SEGA has confirmed that there will be a subscription fee to play Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II in North America. The online service will cost $8.95 a month from October 29, but the company is sweetening the deal by giving active players exclusive downloadable quests to expand the game.
If you don’t want to play online, you don’t need to pay for the subscription – the game comes complete with a split-screen four-player co-op mode on the disc.
IGN quotes SEGA America’s Mike Fischer, who says, “Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II online quests will include themed seasonal missions and will feature special items and secrets exclusive to online subscribers. Based on the wildly popular Phantasy Star universe, Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II features two complete games in one, allowing players to team up with up to three friends online via a dial-up or broadband connection, or enjoy a full offline experience, including a four-player split screen mode. Featuring a universal translation system, the game also lets online players seamlessly communicate while playing — no matter what language they speak.”
We’ll see if the Xbox version also requires a subscription fee, but it’s good to have a clear answer for the Gamecube version.