Sega has "no regrets" about pursuing an aggressive free-to-play strategy for its upcoming Phantasy Star Online 2, according to series producer Satoshi Sakai. Sakai said that the developers were increasingly disturbed by the trend of F2P models promoting a pay-to-win environment and has decided to make PSO2 more fair to all players.
"By allowing a well made game like PSO to be accessible [to] more people, we felt that we had a chance to teach people that 'This is what online RPGs are supposed to be like,'" Sakai said. "There is nothing that requires payment that will take away from the intrinsic game experience if [it is] not purchased."
The devs have limited Phantasy Star Online 2's microtransactions to areas that are less likely to see abuse from players willing to trade cash for an in-game advantage over others. These areas include player room upgrades, more storage space, and trading features.
Sakai sees Sega as a pioneer in this regard: "I honestly think that Sega is the only maker that is willing to go this far. Even if we fail, if we can get people to say 'They were five years ahead of their time' then I'll have no regrets. I believe that there's meaning in the challenge itself."