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Feature Article

Xbox One's Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Not An Exclusive In The West - E3 2019

Phil Spencer is just excited to work with Sega again.

Among the surprises that Microsoft had in store its E3 2019 press conference was Phantasy Star Online 2. Years after its release in Japan, the game will finally launch in North America. And while its presence on Microsoft's stage at E3 assured us an Xbox One release is in the but Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed the game will arrive on other platforms--although whether that means PS4, Nintendo Switch, or something else remains to be seen..

Spencer sat down with Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann to talk about Xbox's presence at E3 2019. The nearly 50-minute interview saw the two chat about the excitement surrounding the MMO's Western reveal. "I'm not trying to say this is because of me but I said [to Sega], 'You know, so many of the constructs in today's online console games were born in Phantasy Star and 90 percent of the gamers today don't know what a Phantasy Star Online is,'" Spencer told Gerstmann.

The Western Localization trailer revealed during E3 2019, above, announces that Phantasy Star Online 2 will finally make its way to North America. And while Spencer couldn't confirm whether the game will appear in other regions like Europe and the Middle East because "Sega's ultimately responsible for it," he did say the game isn't console exclusive. "Yes, it will end up on all platforms."

There's no specification on what "all platforms" means, and Gerstmann didn't press for clarification on this statement, but Spencer is certain the MMO will not just be exclusive to the Xbox family. Spencer "happens to have a soft spot" for Phantasy Star Online, believes "it can be a meaningful franchise," and is just excited to work with Sega again.

Phantasy Star Online 2 will arrive sometime in Spring 2020.

More E3 news:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

jeribear

jeremy winslow

freelance news writer for gamespot. if not searching for the newest thing you've probably never heard of, i'm usually skating or playing guitar. catch me on instagram and twitter: @_pbnjer

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Avatar image for snugglebear
snugglebear

I remember seeing Phantasy Star games as a kid, but Ive never played one. Maybe they were only on Sega systems back then?

Avatar image for rolento25
Rolento25

@snugglebear: Yes, they were only on Sega back in the day.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@rolento25: The Dreamcast says hello. SEGA!

Online
Avatar image for rickjamesia
rickjamesia

I saw this game first-hand something like a decade ago in an early alpha/beta and then later played the Japanese version. I wonder how in the world it took them this long and as much as I liked previous Phantasy Star Online titles, I don't think I'm even interested anymore. Hopefully they'll realize when it doesn't do well that it's not because of lack of interest, but because they were too ridiculously slow in getting the game out there. I'm not sure if I trust them to realize that and act more quickly if there's ever a third (fourth? fifth?) title.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

But what the hell took Sega so long?

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dragoonmike

if it's not a Exclusive then it's not xbox's ones Phantasy Star Online 2.

Avatar image for Terrorantula
Terrorantula

It's weird how this generation panned out, three competitors that ended up fighting different wars. Nintendo are ARM based, they're combating portable gaming, Microsoft are just focusing on services, they just want you to play games using their servers. Sony are the only ones who are doing the traditional Home Console with the big AAA Blockbuster, but also VR... Microsoft could do it with the Xbox One X and Mixed Reality, but they never did :/ Weird.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@Terrorantula: AR is pretty cool, but it seems to be better suited to practical use rather than gaming. I'm more surprised MS hasn't jumped on the VR train yet. Their OS should allow for support of any kind of open VR set and the next gen of consoles should be able to handle it better.

Avatar image for rickjamesia
rickjamesia

@Barighm: The confusing thing here is that "Mixed Reality" is not actually AR. It's just Microsoft's VR standard/platform for Windows 10. They have their own AR headset, Hololens, but it's uncertain whether they will actually ever have an actual consumer version at any point in the future. Right now, they're intending it for businesses and are already on to their second generation without a consumer version being announced.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Imo,the more plattforms,the better. Crossplay comes to my mind as i think Pso2 needs all plattform to remain a healthy playerbase.

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Carpetfluff

Wow, they sure as shit tried to make it sound like one on the day.

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Barighm

@Carpetfluff: lol Don't tell that to some of the people around here. They somehow didn't notice.

