release, it’s inevitable that the fan fervor for an NA release is going to start dying off.

People do move on, even from Phantasy Star Online.

So what do you think?

Does this announcement of an Asia release help keep hope alive, or just crush our dreams further under heel?

(Many thanks to user Dead_1424 for letting me know about the Relic Entertainment ad discussed here!)

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Comments
  • 1
    About 9 months ago,
    Jon_4953 said:
    They have dropped the ball. Just look at the Sega FB page and the PSO2 Facebook pages. Fans are begging for information and just being ignored.
  • 55
    About 9 months ago,
    Stephanie Tang (Featured Columnist) said:
    Oh I agree. There are a lot of people that are willing and able to put down big money on this game, and Sega is just rolling with the "shut up" half of rather than the "and take my money."
  • load more comment (1 response)  
  • 15
    About 9 months ago,
    Tony Monster (Correspondent) said:
    The fanbase for this game is ever growing. With the release of all these trailers and the release of all the information on it, it will continue to gain the attention it deserves. However with the rate they have been going by ignoring their fans in other countries outside of the asian areas, that fanbase may just dwindle due to the impatience it's caused. I know I myself have been waiting for this and for any type of information towards the US, and my interest is all bit nil since I've heard practically nothing. =[
  • 55
    About 9 months ago,
    Stephanie Tang (Featured Columnist) said:
    Exactly, you can only hold onto fan interest for so long, especially when you choose to ignore them. We will find other things, no matter how amazing your game looks. And with PSO2 in particular, between the fan mods for the Japanese release and the reputed English version of the Asia release, I'm of the opinion pressure for an NA release is only going downhill.
  • load more comments (3 replies)  
  • 1
    About 9 months ago,
    Jeremy Trigger said:
    i want to DIE
  • 55
    About 9 months ago,
    Stephanie Tang (Featured Columnist) said:
    Definitely on the side of crushed dreams then. :(
  • 1
    About 8 months ago,
    Dan_1834 said:
    Between not getting this and the fact frontier will never come to NA, I just want to chop my balls off and die.
  • 9
    About 7 months ago,
    Cortalia (Contributor) said:
    At the end of the day it all comes down to gameplay and the games economy. The original PSO was a masterpeice, money didn't really matter, you traded for items and gear you wanted and you ran the same dungeons over and over and over with different people because it was just that fun and addicting. Everything was first come first serve but since the money didn't really serve a purpose, if somebody need something and you couldn't use it... you usually just gave it to them.

    PSU, at least when I played, no one wanted to play together since it was first come first serve to the loot, so unless it was an event stage where you were making money hand over foot and it didn't matter finding random parties was a chore, not to mention the whole room shop was a joke leading to everything having a overly heavy price tag.

    So if PSO2 is a good solid game... I'll still give it a shot, but the longer they wait to bring it to NA the more people they'll lose out to games like Guild Wars 2 and FFX|V...The general feeling I've been seeing in the last few months is that people are growing tired of WoW (at least more so than usual) so its a ripe time to launch waiting to long only allows other games time to take what could be an increasing loyal fanbase.
  • 2
    About 6 months ago,
    Zietlogik said:
    I am still playing the JP release since July of last year....patiently waiting on that Western release....waiting T.T
  • 1
    About 5 months ago,
    Alexander Hiiri said:
    I am dying for a european/us release but i am now losing hope maybe i should play the jp version but don know how does anyone have a link to how i do to play the jp version thanks in advance
  • 1
    About 5 months ago,
    Gunner Kr said:
    @ this point... I'll prolly end up sticking with jp version even if NA gets it likely less supportand lv 65 62 would be apain trying to reach multiple times again .
  • 1
    About 4 months ago,
    Akuma_8088 said:
    Sorry for the late reply, but just thought I would throw my 2 cents in because this is my favorite game series. I have already given up and don't care about a NA release anymore. I bought the vita cart to play it on my vita, and will just continue to play the JP one. I even bought a fair amount of AC to show some support to them. I feel if and when PSO2 NA comes out it will be too far behind PSO2 JP to just quit and go over to the NA server (also not really proud of it, and i'm sure its really not a die hard fan amount of time, but so far i logged over 400 hours on my main character.) I was with PSO2 JP since open beta and plan to stay there.
  • 1
    About 3 months ago,
    Elmo_1454 said:
    It's releasing to Asia Pac sooner than EU, NA because of obvious reasons: The players in those listed countries are far more hardcore and geared towards spending a lot on what they have to offer. It probably took a lot of time to make this decision but they've come to the consensus that the investment into these regions will definitely have a profitable return. You're only assuming that the West will show a profitable return, but in actuality the real demand may not be enough to make it a winning situation for SEGA financially. Besides, SEGA only needs to concentrate on their domestic market to stay alive. Why ruin a good thing and risk going places where it will definitely fall short as it has many times in the past?
  • 1
    About 3 months ago,
    gorkal said:
    and this mean that soon there might be a release of an unoffical server ;D japanese are playing a little dirty with their... culture conservation (considering that at least in some European countries the unity festival . is a Communism party )but let us be honest is the time of the information and it is the time in where everyone knows something about the taboo of every culture soooo time to shake off the middle age mentality and enter into the new millennium !
  • 1
    About 3 months ago,
    Ima B. East said:
    All I'ma say is that if Sega communicated with America better, they'd have more dedicated people to the game. To be Honest, there is still a large audience who will contribute to the game IF it comes out. but then again SEGA hates America XD

