Why SEGA refusing to localize Phantasy Star Online 2 is a bad sign

Phantasy Star Online 2
Given that we know the news that SEGA doesn’t have plans on publishing Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan, at least for the Playstation 4 (though the PC and Vita versions have been out for over 3 years, so I assume those aren’t coming either). I stated in my original article that I thought it was a really bad decision and got many people upset while they tried  to debate me on the topic even though I never really stated why I felt it was a bad decision. So, here it is, my article talking about why SEGA West not bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 is just another stupid decision by the company that has had a long history of bad decisions.

I decided that it was time I did a write up about why SEGA West not bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 outside of Japan is bad,  not only for their in-house IP but also for their overall brand.

Phantasy Star Online is a popular franchise

Phantasy Star Online 2 1

This is something that I don’t think a lot of people understand, that the Phantasy Star Online franchise does have a sizable following. I would say that the Phantasy Star franchise is one of SEGA’s bigger franchises they have created and still has online appeal. For example, the last Phantasy Star related game to be released in America was Phantasy Star Portable 2. I agree that the game failed at selling copies outside of Japan, but this was true for a lot of PSP games in the west. Lots of people will use these handheld sale numbers and talk about how Phantasy Star Online 2 isn’t worth it for a publisher like SEGA because of the sales of spin-offs on a platform with high piracy rates. But can you name me any other PSP game that sold well after 2010? I mean, I remember seeing NPD numbers in 2006 pinning the PSP as selling 20,000 units a month, now imagine how much it was selling in 2010 when Phantasy Star Portable 2 came out.

Psp2gameThe issue here is that Phantasy Star Online, the main title entry was a popular game. It was so popular that it not only got a card game spin-off (that didn’t do so hot), dozens of re-releases and the older versions are still played online via hacked servers. The Phantasy Star franchise hasn’t had a western released game for half a decade, but PSO-World, the top English Phantasy Star Online website still gets a ton of traffic. So much traffic that they are more popular than our site and rival Sonic Retro in terms of traffic (and Sonic Retro is the most popular SEGA/Sonic related fan site on the internet). They managed this without having a new game in half a decade. There is obviously an interested English speaking fanbase.

I think judging a franchise based on the sales of spin-offs is wrong, it would be like canceling all Sonic the Hedgehog console games based on the sales of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. That is a disservice to not only the brand but also the fans that put up with blunders like Phantasy Star Universe. Is the brand more popular than Final Fantasy? Nope and the way its being handled it won’t be known by new generations of western gamers, sadly. Final Fantasy wasn’t always the big mainstream brand that it is today, it took lots of risks and effort to make it what it is today, including marketing. Something that Phantasy Star Online hasn’t really gotten since, well, Phantasy Star Online on Dreamcast.

Phantasy Star Online 2 being Japan only is bad

PSO2NEWSEGA

One of my biggest concerns about the way SEGA is doing business, it seems they aren’t thinking it through in the long term. They are stumbling around making decisions like it was the SEGA Saturn era all over again, trying to benefit each branch while they all fall apart. The facts are there really isn’t a sizable userbase in Japan for a game like Phantasy Star Online 2 on the Playstation 4. I know a few of you will start quoting Sony’s numbers on how they sold over 23 million units. You forget to mention that it sold those units worldwide. According to Media Create the Playstation 4 has sold a underwhelming 1.7 million units in Japan as of August 16th of this year. Think about it. You will need a sizable portion of Playstation 4 owners to download your game and not only that, but also purchase something from the game’s online store to create a sizable revenue stream to pay for not only porting the game to the system but also to upkeeping its servers and other expenses. SEGA is literally telling 20+ million Playstation 4 owners that its not worth bringing this game to them. How is that good for your brand?

Phantasy Star Online 2 2But what do you expect? This is the same company that kept the PC version in Japan for over 3 years, when all numbers point to PC gaming being niche in Japan. Right now free-to-play games are thriving in the west and titles like DOTA 2, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Warframe, and Path of Exile are all very popular. Last year League of Legends made almost a billion dollars in microtransactions in 2014, which is pretty good considering it was the developer’s first ever game. It is mind boggling that a developer like Riot Games, Inc (developers of League of Legends) who where founded in 2006, went from a indie developer and became a gaming giant who’s single game makes more money than all of SEGA’s consumer division. Who would have thought that listening to fans, putting out constant updates and having a decent free-to-play business model would be profitable?

[Gaming journalist Susan Arendt and James Mielke joined us on our podcast, the Swingin’ Report Show and talked about what Phantasy Star Online mean’t to them]

While I don’t think SEGA’s Phantasy Star Online 2 would be as big as League of Legends, seeing as the whole MOBA hype is at its peak at the moment, I do think it would do well enough. The other issue that SEGA Japan faces is that its trying to bring new players in with a port on the Playstation 4 (which we talked about the low usage base) and a brand new anime with the hopes that it will attract more Japanese players. Why not use that money to bring the game West? Most fans would say that you can play it on the Japanese servers just fine, which is true but there is one issue with that. Westerners playing on the Japanese server is bad for SEGA because most of them don’t spend a dime on the game. Why don’t they? Mostly because buying Arks Cash (the paid currency in Phantasy Star Online 2) is a hassle and one of the biggest ways these free-to-play titles make their money is on convenience. This leads to a ton of Western players just playing for free and these games can’t survive if no one is spending money.

But isn’t localizing a online RPG expensive?

Phantasy Star Online 2 3

This is one of the biggest comments I have seen around from people defending SEGA’s decision for not bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to the West. Cost. Its just too expensive not just the localization, but also the servers, paid support staff, network technicians, and so forth. While I’ll agree that this part has always been SEGA’s downfall. Support for Phantasy Star Online wasn’t the best, Phantasy Star Universe had a ton of issues and so on. The problem is that online servers have dramatically gone down in price since in the last ten years. I don’t think its a big request to ask a company that has spent a lot of cash developing Phantasy Star Online 2, to put more money to bring it to 90% of potential players outside of Japan. The issue is SEGA has the money, they just don’t want to use it on bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to the West.

soulworker-3For example, SEGA Japan is localizing two Korean PC MMOs for the Japanese market (and will release it in Korea too). This is news that most people don’t even know about, but they are bringing Soul Worker and Closures to Japanese audiences, even tho most companies have cited that PC gamers in Japan have been at a consistent decline over the last few years. While I don’t mind these investments, you really got to wonder if they even care about the Phantasy Star Online 2 brand outside of Japan. That’s what I don’t get, the numbers in Japan just don’t add up, yet they continue to invest in core games in that region while the rest of the world is hungry for more games like Phantasy Star Online 2. But isn’t all that SEGA Japan has invested in, they have also invested in localizing Chaos Online, a Chinese created MOBA title. This doesn’t take into account that the MOBA genre is already super saturated. Its so saturated that even Warner Bros’ Infinite Crisis (based on DC comics properties) had to shut down earlier this year. Some might suggest that the game might do well in China, I’m sure it will, but SEGA is only publishing it in Japan (where PC gamers are in a decline, as we know). Sounds like great ways of spending your money, right?

