What do you do when you're a flagging game company that has managed to create a successful sequel to a beloved MMO? You release it in as many markets as possible. Unless, of course, you're Sega—then you just announce it and go silent for two years. A group of fans are looking to change that by building their own server and releasing PSO2 to the fans Sega has ignored.
UPDATE: Sega sent the following statement in reply to this story:
We don't have a comment on PSO2 in general beyond what we've already said before - that the game is delayed and that we'll update the public when we have any news.
If you follow the PSO2 scene, you've probably heard of Cyberkitsune and AIDA. Together, the pair are responsible for keeping US players in the game. Following a crippling DDOS attack last June that resulted in Sega closing the game off from foreign players, they set up a now widely-used proxy that enables players to connect without need of a VPN. Now, however, it seems the pair have their sights set on a larger goal.
While the PSO2 Tweaker can get players in, "... client English patches can only go so far." Cyberkitsune told me during a Skype conversation a few weeks ago. Talks of modding the game, and even introducing English customer support—something foreign players can't enjoy right now, as the act of playing the game itself is now against the TOS—are going around. The only way to do this, however, is to build it yourself. Enter Polaris, the private PSO2 server project.
It's ambitious, but already shows promise. The team, a group of about five fans, has reverse engineered enough of the game to have their private server up and running behind closed doors. I was told anyone with a good amount technical knowhow could download and set up the server and get it running right now.
Though it runs, Polaris is in a very early stage. Players can create a character, run around and chat, but that's about it. The screenshot you see above is about the extent of what can be done with the project right now, but the team says they know what to do, it's just a matter of finding the time to do it.
As for concerns regarding how Sega might respond to this
(I attempted to contact Sega for a response regarding this article, but did not hear back) Cyberkitsune hopes the company would allow the project to continue, or at minimum for it to force Sega's hand into releasing the game stateside. Both he and AIDA mentioned to me they would be happy to work with Sega on getting an official release put together, though neither group has reached out to the other.
Ideally, this project wouldn't have to exist. Sega has to be aware that there's a loyal fan base for the PSO series. If anything, Sega should step up to the plate and at least break their years-long silence regarding the status of the game. Let the community know where they stand. It's the least they can do for their most loyal fans.
For more information on the Polaris Project or the PSO2 Proxy, go to Cyberkitsune's page. Also check out AIDA's guide to starting a Japanese PSO2 account on Arks Layer. If you'd like to donate to their cause, you can do so on either of the pages linked above.
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