Update: Sega has clarified that Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is a new game rather than an expansion, but it's still directly tied to the original.
New Genesis has revised combat and exploration set in a wide open world, and it tells a story taking place a thousand years after the events of Phantasy Star Online 2. However, you can still take the same characters back and forth between either game. Their gear from the original game will carry over in an altered form into the new, though their experience, skills, and most of their currency won't make the jump.
Sega also confirmed that the graphical improvements coming in New Genesis will also be applied to the original Phantasy Star Online 2 via a future update. They'll both be free-to-play, so if you enjoy one there's no harm in giving the other a try.
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After finally bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to the West this year (opens in new tab), Sega is now expanding it with a new expansion appropriately titled New Genesis coming in 2021.
Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will introduce a new environment filled with strange enemies, including towering giants that seem to be field bosses of sorts. The reveal trailer for the expansion focused on humanoid and bestial robots that feel like Warframe crashed into Zoids, and they're mighty cool. There's also a big emphasis on aerial movement and attacks in the combat snippets.
Sega didn't share much else about New Genesis, sadly. The trailer simply assures players that "true adventure starts now," so pack up your pre-adventure bags and get ready for whatever that entails. We know it will be a console launch exclusive on Xbox One and Xbox Series X, but that's no surprise. The game originally came to PC a bit after its Xbox debut, so that's to be expected. Oh, and yes, Phantasy Star Online 2 will be on Xbox Series X, in case you were wondering.
Originally released in Asia in 2012, Phantasy Star Online 2 came to the West on Xbox One and PC this April (or May on PC). The free-to-play, sci-fi, action-MMO has always had a cult following in the West, but it was also always tragically unavailable and hard to get into. With its long-awaited localization, it's not only become more accessible, it's also become much more active, and it's nice to see Sega and Microsoft supporting that momentum with major new content.