TotalWarBattlesKingdom

While its true that SEGA Japan has been spending their money localizing online titles for Japan, SEGA West has been spending their money on creating new free-to-play titles. For example Creative Assembly are making Total War: Arena and Total War: Kingdom. While Total War: Arena has been received positively by beta testers, Total War: Kingdom has been universally hated by fans. Yet, SEGA is still wasting their money, servers, and technical teams supporting that title. The game has being played by less than 400 players. Seeing as the game was released on April 9th, 2015, only being a few months old, its only going to go down hill from here for that title. While its true that the game was mean’t to be a mobile title, it still costs money to bring it to PC. Probably more money than localizing Phantasy Star Online 2

Back in 2011 SEGA bought Three Rings Design and launched Spiral Knights on PC, which was a great move at the time. The issue is that they are still supporting the game even though its peak players have dropped dramatically after its initial launch. I’m all for supporting smaller online titles with great servers, tech support and all that jazz; but it makes me wonder why they refuse to bring over Phantasy Star Online 2 that I know would do better than the utter failure that is Total War: Kingdom and get more attention than Spiral Knights has been getting lately.

SEGA has no trust in its in-house brands outside of Japan

PSO2_Sega_Crossover-Sonic

[Well, not counting Sonic the Hedgehog]

This is really the truth, SEGA thinks that no one cares about their in-house brands (not counting Sonic the Hedgehog) outside of Japan. While some might be quick to defend and say otherwise, SEGA has proven in the last couple of years that they don’t think their in-house brands are worth bringing over. For example they passed on publishing and funding duties for Bayonetta 2 to Nintendo, instead of bringing the game to Playstation 4 and Xbox One, capitalizing on the audience they started building last generation.

Yakuza5westIt doesn’t end there, Yakuza 5 came out in Japan in 2012 and ever since its released SEGA fans have been asking SEGA for a localization. Fansites like Yakuza Fan really took up the mantle on gathering the fanbase and asking SEGA nicely for a new game. During the time I would talk to people that worked at SEGA and according to them the franchise was looked down upon as a failure with a niche fanbase that ‘whined too much’. This is now what SEGA fans have become to SEGA America, fans that ‘whine too much’ for localization of big Japanese titles. I mean its one thing to ask for a brand new game to be made from the ground up, I understand that frustration, but to call fans that just want a localized titles as ‘whiny’ basically sums up why SEGA America is a huge failure in the eyes of many SEGA fans.

The only reason that Yakuza 5 is coming isn’t because SEGA had a change of heart, but because fans gave up on asking SEGA and starting asking Sony’s Third Party Program team. That’s right, Sony has a program to bring fan requested titles to Playstation platforms and one of the first games on their list happen to be Yakuza 5. It’s a really weird world when Sony sees the demand, yet SEGA seems a bit blind to it. This is the same team that help Yu Suzuki and Ys Net get on Sony’s E3 2015 stage and announce Shenmue 3 Kickstarter. While this would have been a opportunity for SEGA to hit their social media and tell fans about the Kicktarter, they totally ignored it even tho they have sponsored Kickstarters in the past. At this point, Sony has shown more love for SEGA’s in-house Japanese franchises than SEGA as a whole.

Phantasy Star Online 3

The sad reality is that the Phantasy Star franchise will become just like the Shining franchise, Japan only. Once you stop supporting a main entry in the West, it makes it harder for future titles to be brought over. This isn’t only going to be Phantasy Star Online 2, it will also continue when the game’s sequel and other spin-offs (as we have seen with Phantasy Star Nova). This could very well be the end of the Phantasy Star franchise for Western players unless SEGA has a change of heart. I wonder Haruki Satomi will talk about this decision? I mean, he was quick to react when fan feedback was positive, but what about when its negative? He will most likely brush it off as a whiny fan doing what they do best, whining.

What do you think of the whole situation? Let us know in the comments below! 

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70 responses to “Why SEGA refusing to localize Phantasy Star Online 2 is a bad sign

  1. Here’s the problem though even with localization for Korea and Chinese regions:
    Korea: 2 languages with English
    Most Chinese regions: 3 with English

    US/South America: 4 with local English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

    EU: 16 with Arabic, UK English, and other regional versions.

    Not to mention if they feel localized voice -acting is required.

    This is WAY more expense than people give credit.

    • Onanimus says:

      Just English localization for all regions outside of Asia would’ve been enough, really.

      The game only gives you objectives like “locate X” or “kill n of X” and the story bears very little significance.
      If you can’t understand (I’m saying understand, not speak) basic English it’s nobody’s fault but yours, it’s the Esperanto of the 21st century, everyone must know it. The only other language that comes close to that is Spanish/Portuguese.
      Hell, I played the Japanese version before even a translation patch was made and had no problem figuring stuff out. Never ended up using the patch anyway and I only have the basic understanding of the language.

  2. Travis says:

    My thoughts on this? Exactly as the article said. Where Sega should have been building on successful IP like Nintendo, they’ve squandered it. In fact, I’m ready to vote Sega as the most loveable train wreck in gaming history.

  3. Chaos says:

    SEGA has no trust in its in-house brands outside of Japan: Not just Sonic, but also the Miku games. So yeah, just about 2.

  4. Dylan Mooi says:

    Sega is ignoring ALL the millions of dollars (year over year) they could make by localizing it to English for North America.

    Not doing so means SEGA is forgoing a nice profit margin. Ignoring 6.3 million gamers in Canada and 83 million gamers in the US, aged 18 – 34. And many millions more in China by focusing on the most commonly used Chinese language. If releasing to Europe, use UK English only.

  5. Unconcerned says:

    Why must us Asians share everything with you westerners? You guys already sleeping with our women. What more do you want? Western gamers have no internet manners. Give us your trashy white women and we will talk!

    • Zenohate says:

      Pretty funny, since here in France, asian men tend to marry local women but asian women also marry asian men. I know quita a lot of asian boys yet asian girls tend here to gather around closed to us.

      Dating a local girl being local btw °w°

    • merritt says:

      I think you have this backwards on all counts. The most xenophobic people I have met have been the Japanese.

    • Damon says:

      Japanese xenophobic? How so?

