Phantasy Star Online 2’s Open Beta Test Kicks Off Next Week For North America

Released in Japan way back in 2012, Phantasy Star Online 2 will finally be playable in the West on March 17. Although it’s only a beta — and is a timed exclusive for Xbox One — Phantasy Star fans are probably chomping at the bit to go hands-on with the title.

The open beta was announced earlier this week on Twitter, but it was surprisingly light on details. It tells us the date it starts, that it’s “coming first on Xbox One,” and that’s it. We still don’t know how long the open beta will last, or when players on other systems can jump into the game. Instead, the tweet tells those interested to keep their eye on the official website for more details.

Back in February, Phantasy Star Online 2 ran a short, closed beta to help work out some of the kinks related to bringing the game to a new region. Turns out, there were a lot of them. The biggest issues came from server overload, causing lag and slowdown until a patch fixed the issues after several frustrating hours. Besides the usual hiccups, however, the consensus seems to be that Phantasy Star Online 2 is shaping up to be a solid MMORPG. Hopefully SEGA has worked out the server issues for this round of testing, as it should expect a massive influx of new players.

Although the closed beta only ran for about a day, SEGA was able to gather a bunch of interesting data. For example, most players that participated in the beta say that they will be playing the game on their Xbox instead of on PC. There were also two ambitious players that were able to hit Level 75 — meaning they probably did nothing but play Phantasy Star for the entire duration of the beta. That, or they are incredibly efficient at grinding.

Phantasy Star Online 2 will release sometime this spring as a free-to-play title on Xbox One and PC. As of now, the game has only been announced for a North American audience with no plans to bring it to Europe. In Japan the game is available on PC, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4. It also saw a mobile spin-off in the form of Phantasy Star Online 2es on Android and iOS.

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