Avatar image for aross2004
aross2004

@Barighm: Because most people recognized that it was not a MS exclusive, (as evidenced by the fact that MS did not in any way sound the trumpets that it was an XBOX exclusive).

So obvious.

Online
Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Carpetfluff: Like Sony announced Shenmue 3?

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@sladakrobot: To be fair, Sony helped fund the game, so it's kind of a surprise that it isn't an exclusive.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Barighm: nah,MS helped many games launching which endet up on other plattforms later on. This felt the same just the devs wasnt allowed to speak out. I remember Yu Suzuki was asked about the Xbox version and his answer was :"What do you think?".

Avatar image for Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@sladakrobot: Not really. Didn't come across like they would be the only place to play it. It was on their stage because they'd helped with some initial funding.

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sladakrobot

@Carpetfluff: yeah,and noone from the devs was allowed to speak about other versions until recently.

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Reznik00

I don't understand why this particular title would even be used, Microsoft didn't show off one single exclusive nor do they make them anymore. And no, before someone says something incredibly ignorant like 'console exclusive' or 'Microsoft exclusive', a game being on a different platform destroys that far reaching failure of an argument. Super Mario Bros. If a 'Nintendo exclusive' and yet it's available on every single Nintendo machine except Virtual Boy and N64. Exclusives are a necessary and wonderful thing in gaming, if you don't understand why then take some time to think about it.

As for the game itself, easily the biggest surprise of MS' E3 and one of the very few great moments for them. They had an absolutely awful E3 otherwise.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@reznik00: Someone else not sharing your narrow definition of the term exclusive does not make it a failure of an argument. If I can't play it on PlayStation or Nintendo, it's exclusive or at least playing the part. Let's call it exclusive's stunt double if it makes you feel better. In the end, you have to buy a Microsoft product to play it. Without a Microsoft product, you cannot play it. Sounds exclusive to me.

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stage4saiyan

@reznik00: So Bloodborne isn't exclusive then? I can play it on PC.

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Thanatos2k

@stage4saiyan: No you can't. It's still being played on a PS4.

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stage4saiyan

@Thanatos2k: I play it on my computer. I use my computer to play it. It's on my computer.

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Thanatos2k

@stage4saiyan: It's not. It's being streamed to your computer? You know this too?

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Rolento25

@Thanatos2k: Still playing it on PC.

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Thanatos2k

@rolento25: That's like launching a cloud computing job and saying you're running it on your PC.

Avatar image for DarqStalker
DarqStalker

@reznik00: Disagree with the awful comment. Although I understand your view on it, since you seem to hold exclusives as the most important thing in gaming. Exclusives are just 1 peg in the multi-faceted industry of gaming. While they are great and needed, doesn't necessarily move the industry forward and doesn't evolve anything.

Bring on xCloud, bring on Gamepass on PC (my game backlog grew 100+), playing games I never would have thought twice about. I'm spending more time on PC and Xbox playing these games. That's the point if you haven't realized that by now. The player engagement is high and the cost of entry is perfect. Bring on BC so I can play all my generations of games on one box, without the need to pay extra. There's just so much going on. Then, when all these studios MS acquired finally finish their games, there'll be more exclusives.

Avatar image for G-Corleone
G-Corleone

@DarqStalker: disagree with your disagreement. MS presentation was awful for me too. In fact, it was horrendous.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@G-Corleone: They showed 60 games, a new elite controller and announced a new console. How is that in anyway horrendous? If you think that is horrendous, I'd love to get your take on Sony's men with hats and musical instruments E3 2018. You know, the one where the entire audience had to get up half way through and move to another venue so they could change the ambience for the men in hats with musical instruments? That was truly an example of a bad E3. Microsoft's E3 may not have been one for the ages but there was nothing bad about it. It was OK. Quit being such a drama queen. Horrendous. Yeah right.

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

@reznik00: "Exclusives are a necessary and wonderful thing in gaming"
Wow, that's very wrong. They are no longer necessary for gaming, except to push platform sales and it's certainly has never been wonderful to force gamers into an ecosystem just to play a game.