    • VERYCONSERNED says:

      Considering ur no better than us? Are u actually reading anything the guy said above? Dude. Grow up. And jealousy aint helping u. Learn some manners too will ya? Ur not the top of the world. No1 is. U live in the world dont ya? Then maybe u should make friends instead of millions of enemies. And around here, every girl is NUTS about japanese! So i dont wanna hear ur baby whine. Stop being selfish, we’d share stuff with u even if u threw it away like u usually do. U have no manners and pure hate for no good reason obv

    • ActuallyConcerned says:

      Your spellings hurt to read…
      Unconcerned was clearly being sarcastic, but your spelling seems to indicate that you haven’t reached the state of development required to parse it.

      Learn to type, learn to spell, learn to take a joke, grow a bit.
      Maybe PSO2 would be westernized by then.

  6. Lol says:

    I honestly think you need to update your information a bit
    Purchasing ARK Cash used to be a hassle, not anymore. They’ve denied overseas Credit Card with normal method, however they would accept ARK Cash purchase over their mobile game (PSO2es) which is rather intended. This took no more than 5 steps. The drawback? Of couse you’d need Japanese GooglePlay cards or Debit Mastercard/CC/etc to purchase those. Secure enough compared to any other methods.

    Now…
    There is absolutely nothing wrong if SEGA JP decided to focus on JP audiences, and perhaps maximizing their service to JP audiences themselves. It’s called target marketing. You don’t want to overshoot your targets under assumptions that people want your game. It’d be a big loss if localization doesn’t give an expected result.

    Maybe for gamers, that’s just a “lol, what a bad move” but for a company, this is a business, not a game.

    Game wise,

    People want to enjoy the best experience regardless. If language was a concern, these SEA players wouldn’t have stepped on JP server (Through VPN) as soon as A$iasoft grabbed PSO2 for SEA regions.

    What makes the game worth to play is the devs and community themselves, in which, JP communities did really well on maintaining the game. (Take a look on FFXIV for example. The difference between EU/NA servers and Tonberry JP in economies and communities are damn different. Way too big).
    I honestly feel that localization is only needed if the game isn’t as popular in JP (in which case you might as well try to sell your game to other regions) or the game is too popular (in which case it is expected that the sales to be high).

    PSO2 SEA was a small sample of what the game could have become if it is localized to westerners. Toxic players, horrendous game economy, cash based services and all of that just made PSO2 as a whole looked bad. None of those toxic would ever existed in JP ver.

    That aside, George. Do you actually play the game? If yes, assuming PSO2 get localized, how would they manage all these JP exclusive collaborations? Collaborations are one of the main selling point of the game if anything.

    Lastly, nostalgia isn’t one thing that would make people play the game. Surely, just because people liked PSO, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be attracted to PSO2. They might give it a try, but that’s that.

    • George says:

      Hey Lol, thanks for taking the time out to give me feedback on my article. Let me address some of your points.

      I did know that you could purchase ARK cash though PSO2es, but this isn’t something that is made clear while I played the game. I just happen to be a Android user, so doing this was fine. But the article said there isn’t a convenient way of doing it and if you think having a ‘android phone’ being a requirement makes it convenient? What if I bought an iPhone like many people out there?

      I have played the game, thanks for asking (though I assume this is your way of belittling me of some way). I never talked about the tie-ins because the message would add more. Let’s be honest a lot of the cross overs where with companies that SEGA has some sort of deals with. For example a lot of the tie-ins included stuff with Dengeki Bunko which SEGA is publishing their other fighting game west. So I assume using the collaborations with them isn’t off the tables. Then there was the recent stuff with Arc System Works, which has deep ties with Sammy and now SEGA. They also used a lot of in-house IPs as items. I really can’t think of many that would cause too much trouble. Maybe a few items that the Japanese have can’t make it over, but I’m certain a large majority will and they can always work out deals with Valve on exclusive in-game skins (they have done it for more minor games like Renegade Ops).

      I’m glad you shared your opinion, but most of my article was about the potential player base that is available outside of Japan. Your talking about opinions people MIGHT have about the game?

  7. tara says:

    1. On pso-world, 99% of traffic on that website is from players that would not touch a western server with a stick.
    2. League of Legends, a decent free-to-play business model? lol you have no idea what you are talking about. AND, PSO2 has no PVP, there is no place for comparison, people outside of Japan want PVP in their online games.
    4. If you think the PS4 port will be a huge cost for them, think twice: there is the Vita version, and that one will always be the hard to fit, the one marking the limits. On the other hand, the PS4 has the same architecture as the PC, and porting the content will be far easier.
    5. I’m sorry if you think that buying ARKS cash with your credit card using your google account is a hard process for a western player, because it’s so simple even my nephews could do it if I didn’t have my purchases protected with a password. And there is no cheapest way either, unlike buying webmoney from a third party.

    • George says:

      1. Sounds like self projection there, since ‘you won’t’ play on a western server, that means the 99% of the users of a website that you never talked to or even met will share your same opinion.
      2.How is it unfair? You unlock everything for free and play for alternative skins. You aren’t limited in by timers or anything and aren’t forced to spend a dime.
      4. Facts are: 1.7 million Japanese PS4 owners and VITA has 4.1 million. It did decent for a Vita title, mostly due to coming off of selling Phantasy Star Portable 2 (which did 650k, being the largest selling boxed Phantasy Star title). But the issue here is that 1.7 million will be a risk and its stupid as hell to ignore the other 22 million Playstation 4 owners. Its called logic.
      5. How is buying ARC cash via the Google Play Store convenient? What if I just own a Apple device? How am I suppose to know how to magically do that? You mean the person has to go on the internet, look up how to do it and just happen to have bought a phone that is Android and not Apple? How is this easy and convenient?

    • tara says:

      – I’m actually one of the few 1% left (I would play both servers), I’m just letting you know what the majority of the people post on pso-world year after year, and I participate in that community daily.
      – You need to play a huge amount of hours to buy a hero with in-game currency, fair is dota2, where every hero is for free, and every player has the same handicaps, unlike lol. Lol methodology is: release new overpowered hero, let people buy it because they can’t stand losing, ???, nerf said hero, release a new one and repeat.
      – 1,7 milion users with a server already ruining, this is a free download after all, if only half of those users play pso2 this is already huge for pso2. I don’t think the % would be so hot for an international release, and the costs would be greater.
      – I use bluestacks for my secondary account.

    • Ayaya says:

      It’s funny because when Lara said about 99% of the user on that website wouldn’t touch a Western Version of the game, they pretty much hit the bullseye. Like a few people (very few) might touch it just to see how it is but then would just uninstall and jump right back onto there JP accounts lol
      If the game was localize from the start then yeah they could have done it but now it’s way too late now. Your just asking Sega to lose money if they released a Western Version now

      You don’t need a android phone to use PSO2es, there is a PC app called bluestacks that let you use PSO2es on your PC.

