There was no way they might have handled a massive online game such as PSO2 Meseta during those decades, and even after the mix, they had been occupied with not just localizing more games from more franchises they couldn't in the years before, but also they were busy with enhancing their localization procedure so the western releases could be closer to the JP releases. Even now in 2020 the current SEGA of America/Atlus USA wouldn't have been able to handle the whole PSO2 project by themselves (as we can see by the partnership between SEGA and Microsoft with MS hosting both the servers and community and support being redirected to ESTSoft).
"We heard plenty of players say they have been waiting eight long years with this release. [laughs] So we were really happy about that." That laugh be a nervous (oops. Sorry) one rather than a mocking one. It's in the end of a question about how hot that the beta was. It reads as"lots more people played beta than expected, and told us they'd been waiting eight long years for this - so people were pleased at how popular it was" rather than"we were happy people were awaiting eight years" Honestly I'm just glad the game is out, it is doing well, we are really getting content updates and such.
So even when they didn't care we seem to be in a fine place at this time and that's what's critical. Just continue supporting and playing the game if you like it and Sega will see that they have a good enough player base to not bungle things in the future. What a non answer for the why the 8 year wait question. Its obvious they lost interest long ago and only changed their mind for this release because of Microsoft practically funds it. All what has been mentioned here makes really a lot of sense in retrospect. The clunky translation due to the team not having much control over it, and the massive wait for your EN version. For all those of you who do not remember, PS as a string has had some really DOGSHIT customer service in the west, all of the way back to Buy Phantasy Star Online 2 Meseta. Sega as a business has an extreme tendency toward the crippling fear of making cash. They never try things unless they see a direct gain to them in some capacity (See: POS apparatus in response to their incoming downfall, the quarterly surveys, etc.)