And besides, why would MS care to make a true exclusive (like you think they need to)? They have software sales on more than 1 platform...

Avatar image for G-Corleone
G-Corleone

@m4a5: you talk like you dont know about console wars or consumer demand/appeal in the industry. If you dont like exclusives thats super perfectly fine, but dont ignore the main logic of what drives business. You literally said they help push sales. What?

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m4a5

@G-Corleone: Whaaaaaat?

Avatar image for decadentdescent
DecadentDescent

@m4a5: Exclusives will always be around. For them not to be, you'd have to expect a platform holder to never make games for their system, and that is never going to happen, even if your name is Microsoft.

Exclusives are good for the industry. They give platform differentiation and are some of the best pieces of software on the market due to their competitive nature.

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

@decadentdescent: I'm not saying they won't be (I already said their main purpose is pushing platform sales), but for gamers they don't need to be anymore (and they don't do much good for this mainstream industry anymore). Software should sell itself based on it's own merits, not because you are forced to go a certain route.

Basically, let's not go the route of movie streaming (where they're doing the opposite and you need more than 1 sub for movies you like), lets let the best games/software win instead of screwing the customers.

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G-Corleone

@m4a5: what?

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@m4a5: Exclusives will always be a part of the landscape of gaming...just accept it. 1. The reason exclusives exist is really incentive to buy a particular platform. If the exclusives didnt exist there would be no reason to buy Sony consoles for instance. Same with Nintendo.

That being said. To say that Microsoft doesnt need exclusives is ass backwards imo because whats KILLING Microsoft right now is lack of exclusive games on their platform. Theres no game library incentive to buy an Xbox when most of their "exclusives" come to Pc also. Pc is a superior platform with no paywall to play games online too. That plus they keep announcing new consoles more than a year from when they are going to release them killing their current Xbox sales potential. I think Microsoft since 8th gen has had their heads in their asses. I do hope they somehow get their shit together one day.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@IanNottinghamX: Microsoft is in a slow retreat back towards the PC, which is where they should have been putting all their resources in all along. They inexplicably drank the "PC gaming is dead" kool aid and it turned out to be untrue, which was a massive blunder for a company where the majority of company revenue comes from keeping Windows the de facto operating systems for PC.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@IanNottinghamX: Which is exactly why MS is focusing so much on services. It's so much easier and convenient to pay a few bucks and gain full access to the core Xbox library, and clearly other people agree because Game Pass sales are skyrocketing. Did you know they put Sunset Overdrive on Game Pass PC? I thought I'd never be able to play that game.

Avatar image for G-Corleone
G-Corleone

@IanNottinghamX: totally agree. 1000%

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

@IanNottinghamX: Oh, so accept something negative that fragments gamers because you said so... no thanks.

And no duh! I know why it has existed so far. Most games don't need to be locked on 1 platform anymore. It is not good for gamers, and is unnecessary unless it has unique hardware limitations.

"whats KILLING Microsoft right now is lack of exclusive games on their platform"

Amazing, every word that you just said.. was wrong.

MS is doing fine. They have Xbox and PC. And I'll repeat this you didn't understand from my previous comment: They have software sales on more than 1 platform (aka Xbox and PC).

It doesn't take a genius to know that as long as they can sell software on a platform (aka Xbox and PC), they are making money. Heck, they're even getting software sales on the Switch.

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@m4a5:

"Oh, so accept something negative that fragments gamers because you said so... no thanks.

And no duh! I know why it has existed so far. Most games don't need to be locked on 1 platform anymore. It is not good for gamers, and is unnecessary unless it has unique hardware limitations."

This is the most moronic statement you can make. Locked on 1 platform that's the Console makers choice to make their own exclusives not yours or anyone's(arguing otherwise is absurd). Its GREAT for gaming because it stimulates competition and competition is good for gaming. When theres no competition that's when these companies screw gamers over with what ever tactics necessary to rip you off from your money. You can even see it happening with 3rd parties. The customer is the most important factor in the whole picture not how much money a company makes. I could give 2 shits about that when I want my games to come from a consumer friendly environment. Not the one your talking about.

