ArenaNet On Guild Wars 2 Beta, Origins & Profitability

September 23, 2011

By Andrew Burnes

At this week’s EuroGamer Expo Guild Wars 2 had a sizeable presence, with several banks of PCs, plenty of staff, and early-morning Player Versus Player sessions. For those not familiar with Guild Wars, the game’s classified as a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, but it is possible to follow the story-based quest line through to its conclusion completely without human assistance thanks to useful bot companions that can be heavily customized.

Away from the noise and drum we spoke to Colin Johanson, Lead Content Designer at ArenaNet, NCSoft’s in-house development team.

Skipping past the fantastic graphics and stunning 3D Vision support, which we’ve talked about in depth in the past , Colin and I spoke of the Asura, a race of small magical creatures familiar to those who’ve played the original Guild Wars and its expansions. Preferring to avoid hard work, the Asura ‘use’ various Golems for everything from day-to-day tasks to building their huge floating cities, something we’re sure will come back to haunt them at some point during Guild Wars 2’s expansive storyline.

We also spoke of the Sylvari, a completely new race, both to the Guild Wars franchise, and the Guild Wars world, having been born of a worshipped tree just twenty-five years prior to the events of Guild Wars 2.

Our chat later moved on to talk of ArenaNet’s origins, which may be particularly surprising to some of you given Guild War’s massive success, the anticipated beta test, whether Guild Wars 2 can attain profitability without charging a subscription, and when Guild Wars 2 will finally hit the shelves.

“We did very well [financially] on Guild Wars 1,” says Colin, and “we’ll do even better on Guild Wars 2, for sure.”

Find out whether his prediction comes true sometime next year.