Underrated free-to-play MMO action-RPG Phantasy Star Online 2 is getting a huge expansion next year. During the Xbox Games Showcase, Sega announced New Genesis, an overhaul of Phantasy Star Online 2, as a stand-alone expansion releasing in 2021 on PC and Xbox One.

The above trailer does a great job summarizing all the new features included with New Genesis, as well as where that leaves the original game.

New Genesis redesigns character creation, adopts a new graphics engine, and transforms the MMO into an open, persistent world to adventure in. The original game will also receive a graphical overhaul, which will raise the system requirements.

While you can still play in both original PSO2 and New Genesis with the same character, their levels, experience, and skills won’t carry over between games. New Genesis features new character growth and updated battle systems.

Although Phantasy Star Online 2 only recently released earlier this year in the US, it’s been around since 2012 in Japan, and in need of a visual upgrade. Next year also marks Phantasy Star Online’s 20th anniversary, which originally began as a series  of traditional RPGs on the Sega Genesis over a decade before it went online.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is currently free to play on PC (Microsoft Store) and Xbox One as free to play with cosmetic microtransactions (Xbox requires Xbox Live Gold subscription). New Genesis will arrive next year as a free expansion on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Phantasy Star Online is rated T for Teen.

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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.