Sega outlines Phantasy Star Online 2’s risky free to play model

sega outlines phantasy star online 2s risky free to play model pso2

Polish up them mags, son, because Phantasy Star Online is coming back! As reported at the end of March, Sega is bringing Pantasy Star Online 2 to nearly every gaming device under the sun over the next twelve months, including Android phones, iOS handhelds, PCs and Sony’s PlayStation Vita. What’s more, Phantasy Star Online 2 will be entirely free to play. Considering that free to play means many different things to many different games, Sega detailed this week just what it means when it says that PSO2 is free.

In this week’s Famitsu magazine (via a translation in Kotaku), Phantasy Star Online 2 producer Satoshi Sakai promised that even though his game will be free to play, that doesn’t mean the meat of the experience will be sealed behind a pay wall. “We are seeking to create a business model that functions while still allowing PSO2 to remain as much of an enjoyable experience as possible. There is nothing that requires payment that will take away from the intrinsic game experience if they are not purchased,” said Sakai, “By allowing a well made game like PSO to be accessible to more people, we felt that we had a chance to teach people, ‘This is what RPGs are supposed to be like.’”

What will players pay for? Light character and game space upgrades—PSO2 players will have their own rooms—as well as additional storage and trading options with other players.

People spend a whole lot on virtual goods in free to play games. Juniper Research found that revenue from the sale of virtual goods totaled more than $2 billion in 2011 and will grow to just under $5 billion by 2016. Phantasy Star Online 2 could bring Sega some much needed cash flow, especially considering how poorly the company’s done in recent months. It’s still an incredibly risky move to develop a game for platforms like Vita that require almost no monetary investment from players.

Sakai doesn’t seem to concerned by the risk though. “I honestly think 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 five years ahead of their time’ then I’ll have no regrets. I believe that there’s meaning in the challenge itself.”

Who cares that the man is making a game where grown men will likely walk around as pig-tailed anime girls fighting space lizards! Sakai has a vision and that’s admirable all on its own.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is expected out this fall on PC, with other versions to follow in 2013.


The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.

Gifting a PS4? Avoid long updates and start gaming right away with our guide

The PlayStation 4 makes a great Christmas gift, but there are quite a few things you need to do before you can play. Here's how you can prepare a PlayStation 4 for gifting in advance.