Interview: Daiki Hamazaki on Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis

Interview: Daiki Hamazaki on Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis

Earlier this month, Final Weapon’s Raul Ochoa and Payne Grist had the opportunity to interview Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis director Daiki Hamazaki. Our interview looks at recent updates and Sonic the hedgehog collaboration for Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesisas well as possibilities for new themes and creative space ideas for new areas. Special thanks to eleven-san for his time!

Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your background for our readers?

Daiki Hamazaki: My name is Daiki Hamazaki and I am the director of the series PSO2 New Genesis. I was involved in the PSO2 series since before its launch, and at the time, I was supervising the actions of the players and enemies. After being a director of episodes 4 and 5, I became a director of NSWand I have been the director of the series since NGS version 2.

Daiki Hamazaki, Director of PSO 2 NGS
Daiki Hamazaki, director of PSO 2 NGS

As series director Fantasy Star Online series, what is your role for PSO2 New Genesis and more precisely, the latest updates for June?

Daiki Hamazaki: Nameless City Exploration, released in June, was developed with the concepts of exploration and replayability in mind. Exploration gameplay in the open field of NGS becomes less replayable after multiple content releases, so we felt it was crucial to introduce content that retained the exploration element, while still providing replayability. This time we were able to create a different type of exploration gameplay than the open field by adding treasure hunt type elements, like getting points and opening as many chests as possible within a time limit, as well as a thrilling feeling that comes from fighting even with normal enemies. At the same time, by implementing EX Augments, we were able to further strengthen the hack-and-slash aspect, which is one of the charms of NGS, and we believe that this synergistic effect guarantees replayability.

The new Nameless City area is incredible and encourages fans to explore at their leisure. What can players expect from the Nameless City, and are there any elements that will be carried over to new areas?

Daiki Hamazaki: From Leciel Exploration, we are developing a new area with a touch of science fiction that fits perfectly into the Ghostly star series. This time we have incorporated additional elements that recall PSO2and we think we’ve created something that PSO2 fans will appreciate it. Implementing artificial fields takes some time, so although it is difficult to implement them frequently, we are considering more future updates.

A large number of PSO2 NGS’ Story scenes shine when there is teamwork and camaraderie between ARKS characters. Will players see the ARKS cast expand in the near future, or will the team focus on the characters already known from the story so far?

Daiki Hamazaki: Future story releases will likely focus primarily on the characters that have appeared so far.

The level cap was increased to 90 with the June 5th update, and PSO2 NGS Players have many ways to strengthen their ARKS agents. Is the team planning to introduce even more difficult, high-level content that will test players and their new abilities?

We plan to regularly add content that will allow players to test the power of their empowered characters. The newest content to test their strength is Sign of the Planetbreaker (Rank 2), which was released starting June 19.

Including items inspired by the Far East is a great way to expand the player’s creative potential and further personalize their creative space. What other cultures or styles would the team like to implement in future updates?

Daiki Hamazaki: We are pleased to see that the new themes have been well received. We have a range of ideas, such as medieval, western and steampunk themes, but we would like to look at the usage rate of new themes before making an overall decision on future updates.

PSO2 NGS curates collaborations with other fan-favorite games and popular anime that attract new and returning players. With Sonic the Hedgehog’s anniversary celebration coming up on June 12, what can players expect in terms of new content in the collaboration?

Daiki Hamazaki: We will have a new quest available for our collaboration with Sonic the Hedgehog. This quest has evolved from last year’s version and offers players the opportunity to take advantage of the hyper-speed characteristic of Sonic himself.

Additionally, players will also be able to obtain the Eredim series through this quest, giving them the chance to obtain weapons with EX upgrades affixed to them.

Please note that this year Sonic The collaboration ended on June 25th. But we encourage you to stay tuned for information on future collaborations.

Four years have already passed since the launch of PSO2 NGS. Given that the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S generation is well underway, does the team have any plans to introduce graphical updates and improvements for PSO 2: NGS on these specific platforms?

Daiki Hamazaki: We currently have no plans to make any graphics-related updates.

Is there anything else you would like to share with PSO2 NGS Fans?

Daiki Hamazaki: We have reached the 3rd anniversary of NGSand the 12th anniversary of PSO2 Thank you to all our players.

We would therefore like to express our sincere gratitude to you. The development and operations teams are committed together to bringing you content and putting measures in place for the game so that ARKS can enjoy it for as long as possible. We hope our players continue with us on this journey.

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Version 2.0
Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Version 2.0

Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store, Windows, and Steam.