SEGA apologizes for botched Phantasy Star Online 2 launch

    
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Two days in to the disastrous launch of Phantasy Star Online 2, SEGA finally released a statement and apology – as far as we can see, the one sent to Facebook and Twitter are identical, and neither will help people actually affected by the crippling installation issues we covered yesterday.

“Hello, Arks. We want to reassure you that the #PSO2NA team is paying close attention to all your comments from social media and across the web. We are working closely with Microsoft to reach a solution to the issues you have experienced during the game’s launch on Windows 10. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and the negative experience some of you have had when trying to download and install the game. Please know that we are working hard to solve these problems and that we appreciate your patience. We will release additional announcements and notices soon. Please stay tuned to our official website and social media accounts for further updates.”

In other news, the folks who make the tweaker program for the Japanese version of the game have updated the program to work with the NA version; it should allow players to move easily between both versions and also may fix the permissions and corruption issues NA players have encountered. It won’t solve all your problems – like all the resolution and lag problems – but it may help you.

Source: Twitter, Reddit. Thanks, Áley!

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Jadefox

Personally I don’t see the appeal of the game.

I got the game working after I realized you need a Microsoft and xbox live account.

The game feels like it 20 years old. Graphics really show their age. The English voice acting is horrible and is not even close to the NPC lip movement(worse than 80’s Kung Fu movies). Mouse controls are bad imo. I don’t know how many times I changed weapons when trying to use a skill. Also don’t get me started on how bad the in game interface or other game settings.

I’m sure the experience is a lot better on a xbox as the game was definitely not made for PC.

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Haxton

>I don’t know how many times I changed weapons when trying to use a skill.

That’s really just an issue for any game that uses the mouse wheel and the mouse wheel button for different things. It annoyed me in Call of Duty when I’d try to knife some one but instead I’d change my gun instead. So just rebind and move along.

Though, I do agree the game was made to be played on a controller, since it’s Phantasy Star. But the game isn’t just a PC exclusive, it’s a little bit janky like that because it’s on PS3, PS4, Switch, PC, PS Vita, and like, probably 40 other platforms no one knows about. Ages built this game to be very very scalable so it can be cross played on any platform.

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agemyth 😩

Thats part of why I roll my eyes every time I see someone claim Microsoft must have paid big money to keep this off PS4 and Steam. Phantasy Star was a big deal for a bit on the Genesis. PSO was something of a killer app for the Dreamcast for the year or so that people paid attention to that. Since then it has just been a Japanese focused game with a cult following in the West. Neither Microsoft nor Sega think this eight-year-old Japan targeted free-to-play title is going to make a big splash in our regions.

It was a good business deal with a for a relatively small investment of money and development resources. Microsoft has desperately needed to rebuild relationships with many of the groups of players it scared away with the Xbox One launch, and Sega always wanted to bring PSO2 over anyway.

These companies probably don’t get much out of keeping this game exclusive to MS platforms for very long, so we will see this on Steam and PS4 soonTM enough.

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Chosenxeno .

It’s making a splash. The Game is super duper packed.

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Bruno Brito

Well, it’s a japanese looter shooter. There’s not much to it, but some people love it.

I found the combat fun, but this game won’t hold me for long.

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Chosenxeno .

Disable the wheel swap. On PC you don’t need a paid XBL account btw.

I don’t personally find the graphics to be that bad for a MMORPG. That’s coming from a 2080 Super / 3700x owner(I love some beefy graphics in Single Player:).

Everything else you said is fair(The Interface Menus are atrocious).

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Zero_1_Zerum

Wait, players have to use a third party fan made app to launch the game, because the M$ store is so buggy?

That’s messed up.

It’s a damn shame that the people who make Windows don’t seem to give a crap about PC gaming.

Strykerx88
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Strykerx88

They can apologize with a few free premium days.

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Haxton

Use the PSO2 Tweaker launcher instead of the game. It’ll even download the game for you and have everything set up since it now supports the NA region.

