Whatever your thoughts may be on Phantasy Star Universe and its strengths and flaws, it is still sad to see the game world disappear for some gamers. Sega has announced that its PC and PS2 servers for Phantasy Star Universe will be closing down on March 31, 2010.
On the teeniest of bright sides though, after January 29, the PSU will be free to play for the PC and PS2 version of the game until it’s official close on March 31. No new subscriptions will be available for purchase. This coincides with the MAG+ event, which also starts on January 29th (and ends March 12) for all systems.
The Xbox 360 version of Phantasy Star Universe will still be supported by Sega after the PC and PS2 server shut-down, an is expecting “currently unreleased and anticipated content”, according to Edward@Sega, PSU GM (Game Master). He also gives a brief explanation on why the servers are being closed. “If you’ve played on PC/PS2 recently, you also likely know why we are shutting these servers down. The population is simply too low for us to be able to continue to support this platform.”
It is a little disappointing to know that some of the Japanese-exclusive updates that Sega was slow to release here in North America will never see the light of day now that the servers are closing down. (The US version of the game is least half a year behind update-wise). Yes, the game still exist in Xbox 360 form, but this doesn’t alleviate the problem of players not having an Xbox 360, or not being able to transfer their existing characters over from the PC or PS2 versions.
Perhaps the server shut-down will lead to newer and better things. Maybe a new Phantasy Star Online game is in the works. After all, this is officially the ten-year anniversary of Phantasy Star Online, and it has been hinted at by director Satoshi Sakai.