The world of MMO gaming has been in a transitional state for quite some time. Paid subscriptions no longer appeal to a massive audience as they once did in the days of World of Warcraft‘s launch. Gamers prefer a single payment for their games – or no payment at all – with optional transactions once they decide they want to spend more money. ArenaNet felt the winds of change far before many other developers when creating Guild Wars, so its no surprise the long-awaited sequel sold gangbusters weeks before it even launched.
Unfortunately, there were consequences to the fans’ exuberant response. ArenaNet opened the Guild Wars 2 servers three days in advance for those that had pre-purchased the game, and other than relatively minor downtime delays and bugs, the launch went smoothly on August 28th. Two days later, first-party sales on GuildWars2.com and replenishment of stock for retail partners were suspended.
This is not a very common practice, but according to ArenaNet, they had ”to catch up with record demand and to ensure that players who bought the game would continue to have the best online experience possible.” Even with the suspension of sales, Guild Wars 2 still managed to grab the top spot across ten All Formats charts in Europe.
During the suspension, new servers have been added, the amount of customer service agents has doubled, and the Trading Post has been reworked in prepation for the oncoming flood of new players. Hopefully the temporary lapse in sales was worth the stress it saved the team and the gamers – taking a game off the market just two days after it launches is a rather large risk to take for the good of the community.
Now, to celebrate the reopening of sales, ArenaNet has commissioned James McTeigue, known for his work on The Matrix Trilogy and Star Wars: Episode II, to direct a live-action spot titled “Our Time is Now.” It is truly something else. Don’t let the video distract you too much though, and be sure to read our initial impressions to get a much more positive look at the game.
Do you think taking Guild Wars 2 off virtual and physical shelves was a noble thing for ArenaNet to do for the community that had bought the game early, or do you think they had a choice? Let us know in the comments below.
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