      This is called business, they can’t hand feed every single fan out there.

    • Zenohate says:

      1. Never played on a western server more than a week w/o being upset against management (but S4 servers where people used to be kind and nice)
      2. I think (can’t be sure) he meant it was fair yet not rewarding for the developers
      4. PS4 have special API, and NO DIRECTX. PSVita is an easier base. I am a dev, I can tell you they will not bother make a port for this, or if they do, they will start from scratch.
      5. You can use Play Store from any computer. It’s Google, not fort Knox. Play Store

    • I’m not seeing the process all that easy for ARC cash. From what I’m reading, the workaround is not explained in the game, and the workaround itself as one or two extra steps too many. You load money on the Play Store from any computer, but then you can only convert that money to ARC cash on PSO2es which is Android only, so either I need to own an Android phone or I need to download bluestacks and then download PSO2es and do it from there. From there, I then login to the game itself and use the money.

    • merritt says:

      did you know that 98.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

  8. I’m with you George. This has been a big disappointment, and likely a mistake for SEGA.

  9. NoirSuede says:

    It looks like the root of the problem is the fact that Sega’s branches just can’t work as a singular unit like say Squeenix, Sega of Japan is too busy focusing their in-house games for the Japanese market, while Sega of America is too busy wrangling Relic/Creative Assembly/Sports Interactive in order to try to capture the Western market.

    What Sega should do is to build better communications between branches like for example by holding a conference/party between Sega of Japan/America/Europe and their dev teams, with better communications between the branches Sega can work better as a singular unit, avoid a lot of the crap that caused them to drop out of the console wars in the first place (I’m talking to you Saturn), and most importantly produce more localizations of SoJ games for the West and SoA games for Japan.

  10. Bit, says:

    In Haruki Satomi’s statement, he did say that he apologised for the quality of there rushed game’s but also said that he can’t make a promise at this point; what question’s me is that they said “currently” about PSO2’s PS4 localisation so we will probably see Haruki Satomi talk about PSO2 and future game’s after TGS.

    Also,those Sega employees who talked about Yakuza 5 were probably pestered on social media service’s and has nothing to do with the project manager’s stance on the localisation of the game.

  11. MDashK says:

    I’ve been a daily-basis follower of SEGAbits and I’m a daily player on PSO2. Infact, PSO2 has been the only daily game I’ve played in the last year and a half. Yes, I play other games, I’m 28 years old, so I play a lot of other games, but PSO2 has been THE GAME for me for the past year and a half. I don’t think I’ve ever commented around here, since I usually am ” a crawler” around the websites I frequent… But…

    That said, let me share my points and opinions.
    And Yes, I believe there will be people that will read this and be like “BLAH BLAH BLAH YOU SUCK. BLAH BLAH BLAH THIS. BLAH BLAH BLAH THAT. BLAH BLAH BLAH YOUR OPINIONS ARE SH*T.” Know what? I don’t give a f*ck. Internet’s free. Freedom of speech FTW.

    First off, about the PSO-World users: Yes, I’m one of them.
    You have to take in attention that PSO-World has 2 typs of users: The ones that are simply childish and immature, and the ones that have more brain, are older, and of course, see life with a more mature way. And I think this applies to every community in the internet and/or world. That’s a fact.
    Now, for this example, let’s ignore the childish ones (since, those generally do not matter).
    The older and mature ones, I believe pretty much will probably have the same age as me, have played PSO in the Dreamcast, PC, etc (like me) and most probably DO play in the JP PSO2 servers, with or without “you-know-what” patch.
    When someone says “99% of traffic on that website is from players that would not touch a western server with a stick”, doesn’t really have the sense of reality of the situation.
    Let me put it this way: If SEGA comes up and say: “Hey, we have the US/EU servers ready for you. Will you play?”, most of them will say? “Ahm…. Nope… Sorry…”
    BUT: If SEGA comes up and says: “Hey, we have the US/EU servers ready for you, they are updated with the latest JP content, everything in English AND we will transfer your SAVE from the JP servers to these servers at your request. Will you play?” I believe (speculating here) probably around +50% of them would say “Sure! Why not? Everything is updated like JP and the save will be secure! So yeah!”.
    Again, this is my point of view, and this is my thought in this specific matter.
    And yes, I’m one of those that would think exactly like I described.
    Yes, I believe that SEGA should bring PSO2 to the West. English only. Forget the other languages. And no, I’m not english. But nowadays, not only in video-games but even in real life situations, you DO need english. Hell, even my GF did not understood english very well, and I helped her throughout the years and nowadays she understands and reads english in a decent way. So if you can’t understand english, like someone previously said: It’s your own fault. And if you’re only 18yo or younger, apply yourself to it, still plenty of time.
    But I also believe that SEGA should bring PSO2 to the West without ignoring the players that are already in the JP servers. Like the options I stated above. They should NOT force the players to move from the JP servers to the EU/NA servers, but give them the option. There are a lot of players that already have hundreds of JP friends in the servers! I think it should be something like “OK, you want to move? If not, we don’t care that you stay in the JP servers, HOWEVER, you won’t have Support in case you have problems.” Why, you ask? If you play the game, think a bit. Let’s go back to the ToS. Initially, the game ToS did not have anything stating about out of JP players. Nowadays, it’s stated in the ToS that players outside of JP are not allowed… And yet, no IP blocks are in place, and I’ve read somewhere that even the developers don’t care that outside of JP players play the game! Infact, they are glad that players outside of JP and enjoying the game… Let’s think about this a little. Why would the ToS change to something like this, just to not be applied in reality? The truth (as I think of it) is the following: I believe many and MANY of the people that work in SEGA Customer Support (that take care of issues in the game) do NOT understand english. And it’s understandable. Since in JP the english language it’s not that dominant to a lot of people. So, to avoid english players contacting the Customer care with issues written in english, and to avoid problems in communication, they added this like to the ToS to avoid such issues. It’s like saying: “Hey, we don’t care that you play the game. We are glad and we enjoy that you enjoy it. BUT, you are on your own…”. And I understand them for this.
    About the PS4 port, yes. They should release it in the EU and NA. Infact, AT LEAST, they should release it in the same time they would open up the servers, even if they ignore everything I’ve written above. Because, yes, the majority of the PS4 players are in the rest of the world. Not in JP. So, even if they didn’t do what I stated above, they would STILL make a huge profit from newcomers to the game. I mean: You can easily see the fiasco that Phantasy Star Nova was, and it was only released in JP (of course)… I believe that if Nova had been released worldwide, it would have doubled if not tripled it’s sales. So, yes, releasing the PS4 version outside of JP would have been a huge leap in profit for them. Even as a Digital-only title, I believe it would achieve this.
    About the ARKS Cash: Yes, I have spent money in game, multiple times, always used the Android Google Wallet system. And I give right to the article. It’s not user-friendly to have to rely on Android, being it hardware device or even bluestacks or similar, to get currency for a game you want to spend money on. For those more advanced users, liek myself, that doesn’t present big of a challenge, but for a conventional user, it’s out of questions. But, in this case, this is a direct issue that is also connected to the game being JP only. So basically: If you have the mind to get into the game that’s JP only, you of course will also have the mind to get ARKS cash using Android. Of course, there are those players that get into the game using a tutorial in Youtube, and then don’t spend a dimme int the game, or follow the tutorial so strongly, that they even use the Proxy regardless they neeeded or don’t… And then start having connection issues due to the proxy, but that’s another unrelated article…
    THe point is: It’s difficult to get ARKS cash, because we are outside of JP. If the game was on EU/NA servers, we would have an easy way to get ARKS cash. After all, SEGA would have to make sure of that, or else, they would not have any income from the game. At least not the major part of it.
    If the problem that SEGA JP is facing is communication and language barriers, one of the options they would have in translating JP to english, and since it’s not the first time they would have done this (you have the perfect example that happened with Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 Android, where they hired The Taxman and Stealth to make the wonderful job they did in the games) they could come in contact with the team that makes the EN patch of the game and contract them to translate the game into english. That would make sure that the game gets translated correctly, from players of the game to players of the game (because the passion of the game would be on both sides). They would be rid of the hassle of getting outside translation teams, or even get sh*tty translations like the SEA turned out to be. That said, if SEGA wanted, it could easily achieve a JP>ENG translation of the game.
    And regarding the voice-acting: everyone prefers japanese voice-acting in anime. And this game is directly connected with anime. So everyone (at least majority of people) would still prefer it in japanese instead of english voice-acting.
    @Unconcerned: It’s not about women or sharing. It’s about business and profit for SEGA.
    Final comment: I think we should start a petition for Sony’s Third Party Program team to ask them to port the game over to EU/NA. Maybe they will listen like they did for Yakuza 5. Who knows…