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agemyth 😩

Oh hey, I haven’t had any trouble playing the game, but I’ll get this version anyway because I want to Reshade and stuff. Thanks. I assumed it just wouldn’t happen, so I didn’t bother to check if they were trying.

edit: WOW it just works, lol. Its too bad the people who can’t download the game because of MS Store can’t just get it through PSO2 Tweaker.

edit: err, maybe PSO2 Tweaker isn’t doing what I thought it was doing (yet). Maybe its not a “WOW” and just nice.

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Haxton

Make sure you’re grabbing the NA version of the Tweaker. The JP version and NA version of the game are two different bodies apparently.

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Yuen

You still have to DL it from the store though.

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Sorenthaz

Misconceptions about the Microsoft Store and the Game Launcher from PSO2

Here’s a pretty good/reasonable explanation as to why stuff is going awry with the MutableBackup folder and such.

Still, it’s basically just showing why the MS Store is a horrid platform to use when it’s not ready to handle games like this.

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Rees Racer

Every new day the game won’t launch from the pinned spot on the taskbar, and I’ve had to do a file repair, then the game runs after the “update”.

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Anthony Clark

All the more reason Sega should pull it off of that crap show of a digital store and either host the in stall exe themself, or put it on STEAM that’s been working for years.

This is turning into the very same thing as MS waiting too long to try to enter the mobile market. They were late to the show, didn’t get any developers, and it just didn’t work.

This is a repeat in my opinion.

Sega needs to move along.

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Sorenthaz

My guess is that the exclusivity deal with Microsoft provided Sega enough funds to put time/money into actually doing an English translation + getting English voice-overs and whatnot.

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Paragon Lost

Ever since WindowsApp folder became a thing years ago I’ve disliked it intensely. It is a terrible design and actually in earlier versions was hidden, even if you were running in Administrator mode. Tracking issues and troubleshooting were made more difficult due to their way of having it work.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah and that’s because Microsoft decided to take on the philosophy that it’s better to try and have their OS do things itself without you needing to know or worry about it.

But then it makes situations like this a huge mess and raises the questions of what else might be going on in the background without your knowledge.

EvasiveDice
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EvasiveDice

Are you guys ok? What’s with all the Microsoft store hate. Yeah it’s a different platform like steam, epic, Ubisoft and others etc. BUT….once I installed it from the Microsoft store ONE time you can check to pin the game to taskbar. This store platform is already also downloaded and built into most people’s computers by default with no steps or actions required to open it. From then on the game starts directly with zero issues. Without opening any sort of Microsoft anything. Opens straight to phantasy star online 2 with its own icon on my taskbar. Honestly the American release has been pretty easy to install and hassle free. Not sure how much easier it could get…..

The only thing I can guess people are mad about is….

1. Your probably on linux.

2. Your using a previous version of Windows.

The game was clearly announced way ahead of time for Windows 10 so that should eliminate 1 and 2.

It’s been a great experience so far. Never seen the Microsoft store ever again after I installed it. Opens similar to when I played on the Japan servers. Just straight to the app. Be happy we even got an American release. And it was free….. smh

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Greaterdivinity

So have you missed the extensive coverage of just how deeply fucked the download/install process is for many people? Because I’d suggest checking out a handful of articles first, because while there are some lucky people like yourself that get it working just fine, that’s far from the norm.

And no, it’s not just folks running on Linux, that’s some deflecting garbage.

EvasiveDice
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EvasiveDice

I really can’t comment on how things can go south. All I did was install play. Never seen Microsoft store ever again. My deepest sympathy goes to the people who wasn’t as lucky. Maybe I’m missing though how easy it was to click install, pin to taskbar, play. /shrug

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Justin Bania

I also installed and it ran fine, but I am not naive enough to think if my head isn’t wet then rain isn’t real. Unfortunately for a great many people, this has been one of the worst dumpster-fires of a launch ever seen. The install fails are actually crippling some systems by filling them with nonsense copies of the game. Terabytes of useless copies.

On this site, many people are pretty savvy with game installs and we here are still seeing major issues. Imagine someone for whom this is their first MMO. Imagine how enraged it would make a child who doesn’t understand why everything isn’t working. Imagine their parents who might get angry because their child just “ruined” their laptop with one of them-there “online games”. This kind of nonsense is worse than a black-eye against the Microsoft store, it is dangerous for the genre.

