No More Bonkohara

Bonkohara posted on the official PSO2 Facebook page for what seems to be the last time. The gist of the post is that the Facebook page will become a place to keep an eye on for leaks and information on the EN version of PSO2. For the Japanese, the focus will be shifted to their Mixi page here.

Not too surprising. If you’ve kept an eye on their page you’ll note it’s almost exclusively English-speaking people who post on it. Bonkohara has admitted she can’t speak English very well, so it makes sense to pass  the page on to a division that can better serve them. The page had also become very inactive lately and it’s been a long time since Bonkohara rewarded the community with concept art for reaching milestones in the number of likes the page got.

Update: The first post has already been made by SoA staff. Quoting it here:

Hello everyone! Greetings from Sega of America. To our many English-speaking fans around the world who have already joined this page, I’m happy to begin talking to you about PSO2. Our colleagues in Japan have set a high standard for this page that we look forward to continuing with you all. Right now, I know there are a lot of questions and excitement for the Western release. I’ll have more to share with you soon, and we’ll also be updating the look of the page a bit … thank you to everyone for your support; we are very excited to have a chance to help bring this game to Western fans!

 


PSO2 On The Internet

Since the announcement of the western version of the game yesterday, PSO2 has appeared in quite a number of places about the internet.

First Sega put up a press release about the announcement on their official site here. This is separate to the blog post yesterday, but it contains most of the same text.

PSO2 has also turned up on VG247, VideoGamer.com, MMOAttack.com and CVG. Again, with mostly the same sort of text.

Finally, according to Shougai PSO, at one point Sakai said that there would be servers for each country. This was said in referral to international versions of the game. If this is true I’m not really sure what to make of it. It could suggest that in the future, new ships could be added and intended for specific countries to play on. I think that’s highly unlikely however,given that on Sega’s official forums, PSU GM Edward said that they’ll be “working on closing the content gap”, which certainly suggests that the versions will be entirely separate to me. I also don’t believe he’ll succeed in closing this gap, as I don’t think the company behind the game honestly cares enough about their foreign customers beyond the short-term.

Reaction From The Community

The reaction from the community itself has been a maelstrom of cynicism and consumer-blaming. What ever did SEGA do to earn all this cynicism and mis-trust anyway? Has nothing to do with roughly 12 years worth of consistent incompetence, nope nothing at all.

I’m frankly astonished that people are seriously blaming the playerbase for the company’s shortcomings. Here’s one such post. Seriously, if you believe that the community is at fault for the way Sega is just think about what it is you’re saying. In what bizarre land is the customer at fault for receiving  second-rate service? Name me some examples where this is a perfectly reasonable scenario, because I’m all ears.

On the official side of things, the response has roughly been “if you don’t like the content delay, don’t play”. Fairly reasonable argument. Perhaps not one I’d expect official staff to put forward, though. Getting a sense of de ja vu about the official stance so far, I would advise caution to those still willing to support the western release.

I should finish by saying that I want the localised versions to succeed, of course I do. I love this game and I want it to flourish. Despite SoA’s dodgy track record that seems set to continue in the future, there is a major difference that I think will mean PSO2 will do “ok” at best. It’s free to play and it’s actually a decent game. This alone will help it succeed a fair sight better than PSU at least, but only if Sega is willing to put the work into it will it work out better for all involved. This blog will celebrate Sega of America’s victories if it has any and sing praises if they appear to actually want to redeem themselves for their past shortcomings, but this blog will not shy away from exposing their failings. So far, given the somewhat chaotic initial press release, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence.

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