    • Ayaya says:

      tl;dr all of it, ofc maybe 30% of the people on the JP version would want to play the West version if it was up to date, “if”, most likely the game will not be up to date because look at the SEA version. Also if the game was up to date (in which it won’t) I don’t think that would be good business for them since they have to release everything thing at once which will just shorten the life span of the West version. Look at every other rpg or mmo game release out in the West late, do you see most of them being up to date. One example is Elsword, it’s not a JP game (Korean game) but still a game that was release late into the West, the NA version is like 1 or 2 years behind.

      I think it’s hilarious that you are using the words “immature” “childish” “old” and “mature” to describe the users and yourself just to state your point. Using age and mentality as a argument (lol) Just makes your post look unreliable.

    • MDashK says:

      “I think it’s hilarious that you are using the words “immature” “childish” “old” and “mature” to describe the users and yourself just to state your point. Using age and mentality as a argument (lol) Just makes your post look unreliable.”

      – Needless comment. You just reinforced what I stated.

    • Ayaya says:

      “– Needless comment. You just reinforced what I stated.”

      I think you’re just in denial now because that did not reinforced anything, you think people are going to trust what you are saying after you talking about age and mentality, just make you seem like the immature one.

      People like you are just greedy and don’t think from Sega perspective. “oh please localize this and that”

      They could have released a West version from the start but they didn’t and waited too long, they know that if they released it this late, not many people will be playing it since they WILL be on the JP version. So stop trying to look educated and just look at the facts.

      Who cares about ARK Cash being a bit hard to get, also who cares if people rely on Android or IPhones to buy it, even if they released it in the West, not that many people would be spending money on the Version. Who wants to spend money on a game that is going to be years behind when you can get the item that isn’t on there now, Example for this is the SEA version. New players that always wanted the game to officially English went to the SEA version and spent money on ARK Cash, then they found out the game was years behinds and regretted that decision.

    • MDashK says:

      It seems I have to be a bit more specific with you… Not to say the worse…
      When I stated the difference in age-groups of PSO World, in my comment, you can CLEARLY see that it was used to separate, like stated, a mature part of the community that understands the videogame world for a couple of years now, from a group of 13-14-15 years old group that has no idea YET of the world of videogaming at it’s fullest. Also, used to separate a group that lived the Dreamcast/GameCube and PSO1 era in it’s greatness from a group that probably played it for a few hours, if so.
      YOU, in defending that group with hands and teeth like you did, for some unknown reason, just automatically applied yourself to said group, again, for no known reason… Specificaly: I have NO IDEA why you are defending said group of people… It implies that you are part of it…

      Greedy? No. I just want to give my money to a company that doesn’t seem to care about it’s franchise. Yes, I give it anyway, because I have the know-how for it. But it’s not conventional to most players out there. Ask to localize something is not being greedy, is wanting the company to expand and profit itself.

      Yes, there WILL be a lot of people that will play it. You just think it won’t because you are simply thinking about the people tha already know about the game AND the people that play in the JP servers. There are MILLIONS of people out there that don’t know about the game and WOULD play it in it’s FULL IF the game was to be released in EU/NA. Also included in this group are the players that KNOW the game exists, but refuse tu play in JP servers due to language barriers.
      The facts are: Casual players DO COUNT. Example: An EU player has a PS4. And the game is released. He sees: “Oh! A new game!” and downloads it. It likes the games. It plays the game. It spends money in the game. And so on. This multiplied by MILLIONS of players. Now you get the picture?

      Has I stated: ARKS Cash, for us, is now “hard” to get (and notice hard in “”, because you can easily get using Bluestacks) because it’s not pointed to casual players OUTSIDE OF JP. Has I stated, of course, SEGA would have to make it casual and easy for players to get ARKS cash in the NA/EU servers. Example: Using PayPal or a direct credit card, like the Nintendo eShop uses, to get ARKS cash. That would be super easy, IF they were to release te game in US/EU. Basically: It’s only hard to get ARKS cash BECAUSE you are outside of JP. That’s it.

      A lot of people WOULD spend a lot of money in the game, SPECIALLY the new comers to the game (as stated above).
      THOSE new comers WOULD NOT feel the game YEARS behind, because they are NEWCOMERS. (Again, you are only thinking about those that already KNOW the game, and most of them play in the JP servers).
      And the players that went to the SEA version: Those are a SUPER minority. Keep that in mind.