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You come across as very self-centered and your opinions cannot be taken seriously. You’re either a child or a troll.

While half the people on the planet trying to play the game are battling with issues left and right, you’re acting like there is nothing wrong at all.

I genuinely wish you the next time you try to play to face the issues everyone else is so you learn a little of that unfamiliar for you concept called “HUMILITY”.

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Bruno Brito

Maybe I’m missing though how easy it was to click install, pin to taskbar, play. /shrug

Do you need a hug? Or are you going to reflect your social issues on us? We’re not your friends, nor are we your psychologists. Spare us the tantrum.

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Sorenthaz

Ah yes the “it worked for me so it must work for everyone, stop being so negative smh” comment. Gotta have at least one of those.

EvasiveDice
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EvasiveDice

Now back up. I didn’t say for everyone. I said most. And I also stated this is purely a free game so I never can understand how people could gripe about something they got for free and acting like they spent 60+ on a game and back lashing. The “smh” was it’s FREE

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Utakata

Most still needs citation though. /shrug

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So if it doesn’t work for me and I want to play and probably spend money on it, I should just sit quiet and hope the problems will go away on their own and if they don’t then I should sit quietly and say “Oh well, I guess I won’t get to play that game after all…”

Unless people complain as vocally as they have been for the past 3 days, nobody would take notice of how grave this issue is and how broken the MS Store is to the point it should be patched out of Windows 10 ASAP.

The issues are also unheard of. Nobody has before been having the game not wanting to install or delete itself automatically or corrupt its own files automatically or then the login prompt not showing up so you can’t log in and play.

Usually with MMOs, people have issues with connecting to the servers at launch because of overload, lagging, items disappearing, rollbacks, rubberbanding, P2W, poor gameplay… that sort of issues…

But not being able to play the game, because it uninstalls itself or it fails to complete the basic steps, that is outrageous, even more so considering Microsoft is involved which have billions of budget and have no excuse to create software so unreliable and broken.

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Bruno Brito

Now back up.

Bite me.

I said most.

Assumption.

And I also stated this is purely a free game

Irrelevant.

so I never can understand how people could gripe about something they got for free

Diving headfirst into a pool of acid is also free, if you don’t consider the costs of the pool. This shitshow deleted itself from drivers, it changed the ways the Windows folders worked, and required multiple workarounds to function properly. I don’t understand how you can be so blind to the fact that the only free thing we got out of this was an completely stressful experience.

and acting like they spent 60+ on a game and back lashing.

You sound like you’re largely incompetent on whatever you do, yet you hate taking criticism. Do you know how things improve? By making it’s issues noticeable and your voice heard.

The “smh” was it’s FREE

Grow up. Nothing is free. This will get Sega money, and the F2P makes the ships populated, which brings more people to spend money. F2P games are a investiment.

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zyrusticae

Lol, what is with this ridiculous corporate apologism?

Microsoft Store is fucked, no two ifs ands or buts about it. The way it screws with permissions and ownership and requires extremely specific settings just to work in the way it intended means it is VERY prone to failure in some of the most baffling ways imaginable (and even beyond imagination in some cases). Hell, if you were like me and had an older installation of Windows with lots of things carried over from upgrades you would have run into no end of issues that could only be solved with a straight clean reinstall of the entire operating system.

That is not good software engineering, to say the least. It might be good for system security but system security should never come at the expense of literally thousands of paying customers who just want to play their fucking game.

The rating for PSO2 on the Microsoft Store is in the pits now and there is likely no recovering it after this fiasco. Microsoft is entirely at fault here. The results speak for themselves.

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Utakata

Just to concur with your final bit: WildStar made a lot of improvements to it’s game and attitude overtime to fix the raidcore, cupccake issues of launch, for example. It still foreclosed in the end, because players never forgave how it was released…

First impression count I guess. /le sigh

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Bruno Brito

Wildstar’s UI was still completely awful at the end, tho. The game died with it’s dungeon finder bugged.

There was a lot right with WS at the end of it’s life, but also a lot wrong.

Bereman
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Bereman

1. Your probably on linux.

2. Your using a previous version of Windows.

Don’t use Linux. Windows is up to date.

