Remember Phantasy Star Online, that awesome online game for the Dreamcast that revolutionized the way people looked at online console games? Well, it has a sequel. No really! It’s just that we won’t be seeing it over here in the states for a while.
Phantasy Star Online 2 has been out in Japan for about a year now. Over one million players were registered as of last October and now that the game is on the PS Vita in Japan, users can use the Vita’s 3G connection to play the game wherever they like. Unfortunately, according to DigitalTrends, the U.S. launch of the game has been pushed back yet again. Even though the game was slated to come out for the iOS, PC, and Vita in American territories, Sega is pushing back the game on all platforms to an indeterminate date.
Many theorize that Sega may be having issues monetizing the game. It's a free to play title and those are always a chancey deal. Sega has said that they want their game to compete even with the biggest MMOs in the industry, and no free to play game to date has been able to even put a dent into World of Warcraft. As of now, the only way PSO2 makes money is through offering digital lottery tickets for in-game items, which doesn’t seem like a very good deal.
In addition, Sega still has quite a bit of development on the game left to do. The iOS and Android versions are expected out in Japan sometime this year, but still haven’t been released. It’s possible that Sega is enforcing this U.S. delay so that all three versions can come out here simultaneously. Sega has previously confirmed that the sequel will be massively cross play enabled, allowing any copy on any system to play with each other.
Sega has said that they do not have a specific release date in mind but that they will bring us more info as soon as it is available. Perhaps we will hear more about the PSO2 project at this year’s E3.