Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to New Zealand and Australia [update: it’s here]

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Update: With the release of the Episode 4 update, Phantasy Star Online 2 is now available in an additional 33 regions, including Australia and New Zealand. It’s not limited to the Steam version—the Xbox One and Windows 10 versions are also officially available in the same territories now.

It’s possible to link Steam and Xbox/Windows 10 accounts so that you can play across all three versions, but be sure to closely follow Sega’s instructions for how to do so. If you don’t, you can permanently prevent yourself from being able to link accounts.

Original post:

Phantasy Star Online 2 finally got an English release earlier this year on Xbox One and the Microsoft Store, but with the caveat that it wasn’t officially available in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or anywhere else outside North America. The game server itself isn’t region-locked, and changing your store region isn’t especially difficult, so people outside America who really want to play have options, but not officially supported ones.

That looks set to change with an upcoming Steam release planned for early August. It still won’t be a truly global release, but a much wider pool of countries will be able to access the Phantasy Star Online 2 without the need for jumping through any hoops—New Zealand and Australia included.

A screenshot from Phantasy Star Online 2, showing a group of players fighting a large purple demon.

According to SteamDB, the Steam version of Phantasy Star Online 2 will be available in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Great Britain, and the United States.

There’s no word yet on any new server locations aside from the North American ones. This isn’t ideal, but Phantasy Star Online 2 doesn’t suffer too much from high latency. (And, let’s be honest, most MMO players in Oceania are probably used to playing games without local servers.)

A screenshot from Phantasy Star Online 2, showing a group of characters in a social hub area wearing colourful clothes and dancing.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play science-fiction MMORPG that first came out in Japan in 2012. A Western release had been talked about for a long time, but it didn’t actually happen until earlier this year—though limited to Xbox One and PC, without the PlayStation 4 and Switch versions available in Japan.

Sega also recently announced Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, a major overhaul of the game that’s due out next year for Xbox One, Xbox One X, and PC. New Genesis includes some significant changes to game systems, so it won’t simply replace the current version of the game. Rather, Sega says that PSO2 and New Genesis will coexist, and “accounts that have been playing PSO2 will be able to hop between PSO2: NGS and PSO2.”

At the moment, New Genesis has only been confirmed for North America (again), but it will hopefully come to Steam as well, and the additional territories with it.

The Steam version of Phantasy Star Online 2 is due for release on August 5, 2020, with a launch campaign that’ll reward Steam players with things like Portal 2 weapon camos and Half-Life-themed costumes. The Steam version has cross-play support with other platforms, and current players will be able to log into their existing accounts when playing through Steam.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.