One of the biggest surprises from E3 2018 was the announcement of the localization of Phantasy Star Online 2 on the Xbox stage.
When I saw that happen, I couldn’t help but imagining what might have happened when Phil Spencer returned to Microsoft’s offices after one of his trips to Japan, and announced to his team that he had brought back a seven year old niche game.
Since at times my curiosity gets the best of me, I asked Xbox Games Marketing General Manager Aaron Greenberg during an interview at Gamescom 2019 in Cologne, Germany.
“I was sitting in the room and he literally walked in and said “Hey, I just had this incredible meeting with Sega, they’re such awesome partners…”
I was instantly excited because I played PSO when it originally was on the Xbox and on the Dreamcast. We have a lot of heritage with that.
There is still a number of fans, and we saw the reactions online, for some people that was their favorite part of all of E3.”
Greenberg went on to talk about how Microsoft’s team is aware that there is a variety of games out there, and that the localization of Phantasy Star Online 2 will both make fans of the franchise happy, and will introduce it to new fans.
“That’s the thing. We know there is a variety of different gamers and a variety of different content, and different opportunities.
Bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to Xbox, localizing it, I think it’s going to be great. We’ll delight the fans of the franchise who grew up with it, and also, we’ll introduce new people to the franchise.
We also hear about Spencer’s trips to Japan, as Greenberg mentions that it’s a great thing to help Japanese creators bring their games to broader markets, as some of the best developers in the worlds are in Japan.
It’s great for us. It’s great for Sega, and kudos to Phil for building these partnerships, and taking the time to go to Japan over and over and meet with those teams.
What’s great is if you go on those types of trips with Phil, he sits down there with the dev team, plays the games, he’s deep into the weeds…
It’s fun. That’s what makes this industry so fun. It’s the love of games and how games bring joy to people’s lives. Some of the best creators in the world are in Japan, and if we can help bring their creations and their creativity to a broader market, I think that’s a great thing.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Phantasy Star Online, it’s currently available in Japan for PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
It’s coming west in 2020 for Xbox One and PC a whole eight years after its original release in Japan, and you can check out the announcement from E3.
Recently, Sega announced a new class coming this winter, the Etoile.