SaGa Frontier 2 was first announced in a September 1998 issue of Japanese The PlayStation magazine, where Square claimed the game would be taking a stylistic departure from the original SaGa Frontier released one year earlier, as well as confirming the title's release for spring 1999. A representative from the company stated that they would be abandoning the CG full-motion videos and computer-style graphics of the previous title to focus on a more traditional, hand-drawn look. The game's art style was achieved by using hand-drawn and painted artwork produced on a canvas that would be scanned and digitized to produce the game's backgrounds and character sprites. Many of the game's towns, locations, and characters draw heavily from medieval Germanic influence, with much of the story taking place within a fictional time-frame similar to the 13th century. New features not seen in the previous SaGa Frontier title include compatibility with the PlayStation's DualShock analog controller and PocketStation peripheral device for accessing additional content. Series creator Akitoshi Kawazu served as project director, with the game's promotional character art drawn by Tomomi Kobayashi, who had previously contributed artwork for SaGa Frontier and the Romancing SaGa games.
The North American version was announced at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles by Square. In January 2000, the game was released in that region by Square Electronic Arts, and was made available in the PAL region the following March. A promotional movie for SaGa Frontier 2 was included on the SquareSoft 2000 Collector's CD Vol. 3, which was packaged with the initial North American release of Vagrant Story.
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