Even back in the Dreamcast’s prime years I had a bad feeling about online game. While I did have fun (and frustration) playing Dreamcast games like Unreal Tournament online, I knew that games that primarily depended on online gameplay would not be worth the long-term investment as they would eventually be turned off. As a classic gamer, I like my games to last “forever”, not just a few years.
While Phantasy Star Online was popular enough to stay online this long, the game that was the highlight of the Dreamcast’s groundbreaking network will be closing its servers soon.
From the fine folks at OnlineConsoles.com…
I just found out this morning. Phantasy Star Online will be terminated world-wide on March 31st, 2007. This will impact not only the Dreamcast versions of PSO, but GameCube PSO episode 1&2, as well as episode 3. The termination is not specific to Japan, it will be a worldwide server termination. Sonic Team specifically notes this on the news listing. This is a crushing blow to the OC community as a whole and OnlineConsole gaming at large.
Let me first say: Please do not panic.
There are multiple alternative server options available. I will be taking steps to ensure that members of OC have a place to play legit, uncompromised Phantasy Star Online.
Until then please enjoy Phantasy Star Online, and take advantage of any official holiday events while you still can.
I will obviously have more to say about this down the road, but for right now I need to collect my thoughts. One thing I will say, is that the OnlineConsoles community is having fewer games to worry about as time goes on. PSO going officially offline was inevitable. The one good thing that comes from games being terminated is no more stress and worrying about when the game is going to go offline. Atleast now we know, and can make preparations for the future.
You can read the official news posting at the Dreamcast JPN PSO news page here:
Note: The Xbox version and PSOBB for the PC will be remaining online. However since these do not pertain to the systems covered here at OnlineConsoles, please do not discuss them on the OC forums. Thank you.
So, those of you that still play the original versions on your Dreamcast better get your gaming in while you can unless there are some homebrew servers that show up.