Phantasy Star Online 2 Anime to be Localized in Western Markets
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a game developed and published by Sega and was a much anticipated and desired sequel to the critically acclaimed Phantasy Star Online. In Asian markets, it has been released for PC in 2012, PlayStation Vita in 2013, and both Android and iOS in 2014. Furthermore, PSO2 has been slated for a PlayStation 4 release in 2016. Yet, what has the majority of the fans of the series left high and dry is the constant lack of any concrete plans of localizing the series. While Sega had teased Western fans of the series with a teaser of an English version of the game during the Penny Arcade Expo in August of 2012 and had announced a potential localization as early as 2013, fans of the series are still patiently (or impatiently) waiting for Sega to deliver on its promise. Yet, Sega has already announced plans to expand its franchise with a Phantasy Star Online 2 anime, much to the chagrin of the franchise’s fans in the Western market.
Phantasy Star Online is a well-known franchise here in the Western market, with a robust following. It has received many high ratings from websites such as IGN, Eurogamer, and GameSpot and has sold many copies across its various platforms. Fans of the .hack series, both anime and video game, truly appreciate Phantasy Star Online since .hack’s series developer, Hiroshi Matsuyama, has cited Phantasy Star Online as an influence for The World, the MMORPG world involved in the series.
However, this lack of a localization of the game has not stopped Sega from creating an anime based upon the game in 2016. The ironic and slightly irritatingly amusing part of this that has puzzled many fans of the series is that Sentai Filmworks has acquired the license to localize the anime for North American audiences. Fans of the series who want to indulge in more Phantasy Star Online run the risk of having the game spoiled for them by an anime based upon it, much like the fans of the Mother series had Mother 3’s storyline spoiled for them when they played the North American release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl and played through the Subspace Emissary storyline.
Perhaps Sega can reconsider localizing Phantasy Star Online 2 if Western audiences can answer with an overwhelmingly positive response to the localized release of the Phantasy Star Online 2 anime. Although the PlayStation Vita has underwhelming sales outside of the Japanese market, the PlayStation 4 has sold over 23 million units worldwide. In addition, numbers show that PC gaming is a relatively niche market over in Japan. With these signs, coupled with a positive reception of the anime, PSO fans could potentially be rejoicing if Sega listens to their fans and announce a localization of Phantasy Star Online 2.
I know Red and myself most certainly would buy one.
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