Game worked great, no issues, from launch through late last night, when I had a great time taking on the urgent quest against Dark Falz Luther with 2 friends and even at level 20 we had no idea what we were in getting into.

Until a couple hours ago, when I decided to launch it for the first time today, and after noting that it was weird that the icon had disappeared but I could still click on the spot for it on my taskbar and it just did nothing. No game launch, no launcher showing up, nothing in the task manager.

It was like the game simply stopped existing. I’ve literally done nothing new to my system, and today it decided to move a copy of the entire game outside of the initial download to the MutableBackup folder and suddenly I’m having the same issues many others are.

So sit down with this “It’s just you hating on MS, you probably did something wrong” tripe.

EvasiveDice
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EvasiveDice

I really dont know what to tell you but ive always hears the most vocal is the minority of problems when it comes to games. I’ve done nothing special and I’ve played it 3 times so far without 1-3 hours a session. I’m sorry you had problems but to counter, this goes both ways for people having problems and some who are not. What gets me the most and why I commented are people are acting super entitled to a game that was given to them for free.

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Justin Bania

You are fundamentally wrong here. These locked folders full of information are taking up space on their hard drives that they are not being allowed to access. Hint: those computers cost money and belong to those people. What if this was a Playstation game and installing it ruined your Playstation but Sony said “But guys, we let you download the file for free!”

You appear to be woefully uninformed on the issues here.

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48 Pistols
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People can’t even get the game to run at all and the problems leading to this should not be existing at all, that’s why everyone is so frustrated.

You are the entitled one since you act like if everyone else doesn’t behave as you do or have you mindset, they are wrong, entitled and ridiculous. If the same issues were to happen to you, you would be the one complaining.

I bet if you had the same issues as everyone else you probably wouldn’t even be able to try and bypass things as you seem to lack basic computer knowledge and think because you clicked INSTALL and PIN TO TASKBAR that somehow makes you an IT professional… Next I expect you to show me your certificates for Microsoft Paint and Notepad and prove me wrong…

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Free doesn’t excuse mediocrity. These are professional software development corporations who make plenty of money on their products. There is no excuse for end users of these products to have the extensive issues that we are witnessing here. This is gross incompetence on their part and is, quite frankly, indefensible.

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Bruno Brito

ive always hears the most vocal is the minority of problems when it comes to games.

You do realize the world doesn’t stop spinning when you go to bed and starts spinning when you wake up, right? Your experience is not the ruleset for…anything.

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EmberStar

I’m on Windows 10. I have done everything possible to disable the store, and refuse to use it. I dislike it because of *exactly* this kind of issue. MS didn’t make it as a platform to sell games. They made it to “leverage the power of XBox” and try to extend their console dominion into PC gaming space.

I don’t use linux. I don’t use a previous version of Windows. The Windows Store is still a terrible piece of design that is NOT intended, at any level, to be consumer friendly.

It’s not a problem for you? Good for you, here’s a text spider.
//\\( ; ; )//\\
(I can’t figure out how to ascii a gold star.)

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Don’t waste your time trying to discuss anything with that… creature. It is not a human being and it’s most likely some child or a troll/white knight/fanboy who is only baiting here.

Everyone has their PCs and Windows up to date and working fine, the only issues are coming from Microsoft and their buggy and unreliable software called UWP apps and the MS Store is part of them.

Also don’t waste your time trying to redownload 70+GB again and again. In these past 3 days I learned a lot about the MS Store, how it works and what a piece of fucking trash it is. I would advise you to hold off on wasting more of your time until they announce a standalone release free from Microsausagesoft’s crap. I think it’s a matter of time before everyone including Microsoft and SEGA realize that this will never work and will never be fixed and either release it standalone or just shut down the PC version.

So until we get a standalone distribution, it’s not worth wasting precious time on this piss poor release, even if they release “fixes” in the coming days, I’m not going to bother at all, I will just go to forums, reddit, twitter and news outlets like this one and read about the new issues instead.

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My Windows is probably more up to date than yours, I’m running the latest 2004 release from a few days ago, you’re probably still on 1909.

