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We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.
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印刷2022/10/25 17:00

インタビュー

We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

 The online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2 (PC/PS4/Switch), developed and operated by Sega, celebrated its 10th anniversary this July. To mark the occasion, Sega held an offline event, ARKS EXPO 2022, and opened NGS Kizuna Cafe as a time-limited collaboration with Tokyo Solamachi. In addition, the orchestral concert Sympathy 2023 is scheduled for January 2023.

画像集 No.001のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

 With the third major update to PSO2’s sequel, PSO2 NEW GENESIS (PC/PS4/Switch), coming in December, we spoke with Hiro Arai, the official navigator of NGS, about the 10th anniversary event and future updates.

Original Interview (Japanese)

[インタビュー]「PSO2 ニュージェネシス」ヒロ・アライ氏に“PSO2”10周年記念イベントや“NGS”今後のアップデートについて聞く

[インタビュー]「PSO2 ニュージェネシス」ヒロ・アライ氏に“PSO2”10周年記念イベントや“NGS”今後のアップデートについて聞く

 今年の7月で10周年を迎えたオンラインRPG「PSO2」。記念企画として開催されたオフラインイベントや,実施中のコラボカフェ,2023年1月に予定されているオーケストラコンサートなどについて,公式ナビゲーターであるヒロ・アライ氏に聞いた。

[2022/10/25 17:00]

「PSO2 ニュージェネシス」公式サイト


PSO2 10th Anniversary Project


◎ARKS EXPO 2022 offline event


4Gamer:
 Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. First off, I’d like to ask about ARKS EXPO 2022, which was held on July 17, 2022.
 This was the first offline event in about three years. What was the reaction from attendees?

画像集 No.002のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

Hiro Arai:
 Although there were no stage events this time and the main event was an exhibition, we had a lot of people come to see it. We prepared exhibits such as the Dark Falz Nebuta, which made its first appearance; a timeline looking back over the past 10 years; early design documents; and setting images, all of which were well received and drew an enthusiastic response from fans. I’m very thankful to everyone who came out to see it.

 Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were, unfortunately, unable to set up a space for writing comments, which we had always done before. That was a bit sad for me. However, it seems that fans were actively communicating with each other in the LINE Open Chat dedicated to the event.

画像集 No.003のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

4Gamer:
 The sales area had some new merchandise and seemed to be selling even more than usual.

Hiro Arai:
 Our merchandise was very popular, and the lines were longer than we had expected. Some goods sold out early. We apologize to people who waited in line but weren’t able to buy what they wanted. Some of these products can now be purchased online, so I hope fans will take advantage of the opportunity.

4Gamer:
 Looking at the visitors, did you notice any differences between this and past offline events?

Hiro Arai:
 Many people seemed to be attending a PSO2 offline event for the first time, and according to questionnaires and other data that was indeed true for about half of the attendees.
 According to a staff member who was at the event, there were young people who seemed to be new NGS players, as well as what looked like married PSO2 players who had brought along their kids.

4Gamer:
 Quite a few people have met someone at a PSO2 event and later gotten married. Over 10 years, their children will have grown up.
 What kind of process did you use to create the new Dark Falz Nebuta that was displayed at the exhibit?

Hiro Arai:
 In the past, we made giant balloons for enemies and the Emperappy. Since it’s the game’s 10th anniversary, we wanted to try something new this time, so we decided to create this Nebuta.
 The Nebuta is not just about the model itself?I believe it’s also a way to contribute to the revitalization of the region after the coronavirus pandemic.
 We selected the company we did for the Nebuta because they have been actively collaborating with external IPs as well.

画像集 No.004のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

4Gamer:
 Did Sega create the design for the Nebuta?

Hiro Arai:
 The design was done by the Nebuta artists. More than simply using the 3D model we provided as a reference, the artists worked really proactively and actually played the game, which resulted in the Nebuta being a very faithful reproduction.

4Gamer:
 It was quite a spectacle and had a commanding presence at the venue.

Hiro Arai:
 The Nebuta was exhibited at Tokyo Solamachi in conjunction with the NGS Kizuna Cafe, a collaboration cafe with Tokyo Skytree.
 Unfortunately, the Nebuta has now been removed, but inside the collaboration cafe there’s a design drawing of the Dark Falz Nebuta, so I hope people will go and have a look.

◎NGS Kizuna Cafe, a collaboration with Tokyo Skytree


4Gamer:
 You’ve had a lot of collaboration cafes for PSO2. Is there any particular reason why you changed the location to Tokyo Solamachi’s BOX cafe & space?

Hiro Arai:
 One reason is that, like NGS, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi are also celebrating their 10th anniversaries. We also decided on the BOX cafe & space at Tokyo Solamachi because it specializes in collaboration cafes.

画像集 No.005のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

4Gamer:
 The menu seems even more elaborate than before, with recreations of Region Mags, Dark Falz, etc. Who came up with it?

Hiro Arai:
 Sega submitted some requests, and BOX cafe & space came up with several ideas based on those requests. We then fine-tuned them at the tasting, checking things like how they looked and whether the amount of food felt right. It took about two to three months before we were ready to serve customers.

4Gamer:
 They all look delicious! Is there anything on the menu that is particularly popular?

Hiro Arai:
 It seems that many people are ordering the Dark Falz Parfait because it’s so visually striking. The items on the food menu are so large that it seems tough to eat a full meal and also the parfait since it’s also pretty big, but everyone seems to gobble it right down, which is a bit of a surprise to me.

4Gamer:
 At the recent tasting, I had the Melted Region Mag Cheese and Keema Curry and the Dark Falz Parfait, and they were so good I could hardly believe they were from a collaboration cafe.