      It’s all about money…

    • merritt says:

      SEGA must be pretty bad then as Blizzard manages to keep all WoW games up to date across a more than dozen languages in Australia/New Zealand, from America/Canada/South America, and all of Europe as well as Asia.

    • George says:

      The PSO-World comment was more to show that there is still a dedicated fanbase in the West, regardless of how SEGA of America and Europe has ignored the franchise for over half a decade. Not really saying that they will play the new game. I don’t know every single visitor and their thoughts that visit that site.

    • Damon says:

      How can you play PSO2 when you are in the west?

  12. tara says:

    Let me put it this way: If SEGA comes up and say: “Hey, we have the US/EU servers ready for you. Will you play?”, most of them will say? “Ahm…. Nope… Sorry…”
    BUT: If SEGA comes up and says: “Hey, we have the US/EU servers ready for you, they are updated with the latest JP content, everything in English AND we will transfer your SAVE from the JP servers to these servers at your request. Will you play?” I believe (speculating here) probably around +50% of them would say “Sure! Why not? Everything is updated like JP and the save will be secure! So yeah!”.

    That amount of “IF” is not only unrealistical but also unreasonable. It’s almost as saying these people would switch servers if pigs fly…

    First, it would be unfair, imagine a new server, with new players, and a bunch of elite players with all classes maxed and clothes/hairstyles/accessories they don’t have access to, not to talk what would happen if equipment and meseta was also transferable, the economy would be destroyed in a day to a degree new players could only wish to have access to certain items (exactly what happens in SEA, you either buy meseta to a gold farmer or you can forget about certain things).

    Asking for all fashion items on day one on a new server… I don’t think it’s even possible, what would you do? 100 different scratches? a scratch with five thousand items? would you really put your money on a scratch like that expecting to get lucky? no, fashion items is the only thing that CAN’T be on day one, but on a regular basis and for a limited time, like the JP server does, since it’s what gives them the money.

    And in the hypothetical case, against all odds all that was possible… no one who has played PSU would believe the last part. No, Japan would NOT delay an update because the western version didn’t make it in time, they would release the JP as scheduled, and the western update the next week, and then you have a week delay, later two weeks, later two months… and you end 15 months behind in content like the PSU servers did.

    Not to mention, transferring your character to a different server would mean you are shortening its life, since the last server to stand will always be the Japanese one.

    • Play Megadrive says:

      Entriely disagree mate, I was an Elder Scrolls Online player on PC, mainly because they delayed the Xbox One release, when the XBONE version was ready they gave anyone the option to swop over and i did with a master level maxed out character. The economy was never destroyed and the game was just as good if not better than before as new people had experienced players to learn from (i often grouped with new players as dungeons scaled to their level to help them learn and get practice) and the PVP arena is scaled so everyone is equal (the play is based on skill and tactics not level) so switching PSO2 players on JP to EU would not affect the economy of a game in any way.

  13. Blues says:

    While I do think they should bring this game over in some capacity, I don’t think it would do well in the US at all. The game has a number of serious gameplay issues and would be reviewed very poorly. Without good word of mouth, a game like this would be doomed from the start.

  14. wiz says:

    I’m glad Segabits are starting to see what’s actually happening to Sega.
    For long time Sega America has seen Sega fans and their legacy as just a burden more than a richness, that’s why we are here with no games and those fools celebrating for Halo Wars 2 “woohoo we don’t have to make marketing, Microsoft will do for us”

    • Hitrax says:

      Interesting perspective, Sega’s very existence is a burden to them, as their existence is where it based on it’s past glories, the very things that got them where they are today, and the complete incompetent and feckless morons at Sega West, view them as nothing more than a burden, the very things that made Sega what it is.
      I’ve said this elsewhere, that this is why you know Sega is down than up, when you realise that Sega’s fans are the only remnant of the real Sega left, the Sega that was once great and was a global icon.

    • Matt says:

      They do a lot of interesting stuff still today. Check their YouTube channel. For instance, their Orbi museum with BBC Earth:

      https://i.ytimg.com/vi/QnyDxhod5yo/mqdefault.jpg

      or recent games like Wonderland Wars, 7th Dragon, Pirates of the War, Let’s Go Island, their Joypolis arcades, Hatsune Miku, Initial D, etc.

    • Matt says:

      Sorry, copied image url instead of link address:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnyDxhod5yo

    • wiz says:

      Exactly, the Sega legacy survive only thanks to the Sega fans and some (poor) efforts from Sega Japan.
      Sega West is trying to destroy this legacy since Simon Jeffery days, still they don’t understand that trying to be something else than SEGA is what brought them here, to the path of epic failures and irrelevance.

      How those idiots can mantain their jobs after years of failures is something that amaze me.

  15. Matt says:

    I thought for sure Nova would eventually get an announcement. Was really surprising when it didn’t. Oh well..

  16. SuperSonicEX says:

    Fascinating article George, you bring up some good points…though the last one hurts a bit because it seems true coming from SoA.

    Thoughts on the upcoming TGS announcement? do you expect maybe a change, not necessarily for PSO2 but perception in general?

  17. Ben Burnham says:

    I’m surprised to see so many people supporting a company’s refusal to release an anticipated game in their region.

    How many games a year does SEGA localize? Incredibly few. I don’t believe that localizing an MMO with very little story would break the bank for them whatsoever.

    And hell the game would likely have attracted a decent bit of attention on the PS4, which currently really doesn’t have much on the market for this type of audience.

  18. SkyBlue says:

    “At this point, Sony has shown more love for SEGA’s in-house Japanese franchises than SEGA as a whole.”

    What about Nintendo with Bayonetta 2? They didn’t have to add that game into the Platinum package but they did.

    I applaud the article mostly, but it did go off topic with Yakuza despite being an example of how badly SEGA manage their games.

    I always thought that SoA were incompetent lazy arses. Had a bad experience with one when I mentioned the site needed some improvement (in a nice way).

    To be honest, SEGA either have to buck up and realise some of their decisions are foolish trying to catch that Japanese PC Crowd, or shut up and go into irrelevancy.

    I love SEGA, but if they want to make bad decisions, that’s on their head. I will buy whatever great game they make but I will also pass judgement if I feel they’re not doing a good job with their brand.

    • Hitrax says:

      People who talk about Sega’s troubled past often make the statement that “Sega was their own worst enemy”, it seems some things never change and I think even the most ardent optimist, must be beginning to see this by now.

  19. Damon says:

    It’s simple, Sega are retarded, it’s been conclusively proven for years, ever since the 32X.

  20. Chaotixhero says:

    And yet everybody cares about this crap and not the puyo puyo series………games like PSO2 even do good in the US anyway so what’s the point?