The Microsoft store is garbage, because when I reboot my PC it either deletes the game or corrupts the files and I have to download all 70GB all over again.

The Microsoft store is garbage, because it doesn’t give me a choice where to install the game and when I go through multiple hoops to force it to install on my D drive, it creates at least 6 different folders that I have no access to and it messes up the way I’ve set up my whole file system.

I want to install it on my D drive, because I don’t have enough space to spare for a 100GB game on my C drive and I would never install a game there if given a choice, because that’s where my Windows and programs are, nothing else stays there on my computer, because it’s mine and I say so. If a game would refuse to install anywhere but on C, then I refuse to bother with this game at all.

Then if somehow I get past that part, then I can’t log into the game, because there is a prompt coming from another UWP app that is used for XBOX login, if that one doesn’t start, I can’t log in and therefore I can’t get past the game’s start screen and play the game itself.

It may have worked for you, but for 50% of the people that want to play the game it doesn’t work. I have a brand new PC with a fresh install of the latest Windows 10 and it doesn’t work for me, obviously the problem is not on my end and it’s the useless and bugged Microsausagesoft software as it’s backed up by evidence from thousands upon thousands of people around the world.

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Bruno Brito

The only thing I can guess people are mad about is….

1. Your probably on linux.

2. Your using a previous version of Windows.

3. I have a up-to-date version of Windows which works perfectly, yet i had to mess with Windows authorization folders because their fucking storefront couldn’t actively work properly with the game launcher.

Next time, ask people who had issues instead of assuming everything is easy just because you had luck.

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McGuffn

So, you had a decade to take your time and get it right and you still failed. There should be some sort of award for this.

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zyrusticae

To be fair, it’s mostly Microsoft’s fault here. Many of the issues are caused directly by Microsoft Store’s baffling implementation.

If the game were just a normal Program Files application (as games have been treated for literally over two decades at this point) the only issues would have been launcher-related instead of thousands upon thousands of people having issues even getting the game installed, let alone started properly.

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Rees Racer

If I hadn’t bought my first proper PC in 1995, then I seriously doubt I’d been able to get this game to start at all.

As Eliot said yesterday “Phantasy Star Online 2 is, bar none, the absolute worst experience I have ever had with trying to get a game working on my computer.”

When I can get it to run, it is really, really fun, even as it’s taken well over 100GB of space on my hard drive.

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It really cannot be “fixed”. Until it’s relying on Microsoft Store and another UWP app responsible for the signing in for each session, this will always be broken for half the players and they will not be able to resolve it… NEVER.

The only solution is to release the game as a standalone download and install, kinda like the F2P MMOs were around 2010 – you download the installer or a downloader, you pick where you want it to be installed and just wait. When it’s done, you open the launcher, patch and you either log in from the launcher or the game itself. I used to play a lot of shitty F2P MMOs back in the day like that, probably hundreds of them some older ones still use this method of distribution…

They were shitty games, but at least they worked.

Now they need the same thing – to get away from the Microsoft Store as soon as possible and find a way to allow people to log into the game without relying on another broken and non-functional UWP app for the login process.

For so many years (5 if we count Windows 10 release and 8 if we count Windows 8 release), Microsoft did not manage to get their shit together with their Store and other UWP apps, previously called Metro apps, Modern apps and whatnot. If they could not do it in such a long time, they will not be able to do it now for this launch.

There are two outcomes out of this predicament:

1. Release a standalone game that does not rely on any Microsoft services and software in order to play the game… no exception.

2. Remain like this “trying to fix it” forever, while half the population can’t play the game and go down in history as the MMO with the worst launch in MMO history that never managed to recover and remained a laughingstock until it shut down a few months later.

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Castagere Shaikura

They will never shut it down because it works fine on Xbox which is what they only cared about in the first place. I have been saying this since from the beginning. The PC was just going to be extra. The deal MS made with Sega was for Xbox.

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Microsoft can still be publisher on PC without forcing the download through Microsoft CrappStore, at least I don’t see how different it would be the way they distribute it as long it says “MICROSOFT” on the label.

