GameSkinny

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   

“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!)

Originally Published Jul. 9th 2013
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  • cdiponzia
    Correspondent
    Why is it always the games I know and love that get delayed without proper reason!

    I have always loved the PSO series. I played every single one and got hooked on all of them up to date. I miss the days of PSO. I wish PSO2 would come out in NA sometime soon. I really hope it does not just fade away into our memories.
  • MaxMouse
    Sega's been promising this since 2012, but we haven't heard anything since. When I heard a new PSO2 server was releasing, I nearly shat myself from excitement, but quickly got disappointed when I saw it was the SEA server. All this time they were working on a server for South-east Asia, when they were supposed to be keeping their promise to Americans. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound greedy, but they left us in the dark with 0 explanations as to why the just completely dropped the American server plans.
  • XAVIER_7999
    if u wana play something close to pso try C9 or Dragon Nest but I vote to try Black Desert on 2015 it have great visuals graphic and it runs on directx9 yea DX9 but u have to see it to just believe it it has a beater graphics than pso2 details are to great I just cant believe went I saw it was a DX9 and i check out if I can run it but is turn that u can run it w 512mb ddr3 video card 1gb recomended ddr5 from 4gb to 6 ram in a i5 or amd tri core to i7 or quat core the game can intersect w npc like Fable did back on the days so exprecion dancin making faces this time is going to count so who needs PSO2? go to you tube and search for Black Desert
  • XAVIER_7999
    !@#$@@# Sega i hope they go bank broke for being such layers if only i can find the resposable for 2 year delay to @!##$! spit on his face i just not going to buy another sega game again! stupid games like sonic or freaking taxi! the good one the just eat shit with it! well sega you can stick PSO2 in the @$$ I get PSO FOR DREAMCAST then for GAMECUBE and buy the other one thas only adds the online towers PSU for pc and PSP event the crapy one for the ds graphics in that one was cheap the only nice the have the mags back on that one!
  • Sheikh Ieurbuhti
    I was there for the original PSO...and Sega gave up. I was first in line to buy PSU...and Sega treated the American audience with indifference. And now this?

    You know, for a company that was started by an American, founded in Honolulu and was owned by American companies for a good portion of the time...they don't seem to give much of a shit about the US.

    And funny? People are starting to not give a shit back.
  • eisenritter
    that painful waiting,hoping the client goes well. and get ip ban??, well Capcom ain't so bad after all, rooting for mh4u. so now my reactions towards sega is.........t(-w-t) a double full of @$£"*

    will wait you in mh4u in upcoming 2015 so yeah, get those damn wyvern gem XP
  • Done waiting
    Fuck Sega. That's what I think.
  • Meh_5343
    They still haven't told when it will be released ? What about EU? EU will never get it at this point :(
  • SeiferXJ9
    I was interested in 2012. I search around 2 years later to find that PSO2 still hasn't been released. this is a very big disappointment. I enjoyed PSU and i really wanted to see PSO2 released in US. but now my hope is officially dead, even if it comes out now "I don't Care" and this is something Sega don't want to hear, Not from me or anyone. they will wonder why the game suddenly don't sell well.
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    That's unfortunate. It's out in beta right now, and it's official launch is on May 29th.
  • SeiferXJ9
    Stop playing, really? officially?
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    Yup! I've had friends in the beta, I just haven't jumped in myself.

    I've got a follow-up article coming up soon to discuss it, but it's dumb, they've abandoned the old "official" website it looks like with absolutely no news on it that isn't from 2012. And no one's talking about it. Really bizarre to me.
  • SeiferXJ9
    Thank you for this heads up, it's really weird but yeah, Sega is dubbing it Phantasy Star online 2 SEA. with not even a peep about it. Your Insight has given me much hope yet.
  • John Whellhem
    Wow, Sega is gonna die if the West doesn't get a release date, or even info, Sonic can go rot compared to PSO2, they also shut down Chromehounds which was a horrible mistake, Sega better not screw up with PSO2 for everyone around the world otherwise, it's bye bye!!!
  • Vagabundo_7658
    Soy Español y llevo desde el 2012 siguiendo cada una de las noticias que han ido saliendo con el paso de los meses, estamos ya en el año 2014 y aun sigo sin saber fecha exacta de salida, yo hace tiempo que deje de jugar con consolas y me e embarcado en Androd, uso mi tableta para prácticamente TODO, juego en ella a jusgos MMORPG como AVABEL,IRUNA o CERES ARCA entre otros y cuando me entere por vez primera que iban a lanzar el Phantasy Star Online 2 para iOS Android me emocione muchísimo, ya que los dispositivos android estan empezando a mover grandes juegazos como por ejemplo Deux Ex, Chaos Ring, Dead Space, Dead Effect o Moder Combat 4 entre otros muchos como el de batman el Caballero Oscuro, estos juegos se presentan con una calidad gráfica espectacular casi llegando a la calidad gráfica de una Psvita, es por eso que pienso que este juego si puede salir para Android sin ningún tipo de problema, solo necesitas una tableta Quad Core con un procesador gráfico Quad Core y 2-Gigas de memoria ram como es en mi caso,bueno solo espero que salga ya en Europa y EE.UU este año y podamos por fin poder disfrutar de este GRAN juego.