    • MDashK says:

      I totally agree with you… It’s a shame what they are doing with the Puyo Puyo series… If not for some fan translations in the DS versions… Maybe it’s not to late for Puyo Puyo Tetris… Who knows…

  21. Hitrax says:

    You know Sega’s went downhill big time when you realise that Sega fans are the last remnants of the real true Sega that once was, and that a Sega fan can be better relied upon and trusted to re-make Sega back to the greatness they once were, rather than the actual mediocre Sega that we have to put up with today.

    Sega barely exists in the Western world anymore, I wonder why they even bother?
    Why not just completely shut down their western operations and and let third parties handle the rare international releases they actually bother with, it must be costing them more money to ran the western HQs than they generate by now – seeing as they do next to bugger all now.

    It seems Sega will never rise again, they are far too out of touch with reality now, and not even a month after the son of the CEO gave that speech of their miserable 10 year track record, they’ve already gone and done this, their first big mistake already, they are simply just prolonging their inevitable demise, why not just get it over with if it’s going to happen anyway, better sooner than later.

    I can say I know a fair bit about business and the value in the heritage of the old Sega at the same time, and Sega’s management is shockingly weak, mediocre, unaccountable, un-responsible and un-reliable, it seems that Sega cannot get these two traits together done right, good business and the understanding of the value of their brand and heritage – at least as it once was.

    As I mentioned earlier, it’s like pulling teeth, fans shouldn’t have to keep pressuring them to release the things they want, it’s supposed to be Sega’s job and responsibility to supply demand where ever demand is, and part of that is in being able to analyse market trends and capitalise on them, that’s the first law of economics, ‘Supply and Demand’, and this current Sega is so out of touch with even this very basic understanding.

    Even before then, I remember in ’05, it was a struggle to even get them to give Outrun 2 a western console release, I remember they got a bit of hate for it in the publications that were covering it, they eventually caved into demand, but the point is, it’s like pulling teeth, fans shouldn’t have to keep pressuring them to get what they want to give Sega money for.

    Well, can only waited with baited breath at what they have planned, and this years TGS, I’m not going to expect the best given the track record, but hopefully it wont be too disappointing.

  22. fernandeath says:

    I agree with the ones who flamed Sega

  23. Ben says:

    “PSO2 has more cutscenes and more hours of voiced chat than most Yakuza games.”

    So still less than your average JRPG, then.

  24. Fredrik says:

    I am a player living in sweden who in my lifetime have purchased with real money the following phantasy star games. Phantasy star 2, 2copies for megadrive, phantasy star 3 generations of doom. Phantasy star blue burst. Subscription, played until end. Phantasy star 2 for game boy advanced. Phantasy star universe for xbox. They where all english games, had no problem understanding any of them. Of course i played the other games too, but i did not purchase them. If sega brings this game to EU, i will purchsse it. Im a sucker of these games and are really ddisappointed with sega tactics and speeches. This game would be perfect for PS4. I hope they understand how big a hole in the market phantasy star is. I dont think translating the game would cost so much, i sincerely think it would pay off in the end. And if sega does not bring Phantasy star to eu and america, they will loose alot of the customer base from their neglect. Im 34 years old , and i dont buy sonic racing games from my paycheck.

  25. Anonymous says:

    As someone who actually plays on the JP servers, no localization is a GOOD thing.
    If they had released a short while after the Japanese release, it’d have been fine. But the current issue is that we are almost four years out of date. That is a whopping four years of content, and given how lax Sega has been about foreigners in their game, I’d rather they not have a reason to ban us.

  26. Fredrik says:

    Recently when the top dogs took courage and claimed responsability for the past failure towards SEGA customers around the world. And promised us a new era of change towards customers of SEGA products.
    well…. not much has happened with the “we want to regain your trust”.
    so perhaps, at tokyo game show coming up. midway through september. someone could speak up about this. preferably an official statement.
    i do hope they will change. SEGA must change or perish because they can not.

  27. Fredrik says:

    At the tokyo game show, nothing was unveiled. Allthough new news to me is that the english version was allready translated 100%. It was however completed more than half a year ago. So there is probably just a board of directors decision that voted this down in the 20 million units plus ps4 business outside japan. Since translating is not an issue with a full translate allready complete. There is only Sega not wanting or believing in this product that is standing in the way of a us/eu release. Alien Isolation for xb1 will be my last Sega support.

  28. Mollusk says:

    All they need to do is take the existing English patch, apply it to the game, put the game on Steam as “Early Access” as they work on the English voice-overs. Then everyone will be happy.

    Seriously, out of all the F2P MMOs you can’t find right now, PSO2 actually looks exciting and worth playing. If Sega can just do some simple research and ask western gamers what they think, I am sure the response will over overwhelmingly positive. Instead, Sega just pretends like they already know the game won’t do well in the west. So some research Sega, just do it! Put up a silly poll on your website or post one on your Facebook page (they have a facebook page right?). Then and only then will you know for sure Sega, who your audience is and which products of yours they are interested in.

    Get your heads out of the sand and look for the best ways to make money from th games which you put so much effort into making.

  29. Gamers Unite says:

    Thanks for the Detailed Article and info Pointing stuff out. It’s Appriciated for Disappointed Fans, myself being one of them.

    Will be Sharing on FB, and telling Friends to Pass it on and to Share Article Link As Well. Much Love

  30. Kevin says:

    Just get a router that will support a vpn and play the damn game. GG.

  31. Fredrik says:

    Of course i have played the game PSO2 by now. But it is far from working good. Especially the english version not being SEGAs interest to maintain and patch. What i liked with phantasy star 1, phantasy star 2, phantasy star 3 generations of doom, phantasy star 4 the end of the millenium, the gba advanced collection of phantasy star, the phantasy star online for gamecube ,dreamcast. and later xbox and the version2. phantasy star universe, phantasy star universe; ambition of the illuminus and the phantasy star blue burst for pc, was that they where english. But then again having purchased these games surely proves there is no economic interest in Phantasy Star abroad. By the beard of zeus, i named my first electric guitar …..Nei…..

  32. ASTRICH says:

    Sega is by no means the only company to look down at overwhelming groups of people asking for a localization of a game as “whiny”. I say this as an emphatic MOTHER series fan, after all 😉

  33. Werewolf1423 says:

    so what are the chances of a actual release of Phantasy star online?

  34. Elerdamn says:

    now?: NONE

  35. Keiichi says:

    Yeah, SEGA is dumb and lazy. They make money so everything is fine, making an effort to quite possibly make more money would mean they have to get off their asses so they don’t bother.

    Playing the Japanese version it’s obvious and every single update it’s obvious that SEGA is copping out, adding a few shallow hotfixes for the currently most popular issues and adding some more fancy costumes or accessories or stuff.