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McGuffn

“you download the installer… you pick where you want it to be installed and just wait. When it’s done, you open the launcher, patch and you either log in from the launcher or the game itself. I used to play a lot of shitty F2P MMOs back in the day like that”

I’m curious, How is this any different than many of the games covered on Massively? Including big name ones like ESO or especially gw2, which is just a data file. From the description even discrete publisher services like battlenet or arc apply. While Steam is more like a modern app store, even it fits the bill.

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At first sight MS Store looks like just another version of Steam, Epic Game Store, and the rest.

But when you start using it for yourself and face all the difficulties described in this article, you realize that it’s only technically the same.

In reality is a different breed of software. It’s designed to be helpful, but instead it’s increasing the difficulty of everything you do.

In Steam you can probably use the File Browse function to designate custom directory, in MS Store, you just get asked “C or D?” .. if you even get asked at all. Then it decides where it will install it on its own. Custom directories, many of them, they are inaccessible, you can’t modify them.

Just try to play PSO 2 from the MS Store and report back tomorrow your findings, I bet your will have a quality time. xD

Bereman
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Bereman

Pretty much – the MS Store requires that things work within the UWP App ecosystem, and therein lies the main difference…and cause of issues for games like PSO2.

Whereas other launchers might act as authentication portal of sorts as part of launching the game, the MS Store actively keeps its app data inside its ecosystem (the WindowsApps folder, which you normally can’t access). For a game like PSO2, that’s an issue…as it designates part of it as the files it keeps (the part the store downloads) but the part the launcher itself, as an app, downloads?

It will happily move that into a not so helpful backup folder within its ecosystem while redownloading the initial part that it handled and treats as part of its ecosystem. It’s how players have ended up with having to redownload the game via the launcher, but not the store, but filling up their HDD/SDD 55 GB at a time.

I think this might be the first game from the MS Store/Xbox App that has its own launcher and downloads outside of the app, and the two sides of it just aren’t playing together very well at all, precisely because the MS Store/Xbox App is more than just a digital download delivery and account authentication apparatus.

Within a closed system like the consoles, or when dealing with games that are wholly enclosed within their ecosystem, it doesn’t really show the same seams and cracks as often (though trying to get Halo MCC to download properly also had issues…and interestingly it’s the only one other than PSO2 that has had a presence in the ModifiableWindowsApps folder).

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Robert Mann

Heck, one of the things people note is that the MS store precludes things like a desktop icon. It’ll literally lock out shortcut access by locking down the install.

It’s one of many faux pas MS has made where they believe they have done something wonderful that everyone will love. Next to nobody ever does.

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McGuffn

I just don’t even. Microsoft is designing things that disable the features of its own flagship product, Windows?

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Yes, the directories which ti creates then become inaccessible. Even if you uninstall the game, the directories remain. I had to install the Registry script
“Take Ownership” so it will appear in the context menu and when used to allow me to modify these directories. I had to use tools like Wise Force Deleter and IObit Unlocker to get rid of the remains of the game after it was removed.

If those did not work, I was considering formatting my D drive and reinstalling Windows.

You have no idea how disgusting this piece of software is and all the hate for it is justified.. if anything, there is not enough hate… there needs to be more hate, hopefully some violence with it for good sport.

Seriously though, the situation with this miserable failure of a launch is that if they do not find a way to remove MS Store and all its subcomponents from the game, they might as well cancel the PC launch, because there is no point in existing like this if half the players can’t even play because of the MS Store.

Unless it’s removed, this will never be fixed 100%.

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Greaterdivinity

“We’re sorry we didn’t bother to do any live testing for this before launching it.”

Seriously, while they haven’t lost me as a player they’ve lost me as a paying player. At least for quite some time. There’s no excuse for companies like Sega and Microsoft to have such major, widespread issues like this for the launch on PC.

miskav
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miskav

Seriously, while they haven’t lost me as a player they’ve lost me as a paying player.

Too true. I was very excited for PSO2, I waited for years.

I anticipated it’d be bad when I heard it’d be a MS-store exclusive, and honestly, anyone could have seen this coming.

I went in wanting to spend a bunch of money supporting a game I liked. And now I’m at the point where I can’t even humor the idea of spending 5 bucks on it.