    P.D: Un juego que respalda mi argumento con respecto al mundo de los videojuegos es por ejemplo el juego THE WALKING DEAD EPISODIOS que acaba de salir para iOS Android hace cosa de una semana presentándose con un acabado gráfico igual de espectacular visto en consolas de sobremesa XBOX360 y PS3
  • Vagabundo_7658
    Soy Español y llevo desde el 2012 siguiendo cada una de las noticias que han ido saliendo con el paso de los meses, estamos ya en el año 2014 y aun sigo sin saber fecha exacta de salida, yo hace tiempo que deje de jugar con consolas y me e embarcado en Androd, uso mi tableta para prácticamente TODO, juego en ella a jusgos MMORPG como AVABEL,IRUNA o CERES ARCA entre otros y cuando me entere por vez primera que iban a lanzar el Phantasy Star Online 2 para iOS Android me emocione muchísimo, ya que los dispositivos android estan empezando a mover grandes juegazos como por ejemplo Deux Ex, Chaos Ring, Dead Space, Dead Effect o Moder Combat 4 entre otros muchos como el de batman el Caballero Oscuro, estos juegos se presentan con una calidad gráfica espectacular casi llegando a la calidad gráfica de una Psvita, es por eso que pienso que este juego si puede salir para Android sin ningún tipo de problema, solo necesitas una tableta Quad Core con un procesador gráfico Quad Core y 2-Gigas de memoria ram como es en mi caso,bueno solo espero que salga ya en Europa y EE.UU este año y podamos por fin poder disfrutar de este GRAN juego.

    P.D: Un juego que respalda mi argumento con respecto al mundo de los videojuegos es por ejemplo el juego THE WALKING DEAD EPISODIOS que acaba de salir para iOS Android hace cosa de una semana presentándose con un acabado gráfico igual de espectacular visto en consolas de sobremesa XBOX360 y PS3
  • Tig3rzhark
    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.
  • Dami Fides
    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!
  • David_8124
    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.
  • R.W.D.
    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.
  • Tommy_3680
    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.
  • Dragonjar1
    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
  • Cugastratos
    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.
  • Jordan Silva Blanco
    Despues de tanta espera, no hay ni un solo rayo de esperanza, realmente esto mereze el odio de nosotros...
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • Griggle_7798
    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.
  • Ima B. East
    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
  • gorkal
    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 !
  • Elmo_1454
    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?
  • Akuma_8088
    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.
  • Gunner Kr
    @ 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 .
  • Alexander Hiiri
    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
  • Zietlogik
    I am still playing the JP release since July of last year....patiently waiting on that Western release....waiting T.T
  • Cortalia
    Contributor
    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.
  • Dan_1834
    Between not getting this and the fact frontier will never come to NA, I just want to chop my balls off and die.
  • Jeremy Trigger
    i want to DIE
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    Definitely on the side of crushed dreams then. :(
  • Tony Monster
    Correspondent
    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. =[
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    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.
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    so we'll find another target to say "shut up and take my money" to? It can be a quest! A quest to spend moneies to get fat lootz!
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    Dat FFXIV...
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    dem digits of 14? Yes I must agree, dem is good digits.
  • Jon_4953
    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.
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    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."
  • Dead_1424
    A new career opportunity ad from Sega and Relic Entertainment has some interesting information about the fact that the development studio acquired after the demise of THQ is working on the localization of a MMORPG developed in Japan.

    Here’s the text of the ad (that was discovered by NeoGaf user Nirolak) with the relevant text bolded.
    __________________________________

    Server Engineer

    Programming/Engineering | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | 12/23/2013

    Relic Entertainment, a wholly owned studio of SEGA, is the award winning RTS developer of Homeworld, Dawn of War and Company of Heroes, among other games. Relic was founded on the premise that it is entirely possible to ship first class, genre altering, AAA titles, and have a life. Relic is based out of beautiful Vancouver, Canada, a city that has breath-taking mountain and ocean views, along with snowboarding and skiing, golfing year-round and amazing hiking trails. If you love games, enjoy working collaboratively with smart, creative people, and have diverse personal interests outside of work – you’ll enjoy our culture.

    What you will be doing

    Ramp up and perform due diligence on an existing live MMO project in development in Japan, embedded with the live team
    Gain full understanding of the game and code architecture, content authoring pipelines, build and deployment process, engineering process, and current code status
    Establish working relationships with key members of Japanese development team
    Participate in and contribute to minor/peripheral engineering tasks on the project, as well as in daily project planning, code reviews, release process, etc.
    Create/translate documentation of existing code modules, tools, processes and work flows
    Prepare regular status and activity reports to Producer
    Prepare a full written project evaluation

    What you should have

    5+ years’ engineering experience from PC client/server based MMO development
    Ability to spend extended (3+ months) periods of time on-site in Tokyo
    Ideally fluent in Japanese and English languages
    Excellent verbal and written communication skills

    __________________________________

    The only Japanese MMORPG currently live in Sega’s portfolio is Phantasy Star Online 2. Is the game finally getting a western localization?

    Unfortunately no official announcement has been made yet, but it would be long overdue. We have contacted Sega to see if they have any relevant information to give. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything straight from the lion’s mouth.

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