    Like, Japanese players complain about a lot of things, but from all of it they pick things like minor menu issues or tiny balance fixes that have almost no impact. But stuff like this shortly mollifies the playerbase so they get by and never even touch the real issues.

    Likewise there are so many missed opportunities for them to make more money but doing things a bit differently but no one at SEGA ever thinks about it. Anyone can see potential in things they don’t do and the problems with what they actually do except SEGA themselves.

    For example they introduced something great, doing scratch a certain amount of times gets you untradeable accessories and stuff, so there’s a real incentive to do it.
    But often there are no nice rewards for doing scratch but instead you get commonplace items that you can also get by playing an hour or so, but SEGA thinks they work as incentive for people to spend 5000 yen.

    And PSO2 works cause of collabs making people buy a lot of scratch with real money, this wouldn’t work in the west but Sega refuses to bring the game to the west instead of simply changing the business model.
    Paid subscription works around the world if the game is good enough, like FFXIV demonstrates.
    SEGA could release PSO2 in the west with a monthly fee and give players the features you have to buy premium set to get in the Japanese version.

    But instead they don’t even try.

    SEGA is a big and old company and you’d really expect them to know what they are doing but many of their decision are objectively dumb and don’t benefit themselves, let alone their fanbase.

  36. Oreno says:

    Saw this article on twitter, and after reading months after the first time I read it, I thought I should share my thoughts.

    I’ve played PSO2 on JP servers since the official launch, I love this game, and I’ve loved the series since the Dreamcast. I’ve played every title and gone abck to play the classic series and spinoffs, this is one of my top favorite game franchises.

    Am I disappointed there was no western release? Not really. I played PSU on PS2, and I remember how boring it got, as well as the lack of content on western servers and they fell farther and farther behind. I do not trust Sega of America to properly handle this game. I don’t blame them, they’re not a huge group, I lived near their former San Francisco headquarters, and now I live just a few cities over from their Southern California headquarters. They’re just not capable of handling this sort of project. On the other hand, I remember when Phantasy Star Portable 2 was released in the west, Sega did an AMAZING job localizing it, I loved the voice acting, everything was great, I feel like it was definitely worth the money. HOWEVER, what killed the game was western fans themselves. Within days cheating and hacking was rampant, Sega admitted to issues of too many pirated copies, all while JP servers had none of it (I had imported the JP version as well as the Infinity expansion). I honestly cannot blame Sega for denying the west the release of Inifnity, the fans themselves ruined the one time Sega did everything right, it really stung me as a fan and consumer. Sega went above and beyond and even managed to keep a lot of the anime collaboration items that would have been cut, and they had tons of item codes they planned to release to the community over time, but of course, hackers got all the codes and released them within the first month of release.

    This even spilled into PSO2, in the early years, when “Ship 2” was becoming the unofficial “foreigner” server, two hackers started moving NPCs out of bounds, so no one could do Client Orders or Quests, and even started teleporting players themselves all to “test” their hacks. You can bet the blame fell on western fans for a time. DESPITE that, Satoshi Sakai, the producer, refused to IP ban foreign connections. Later on, Sega was on the receiving end of a massive DDoS, and they STILL refused to place an IP blocked, as they said “Blocking foreign fans fixes nothing”. The only IP ban in place is of the SEA region, which only exists because the companies running the SEA version of the game asked for it. The JP PSO2 team has been tremendously sympathetic with western players, and really only list “no service outside of Japan” in their ToS for legal reasons.

    I think, in general from previous experience, the current situation with PSO2 is the most ideal. Had SoA released a western server, we’d likely be tremendously behind in content and have terrible service, and not necessarily because they don’t care. Our current situation is playing on JP servers, having all content as it’s released, and simply having a relationship where as long as you don’t cause problems, no one minds that you’re playing.

    On the topic of the amount of players, PSO2 was actually Sega of Japan’s biggest profit makers in the past few years, and they recently celebrated having 120k+ concurrent connections to the servers this past May, and was celebrating several million registered Japanese accounts as well. The game is doing fine, in all honesty.

    As a side note, PSO-World is definitely full of people who would probably never play as western release, especially now more than ever. Since the end of the PSU era in the west, the site has become somewhat of an elitist circlejerk, which I’m guilty of being a part of, admittedly. I wouldn’t count on anyone on that site to want to play an english release, trust me on this. If Sega released the game in the west and bet on the current western community playing, they’d be at a tremendous loss. I’ve been on the site since the PSO days, it’s changed as a community. I’ve also seen arguments about censorship and “SJW” stopping localization, and I’ve said before, that has nothing to do with this game, I honestly don’t think those arguments have ever had any real seriousness in any regard, but I can assure you it’s definitely irrelevant for PSO2.

    • Oreno says:

      Would also like to mention that I’ve played the game all these years without modifying my connection with proxies or VPNs, all from California. You don’t need a VPN or proxy to play the game unless there’s issues with your ISP or you’re located in SEA, so if anyone wants to try the game for themselves, please do! It’s definitely a more casual game now, but it’s fun. Ship 2 has the most english speaking players, but any server is fine for the most part, not many Japanese players mind foreigners unless you’re obvious trouble or a leech, I even regularly play with Japanese friends I’ve made in the game, when time zone differences permit.

      There’s also all sorts of tools available to make installing english patches and proxies easier if you need them, I prefer to play without any modifications out of personal preference, but it’s no hassle at all if you need them.

  37. pyroromancer says:

    Singapore have a English “localized” version of pso2. They butchered “Force” and translated it to “Wizard” class. Its utterly retarded when the Japanese version itself phonetically call Force “Force.”

    Also Sakai the game producer is known for anti-american stance. He’s tweeted his appearance at anti-american protests throughout Japan.

  38. Fredrik says:

    Its still a hassle. I suggest boycott of SEGA until the world is welcome to play this, as equals. In its entirity, to the extent of all contracts and commitments. From one area prioritized to others being exluded, no more. Games are not made to exclude, and a massively multiplayer that does just that. Is just outright wrong. This ‘western fans’ talk is excluding whole continents of people, because they are stupid, annoying and not welcome. I will not pay Sega a dime until they do what the CEO promised SEGA fans. -We are sorry, we will not exclude anyone anymore, we will listen to the fans…….my opinion is just a person. But i have played and paid for more than 10 phantasy star games. I matter, i care, and will not stay quiet.

  39. justnoone says:

    its dead the entire west movement is dead everyone who was so hyped about it is now died the hype is gone sega killed it and thats what there franchise will be in the next couple of years from now is dead because its time for sega company to retire and a new company to take over

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