Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Wishing Upon A Phantasy Star

I've slowly been getting back into the swing of things writing-wise following my move to Birmingham and the completion of a fairly major writing project. I've still got another large project to tackle, but I now have more time to tackle some of the "smaller" jobs I've let slip over the last few months -- namely my role as the Sega Addicts news editor.

Sega Addicts is going through some considerable changes behind the scenes and we're striving to take the site beyond its current status as a simple fan site to something much more significant. As a part of that, I'm pushing to find our own news stories rather than relying on the reporting of other news outlets. There's a few lines of "investigation" I've been following -- one regarding Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the other being the future of the Phantasy Star series in the West.

Just to be clear, I've never played a Phantasy Star game in my entire life. I own a few -- mostly on the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection as well as Phantasy Star Online: Ambition of the Illuminus for the PlayStation 2 -- but I've never found the time to get myself stuck in with the series. As a result, I tended to leave Phantasy Star related news on Sega Addicts to be handled by a staff member who has played them.

But that all changed back in July of this year when I published a news article reporting on Phantasy Star Online 2 and the numerous English version that will be rolled out to various Asian territories next year. For those who don't know, Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2) is the follow-up to Sega's highly popular Phantasy Star Online which was originally available -- if my memory serves me well -- on the Dreamcast as well as the Nintendo GameCube.

PSO2 was officially announced for release in the West on PC platforms as well as the PlayStation Vita. This was over a year ago, yet eager Phantasy Star fans have been awaiting further news ever since. I on the other hand simply assumed that Sega had deemed the game more profitable in Asian territories than it would be in the US; a shitty decision for fans, but a sound business decision nonetheless.

Sega Addicts veteran ShigZilla, on the other hand, disagreed and made a great argument that I ended up nodding my head to. And so I headed out into the big wide world of videogame publisher PR to find some answers.

It wasn't until the latter half of August until I finally got a response. Sega Europe had told me in as few words as possible that they have no update on the status of PSO2 -- the final nail in the coffin for most fans. The statement can be read in this Sega Addicts article.

Then a few weeks ago something else happened: Sega Japan announced the single-player Phantasy Star Nova for the PlayStation Vita. But would it come out in the West? I reached out this time to Sega of America for answers only to find that, as far as the person I had contacted knew, Sega had no plans to bring Phantasy Star Nova to the West.

The short news article in which I published the statement from Sega turned out to gain an unexpected number of views. In fact, the day the article was published and the two days following it saw Sega Addicts get the highest amount of views per day than it had in the last few weeks.

So now I'm convinced -- Phantasy Star means a great deal to many Western fans. It's just a shame I have to keep breaking bad news to them.


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