    Fans will still be raging on post like that because SEGA Japan hates us. And Sega America will only be focused on a damn Sonic game
  • 1
    About 3 months ago,
    Griggle_7798 said:
    GMT - 10am on 1st April 2010 . SEGA made April Fools of all us PS2/PC PSU-AOTI Fabulous People. 3 years of waiting and the decision is over. Square Enix here we come, its time for Final Fantasy XIV ARR to become a Reality. Once that journey begins there will be no room for an apology from sega; released for Europe or not it will matter none. I will be a Mage firing balls of molten iron at some great beastie and thats all that matters.
  • 1
    About 2 months ago,
    Jordan Silva Blanco said:
    Despues de tanta espera, no hay ni un solo rayo de esperanza, realmente esto mereze el odio de nosotros...
    Last edited 2 months ago
  • 1
    About 2 months ago,
    Cugastratos said:
    Sega of America/EU has shot itself in the foot with this one. I started playing the JPN version because I was expecting the US version to come out "early 2013". But then its now well over a year, and I hardly even play the JPN version because I'd love to be able to follow the story, but that will never happen. Also with all the English speaking players many of them have gotten too far and too high level to even want to start playing an official English language localized version because they've had ENOUGH of PSO2 on JPN and don't want to quit. So Sega has lost who knows how many potential players because of that. On top of that Sega is well over a year now in updated content.... Plus additional episodes.... I've been playing my offline version of PSU, my over priced UMD on my old PSP of Phantasy Star Portable 2, and 1 (since they destroyed the PSN DDL version) and I've been playing my other games like FFXI, and FFXIV. Sega just can't stop screwing itself over, and by the time PSO2 is released its going to have a very small cheer because everyone will have moved past it already... Sitting on their butts has destroyed the opportunity for some massive income going their way. If it was released on time like they promised it would have been much much better. But now they're over a year past the first released date.... Idiots.
  • 1
    About 1 month ago,
    Dragonjar1 said:
    I really hope this comes out in North America because when I played phantasy star online episode 1and2 on GameCube I thought it was the best game ever, pso2 looks sooo cool
  • 1
    About 1 month ago,
    Tommy_3680 said:
    Sega has really dropped the ball, All the games that have been released have been outdated crap. I really enjoyed playing PSO on my Dreamcast and then gamecube. This Fuck You NA release has really put the nail in the coffin for SEGA. I hope doom and gloom on the studio.

    The era of Nintendo and Sega is no longer. Both may as well close up, sell and count their loses.
  • 1
    About 2 weeks ago,
    R.W.D. said:
    Sega seems to have stopped caring. I gave up caring about PSO2 a long while ago. I, like many, am not going to wait forever. My time is better spent playing things that are released and are getting updated on a consistent basis. Sega fell from grace a long time ago.
  • 1
    About 2 weeks ago,
    David_8124 said:
    I would gladly pay a $20-$40 shelf price just to be able to get it in north america without doing patches and playing on jp servers. COME ON SEGA WTF? I played PSO and ver.2 on dreamcast extensively then played on xbox and gc ver1 and 2. WHY?????? U just did an open beta in english in asia??? WHAT THE HELL??? whats stopping you from releasing it here? by the time they release it here it will be considered an OLD game and wont be up to par with games from 2014 and 2015.
  • 1
    About 5 days ago,
    Dami Fides said:
    In my personal opinion, I started hating SEGA, ever since they closed off PSU I've been very eager for PSO2, but Nooooo! They're just trolling with us (for not using swear words). I Mean come on! If you don't want to take out PSO23 then give me back my PSU at least! I've been a fan both of the FF and PS series, probably one of the rare, I dunno. But damn, SEGA just pissing me off!
  • 1
    About 4 days ago,
    Tig3rzhark said:
    When I furst found out about PSO2, I was real happy. Watching the trailer and hearing the soundtrack, gave me a euphoric feeling. I played both episodes of PSO on Dreamcast and PC.

    However, after months of waiting, it came time to move on. New MMORPGs were coming out. Although they weren't like PSO, they had their own special quality. Whether it be storyline, gameplay style, or soundtrack, the PSO universe was in itself, special.

    Which it why it disappoints me to say that by the time PSO2 does come out, if at all, I'll be busy playing Tera: Rising or Scarlet Blade or Aura Kingdom to care.

    Sega is really going to have to make it up for the fans that they are about to lose. Today, it seems that they could care less about their American customers. However, I can assure everyone this....

    Regardless of what business you're in, you neglect your customer, you won't be in business very long. Sega has only themselves to blame for that. I will never forget the disapointment of Sega, forgetting its PSO fanbase.

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