Phantasy Star Online 2 Bans 1600 Players Over Toxicity, Symbol Art Changes Coming

Over the past week, Phantasy Star Online 2 has banned over 1600 players for toxic behavior. The NGS Live Operations Team has taken a stand against what they deem as “hateful behavior and toxicity” which has concluded in the suspension and punishment of hundreds of accounts.

In a move that may be a little surprising to some, SEGA, and the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis team has released a statement following the suspension of over 1600 accounts found to have exhibited toxic behavior in the form of racist, discriminatory, or hateful speech or acts. The entirety of the statement can be read in the tweet below:

— Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis – Global (@play_pso2) September 7, 2021

The prevalence of certain toxic players is nothing particularly new to the game, and while SEGA has strived to do better when it comes to making PSO2:NGS a safe space where all players can feel welcome, it has often been accused of letting some bad actors run rampant. Back in June when PSO2:NGS launched, we published an article that depicted cases of toxicity and inappropriate user-created content within the game. At the time, SEGA was not able to comment when we reached out to them, but in a recent announcement on the official PSO2:NGS site, countermeasures are coming to protect against the malicious behavior seen within their communication features.

In the interim, SEGA has temporarily disabled Symbol Art as per the notice below, which also includes the intended fix for the situation that they plan to roll out in mid-October:

“Add an option to toggle display for Chat and Symbol Art sent by other players for each category, such as 1. Send to Area and 2. Send to Party.*The use of Symbol Art in 1. Send to Area is currently temporarily disabled, and we plan to re-enable it with the addition of this function.”

PSO2 NGS Announcement

While it will never be possible to completely rid a game of bad actors, especially when some of the content is community generated, SEGAs move to address the toxic outliers of an otherwise helpful community will only make the game better, kinder and more accessible.