Many people immediately think of Phantasy Star Online when it comes to Dreamcast and online RPGs; however,
Rune Jade was actually the game that first utilized the system's online capabilities. With the ability to have as many as five people online at once, the game broke new online ground in the world of console gaming. Now, that era is coming to an end; with no North American release to speak of and the waning fortunes of the Dreamcast, Hudson has announced it is shutting down the game's servers, effective September 30th.
Despite the shutdown, the future of online RPGs looks bright, with Phantasy Star Online still going strong, and that game's second version, as well as Final Fantasy XI just over the horizon, along with a number of lesser-known titles. At the time of the announcement, no reason was provided for the shutdown, which will affect all Japanese servers.