Sorry for the late-night update, but this is a bit of breaking news. As you may or may not know, the Tokyo Game Show is taking place this week in Japan, but since the country doesn’t produce a whole lot of MMOs (or, really, online RPGs in general), it wasn’t something we were planning to report on here at Lore Hound.
But that has quickly changed, after Sharky over at Sega Bits caught a familiar tune playing over the company’s live convention feed: the main theme for Phantasy Star Online. According to the blog, the teaser went on to highlight every other iteration of the series — including Universe and the portable versions — ending with the suprising (if muted) reveal of Phantasy Star Online 2.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Dreamcast-borne series took the action-oriented, loot-grabbing formula of Diablo, plopped it in the middle of a sci-fi narrative inspired by one of Sega’s classic franchises, and gave it a distinctive, console-minded twist. It was one of the best ways to spend time with three of your best online buddies in the year 2000.
No game in the series has ever quite captured the magic of the original (in fact Universe was mostly rejected by fans), which is why the implication that this next release is a direct sequel to the first inspires a bit of confidence and a lot more hope. But we’ve all seen what happens when Sega tries to continually reinvent a familiar franchise…
According to the feed, Phantasy Star Online 2 is slated for a 2011 release on the PC only. As of this writing, those are about the only details we have to you. The teaser has been the only hint so far, and though it shows no actual in-game footage, we imagine that we’ll hear more about it out of TGS over the next couple of days.