"MS is doing fine. They have Xbox and PC. And I'll repeat this you didn't understand from my previous comment: They have software sales on more than 1 platform (aka Xbox and PC).

It doesn't take a genius to know that as long as they can sell software on a platform (aka Xbox and PC), they are making money. Heck, they're even getting software sales on the Switch."

Microsoft has fell off the wagon in 8th gen. They arent producing much in terms of exclusive groundbreaking titles like they did back with the Xbox 360. This whole nonsense theyre doing sharing the few games they do get with Pc(and I mean hey I have no issue with that tbh as a gaming Pc owner) gives people 0 incentive(like i said in my last response) to buy any Xbox console since if you just want to play 3rd party games theres better incentive on Ps4 or Pc. And Like I said above, The consumer is most important. I want good games to succeed but lets be real how many people care about numbers and data of a company. I can give a shit about how much game sales do as long as the quality of what Im playing is high and the game is successful enough to warrant a sequel if its good. What good is it for Microsoft to make all this money when they arent putting enough investment into making hit exclusive games like what Sony is doing. I mean cmon....

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

@IanNottinghamX: That's nice. TL;DR

Avatar image for G-Corleone
G-Corleone

@m4a5: whaaaaaaaaat?

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Neurogia

"90 percent of gamers today don't know what a Phantasy Star Online is." LOL

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Marky360

Hopefully they make a Switch version this game came to PS Vita back in the day.

Avatar image for NettoSaito
NettoSaito

@Marky360: it does have a switch version, and playing it gets you Zelda stuff lol

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Marky360

@NettoSaito:

Yea I know it has one in Japan I'm talking about in the west.

Avatar image for DarkReign2022
DarkReign2022

Good. I would rather it be on multiple platforms in multiple regions. It's an old game (going on 7 years) so I want the servers to be as populated as possible, so Crossplay will be key here. I just REALLY hope they get the F2P model right and don't alienate players who aren't willing to shovel out tons of cash to play it. Also no lootboxes for the love of Ragol! There's enough RNG with the Diablo-style weapon grinding. Don't turn our supplies and materials into an RNG mess as well.

I loved this series on Dreamcast and Original Xbox and even still play it with Ephinea on the PC, so as an important part of my childhood, I'm willing to support this move to port it to the west and I will probably invest some money into it when it launches. Be really cool if they had a "Premium" service that lets you buy it like a full-price game and lets you bypass the in-game microtransactions.

Avatar image for NettoSaito
NettoSaito

@DarkReign2022: They do have a premium service, but most of the things it offers can be gotten in game using free tickets. For example, turning in these easy to get cubes can get you a 3 day room pass. An hour of grinding easily gives you a few months worth of room time, but premium service players just have that from the get go.

Also pretty much everything is loot drop/box based. Drops are random (although dungeons show you what can drop), and pretty much all costumes/event items come from using tickets in a lotto. (Mostly real cash tickets, or those given from being subbed). On the flip side, the way the game is in Japan, you can get pretty much anything by being a free player. You get millions of in game currency a week just by doing the easy to do dailies and weeklies, and typically you can buy anything from players for a few mil or so. Old expired items typically cost more, but as soon as the event rolls back around it's dirt cheap again. So yes, players who pay do have an advantage at getting this stuff, but it's not a must and doesn't actually give any REAL advantages (only cosmetic).

Avatar image for el_swanno
el_swanno

@DarkReign2022:

When I played PSO2 in 2012 the FTP version was a really solid game with lot of content but it had limitations such as not being able to trade items with other players or own a shop. There was a monthly membership comprised of a bunch of separate fees that added up to a typical MMO monthly subscription that allowed you to have your own room, shop etc. From memory you had to buy extra character slots too.

The FTP game gave the player a good taste of the game which they could then upgrade with the features they wanted. But then there’s loot boxes. Players get regular (daily I think) loot boxes and subscription players also got premium loot boxes on top of that but I’m pretty sure they also sold loot boxes. That’s where a lot of the best outifts and room decorations came from.