Phantasy Star Online 2's Windows 10 Launch
Phantasy Star Online 2 is an online action role-playing game developed and published by Sega. It is the successor to 2000's Phantasy Star Online and was originally released for Windows in Japan in 2012.
About the Game
As mentioned above, Phantasy Star Online 2 is an online RPG made by Sega. It is the sequel to Phantasy Star Online which came out for the Dreamcast in late 2000 (JP) and early 2001 (NA) to critical acclaim. It was released exclusively for Japanese Windows systems in July 2012, with versions for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch following in the years after. For a long time, Sega seemed to have no intentions of releasing the game outside of Japan (excluding the failed SEA version), but during E3 2019, Microsoft revealed that the game would be coming to North America as a timed exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10, with other platforms soon to follow. This announcement was met with much fanfare, which was further boosted by the claim that the game would not be region locked. A Steam version, still limited to Windows 10, was announced On July 28, 2020 for an August 5 release.
Phantasy Star Online 2 was first released in North America for Xbox One on April 2020, which went without any notable issues. The Windows 10 version was released on May 27, 2020 exclusively via the Microsoft Store. While some users were able to get the game running with no problems, countless others have encountered errors including:
- The launcher refusing to update the game past a certain point.
- The game refusing to launch.
- The launcher's language suddenly changing to Japanese.
- The game suddenly uninstalling itself or redownloading in its entirety.
- Being unable to open the launcher.
- Refusing to work even after being able to play it.
- Taking up far more disk space than required, due to not all files being removed when uninstalling.
- Being unable to install the game in a drive other than C:.
- Being unable to uninstall.
While initially believed to be errors tied to server overload, it was soon discovered that most if not all issues are caused by the Microsoft Store, primarily due to how the Store handles the game's files.
This disastrous launch has understandably angered many users, and as of May 29 the game holds a rating of 2/5 on the Microsoft Store out of over 800 user reviews.
On May 29 2020, tweets were posted on the game's official Twitter account, where the team states that they are aware of the issues and that they are working with Microsoft to find a solution.
While Microsoft and Sega work to fix the issues, many users have gotten the game to work by using the fanmade PSO2 Tweaker launcher, which can be downloaded here. This launcher, originally made for the Japanese version, was updated to help bypass the Microsoft Store and the issues it causes. However, users still need to have both Windows 10 and the Store installed. Fan reception towards the launcher orignally made for the Japanese servers has been far more favorable.