SAN FRANCISCO (May 10, 2005) â€“ SEGAÂ® of America, Inc. today announced the availability of Phantasy Star Online Blue BurstÂ® for the PC as a free download. Players are encouraged to download the full game, presently running as an open beta, from the following website: http://www.psobb.com. Effective today, users can experience more than six weeks of free online gameplay, after which a monthly fee of $8.99 will be required to continue. Player data from the beta test will be carried over to the full game's release on June 9.
Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst's story takes place seven years after Pioneer 1 touched down on planet Ragol. As Pioneer 2 arrives to continue the settlement of this new world, contact is lost following a massive explosion on the surface. Players take on the role of a Hunter, Ranger, or Force user, commissioned by the Governor-General to resolve the mystery unfolding on Ragol. And that is just the beginning; starting June 23, SEGA will unveil Episode IV â€“ an original storyline featuring all-new content.
Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst is a network-based RPG featuring real-time action and communication between players over the internet. Since the introduction of the first episode in December 2000, the series has won numerous international awards including a BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award, the Edge magazine Game Award, and multiple "Gold" awards in Electronic Gaming Monthly.
"We've saved the best for last; the PC version of Phantasy Star Online is the most graphically detailed, content rich version of our popular action-RPG," said Yosuke Moriya, spokesperson for SEGA of America. "And now, there's no price barrier for those interested in trying it â€“ downloading the game is free, and everybody can explore the vast world of PSO at no charge for more than six weeks."
Unlike its predecessors, Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst introduces server-based storage of player data, thereby freeing players from being confined to playing from any single PC/location. A new team system, enhanced character graphics, and better game controls are some of the other improvements introduced in the continuing evolution of the PSO world.
Episode IV story arc begins. All-new content continues the exciting PSO storyline.
Character customization. Choose from 12 different characters and customize them from their faces, clothing and hairstyle to detailed body customization via morphing technology!
33 New Quests! Visit the Governor-General to complete 15 quests or the Laboratory to complete 18 more!
More than 1,000 items available. Find these items to further improve your character.
Network Game Save. Save your game on the network server in order to play on any computer.
Team Feature â€“ Keep in touch with other players for the first time! Keep in contact via 'Team Chat'. Compete against other teams in the 'Team point ranking system'.
Different modes keep the play experience fresh. These include 'Battle Mode', 'Challenge Mode' and 'Go Go Ball Lobby'.
About SEGAÂ® of America
SEGAÂ® of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA of America's Web site is located at www.sega.com.