Hiro Arai:
 People visiting the cafe have also said the food was really good. I’d love for people to be able to try everything on the menu, but it’s probably not possible to do it in one sitting unless you’re in a big group?both because of the rules around ordering and because it’s just too much food. If people like the cafe, I hope they’ll stop by several times.

画像集 No.006のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more. 画像集 No.008のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

4Gamer:
 You also sell NGS merchandise at the cafe, right?

Hiro Arai:
 Since products with class icon designs are popular, we’ve made some class icon muddlers and coasters. There are also acrylic key chains and mugs with the Dark Falz Nebuta design drawing that I mentioned earlier.

4Gamer:
 The drawing of the Nebuta also shows the second form of Dark Falz, doesn’t it?

Hiro Arai:
 When we commissioned the Nebuta, we initially asked if we could create the second form, and they created drawings of both forms. However, it was decided that the shape was too difficult, so we ended up making the first form.
 These drawings are used to make Nebuta, but they are not usually put on display. However, it was such a wonderful drawing that we used it for our merchandise.

◎Orchestra concert Sympathy 2023


4Gamer:
 The orchestra concert Sympathy 2023, to be held on January 21 next year, is a project to celebrate not only the 10th anniversary of PSO2 but also the 35th anniversary of the Phantasy Star series. Will there be music not only from PSO2 and NGS but also from past games in the series?

Hiro Arai:
 As with past Sympathy concerts, we plan to include music from past games in the series as well. However, since more and more people aren’t familiar with the older games, I don't think there will be that much.
We are in the process of selecting the songs to be performed, focusing mainly on PSO2 and NGS and including "Unfathomable Darkness," which was the most requested song in our Vocals for instrumental song survey.

画像集 No.007のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

4Gamer:
 So, this is an orchestra concert, but there will be a part with vocals as well?

Hiro Arai:
 Yes. As in past orchestra concerts, there will be live vocals sandwiched between instrumental sections. We may be able to provide further information as early as the NGS headline in November.

About PSO2 New Genesis


 Now we’ll provide you with an update on the development strategy of PSO2 NEW GENESIS, delivered by the dev team through Hiro Arai, who also gave us some news about the December update.

◎A year of expanding content. Improved rewards on the way


From the dev team
 Since the end of last year, we have been working to enhance the content of the game in response to feedback from players. We have changed our development strategy and are now able to provide a steady flow of content. In the new Kvaris region, we have added new elements such as Floating Boards and the Throw Action, which I think have been generally well received. 

 However, it’s also true that Combat Sectors are the only permanent, stable playable content, so we still feel that content is lacking. Moving forward, we will continue doing our best to develop a variety of content.

画像集 No.009のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

◎Providing rewards to match the amount of play


Dev. team:
 We have received comments that the rewards do not match the amount of time spent playing. However, since each player has their own needs, such as Meseta, weapons, and Enhancement materials we will adjust the type and amount of rewards while keeping a close eye on the balance.
 We also hear players requesting exclusive rewards for Urgent Quests, etc. However, we want carefully approach this issue, as we are aware of the risks of the gameplay becoming too focused on Urgent Quests like with PSO2. Also, even if we chose to go that route, we would like only do so for special Urgent Quests, not for Urgent Quests associated with new regions, etc.
 While we’ve received positive feedback for Field Races as a gameplay element that makes use of the fields, we are also receiving requests for more rewards, and are currently addressing this by making it an ARKS Records objective. However, we are also considering adjusting the rewards obtained directly from the races.

画像集 No.010のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

◎Gameplay that utilizes not only closed spaces like Trainia but also the open fields


Dev. team:
 We have also received requests about wanting to enjoy battle-related content in the vast open field, rather than in a closed space. In the future, we plan to prepare activities that take advantage of the vast fields and terrain.
 The Kvaris Region has battles against Ancient Enemies in the Rayjord Gorge, and we have plans for combat taking place in fields in the Stia Region, which is coming in December, so please look forward to it.
 Please note that the Stia Region will not feature areas where there is a gameplay mechanic that dishes out continuous damage if you do not prepare for it such as there is in Rayjord Gorge.

◎Changing the content of Seasonal Events each time they are held since they currently lack change


From the dev. team:
 Players have said that Seasonal Events lack variety and so we have tried to gradually change the content of them. We are working on future Limited-time Quests to offer more new ways to play.

◎New Stia Region coming in the major update in December. A major development in the story…


Dev. team:
 Following the first and second major updates, a new region is coming. New mechanics, creatures, and enemies will be introduced in Stia, a volcanic area with flowing lava.
 Please look forward to the continued story and the major developments that will touch on what Halfa is and the keys to solving the mystery behind it.

画像集 No.011のサムネイル画像 / We asked Hiro Arai from PSO2 NEW GENESIS about the game’s 10th Anniversary Event, future NGS updates, and more.

 Phantasy Star Online 2 has been in service for more than 10 years, the longest service period for an online Phantasy Star title. Just a few days ago, the number of registered users worldwide, including the sequel PSO2 NEW GENESIS, surpassed 10 million.
 For a while after the launch, many players were concerned about the lack of content in PSO2 NEW GENESIS, but as more content has been added through updates, we’ve been hearing this less and less.
 There are still areas where we feel we are lacking, but looking at the plans ahead, we expect to see gradual improvements in those areas as well.

 In October, we’ll be seeing a collaboration with MELTY BLOOD: TYPE LUMINA, the class level cap unlocked up to lvl. 65, and the addition of a new weapon rarity, 7, added to the game. For November, plans are underway for the release of the Autumn event, the addition of Trainia-like high-difficulty quests, and a collaboration with the Overlord series.
 We look forward to enjoying these before the upcoming major update in December.

※The responsibility for the contents of the Japanese article lies with 4Gamer.
The responsibility for the translation lies with SEGA.

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