Sega-Sammy Holdings have released their annual report for 2017, where they discuss at length their plans for the future. There’s one particular sectoin from the report that I found rather interesting. The Online Content Divisional HQ’s operations center, among other things responsible for their PC online game area, intends to generate earnings continuously by 2020. A key part of that plan involves their online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2. Specifically, the group aims to execute three main action plans for the series:
- Maximizing the earnings of the series.
- Establishing a second earnings base through the creation of new intellectual properties and the expansion of existing intellectual properties.
- Taking on growth markets overseas.
It’s not exactly clear what they mean with new IP’s and exactly how they intend to take on growth markets overseas. Given the mention of growth market, it would seem logical to assume they’re talking about Asia, but earlier on Playpark’s localized version of PSO2 for the South-East Asia market was in fact shut down. Meanwhile, the game is still waiting for release in the Americas and Europe. It’s now been more than 5 years since the last update, when the English version of the game was playable at PAX.
By now pretty much everyone has given up hope of ever seeing the game officially release in the West. Sega does mention wanting to support the game through to its 10th anniversary, something I find a bit surprising as the game is clearly showing its age. It’ll remain to be seen if they have another technical upgrade in store for the game during that time. But I guess the good news is this gives them another 5 years to consider releasing the game overseas after all. Below you can find the complete paragraph from Sega-Sammy’s annual report where they talk about PSO2.
The section’s mission is to build a system that will generate earnings continuously by 2020. To realize this mission, we are tackling three main action plans for the role-playing game (RPG) PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2. Specifically, we are maximizing the earnings of the series, establishing a second earnings base through the creation of new intellectual properties and the expansion of existing intellectual properties, and taking on growth markets overseas.
PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2 is performing well. July 2017 marked the fifth anniversary of the RPG’s service launch, and a recent major update of the series, Episode 5, has garnered extremely strong endorsement. Already, we have begun planning measures for 2020. We will establish a stable system to ensure that the RPG performs steadily through to its 10th anniversary. In these efforts, customer satisfaction levels will be critical. Of course, we are trying to increase satisfaction with respect to the content of the PS02. However, we are also working to increase satisfaction by, as far as possible, reducing the occurrence of situations where customers cannot play when they want to. We are rigorously introducing automation to reduce defects resulting from human error. In addition, we are building an analytical system that can measure customer trends in detail in relation to maintenance periods or server problems.