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'Phantasy Star Online 2' free-to-play explained by Sega

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Sega has explained its decision to make Phantasy Star Online 2 free-to-play.

Producer Satoshi Sakai was interviewed by Japan's Famitsu magazine, where he revealed how the online role-playing game will adapt to the free-to-play model.

Phantasy Star Online 2

© SEGA



According to Kotaku's translation of the interview, the decision to go free-to-play was made early in the game's development. Sega hopes it can change the perception of free-to-play games, which the company observed favour users who pay and shun those who don't.

To address that concern, Sega will limit paid content to non-essential items, such as upgrades to a player's room, expanded storage space and trading features.

"There is nothing that requires payment that will take away from the intrinsic game experience if they are not purchased," Sakai said.

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

Sega logo
"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 five years ahead of their time', then I'll have no regrets. I believe that there's meaning in the challenge itself."

Phantasy Star Online 2 will be available on PC and PlayStation Vita with cross-platform play.

A separate version for smartphones will release later with simplified controls and character creation features.

The PC version of Phantasy Star Online 2 is currently in the closed beta stage, with a release in Japan expected this summer. It will launch on Vita sometime in 2013.

> Retro Corner: Phantasy Star Online

Watch gameplay of Phantasy Star Online 2 below:

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