Sega's Phantasy Star Online 2 to show 'what online RPGs are supposed to be like'

Free for all

Sega's Phantasy Star Online 2 to show 'what online RPGs are supposed to be like'

Last month, we brought you the exciting news that Sega's JRPG sequel Phantasy Star Online 2 will be coming to Android, iOS, and Vita in free-to-play form.

Now, series producer Satoshi Sakai has revealed that the Japanese game dev chose to make its own F2P game to address some of the inequities the company has observed in other supposedly cost-free games.

In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, Sakai explained that his company was concerned that the general public was developing certain preconceptions about the free-to-play model.

He thinks this is a result of designers building hidden costs and restrictions into their games, forcing players to pony up cash if they want the complete experience, and alienating players who either didn't want to or couldn't afford to do so.

The truth will set you free

However, Sakai believes that Phantasy Star Online 2 is a chance for Sega to drop some knowledge on the F2P crowd and right a few 'wrongs'.

"By allowing a well made game like PSO to be accessible [to] more people, we felt that we had a chance to teach people that 'This is what online RPGs are supposed to be like'," Sakai said.

He went on to explain that although some in-game purchases are available in Phantasy Star Online 2, "There is nothing that requires payment that will take away from the intrinsic game experience if they are not purchased."

Leading the way

In taking this bold move, Sakai believes that his company will be blazing a trail - whether it works or not.

"I honestly think that Sega is the only maker that is willing to go this far. Even if we fail, if we can get people to say 'They were 5 years ahead of their time' then I'll have no regrets."

Phantasy Star Online 2 is due to arrive on Android and iOS this winter, with the Vita version set to launch in 2013.

James Gilmour
James Gilmour
James pivoted to video so hard that he permanently damaged his spine, which now doubles as a Cronenbergian mic stand. If the pictures are moving, he's the one to blame.