In a somewhat surprising move, Microsoft has decided not to publish Phantom Dust in the US and Canada. "Microsoft Game Studios has decided to not publish Phantom Dust for North America," said the publisher in a one-paragraph statement issued to GameSpot.
Since it was displayed at last year's Tokyo Game Show, where GameSpot saw it up close, troubled rumors have surrounded Phantom Dust's development. However, many industry watchers had assumed that its status as Microsoft Game Studios Japan's premier project would guarantee a release in the US.
Microsoft did confirm that the postapocalyptic Xbox action game would be available to Japanese gamers by the end of 2004. "Phantom Dust is scheduled for release in Japan later this year," said a Microsoft representative.