Guild Wars 2 May Be The End Of The Franchise

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Guild Wars 2 May Be The End Of The Franchise

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Hopefully you really like the current state of Guild Wars 2 as developer ArenaNet has no plans to expand the game, and a sequel seems increasingly unlikely.

When the Guild Wars franchise made its debut with 2005's aptly titled Guild Wars, it was hailed as a World of Warcraft killer. Fast forward to the present day and Blizzard's MMO is still king of the heap, while the latest Guild Wars title seems to be stagnating at the very least.

In an as yet unpublished interview with IGN, Guild Wars 2 director Colin Johanson offered grim (if diplomatic) news for those hoping that the game might see an expansion pack in the near future. "Expansions are definitely something that we'll potentially look at in the future," Johanson states. "We don't have a timetable on it. We're open to it, but I think our major focus as a studio is making the living world concept as strong as possibly can for the players that we've got."

Translation: There are no expansions for Guild Wars 2 in development. While this could be a developer attempting to hold his cards close to the vest, his later statements as to the possibility of a sequel color this entire conversation in arguably depressing tones.

"We want to be able to have teams that are literally developing new, innovative features that change the way that you play our game and grow that experience so it literally feels like you don't leave Guild Wars 2; Guild Wars 2 becomes Guild Wars 2.5 or Guild Wars 3 and it continues to grow," Johanson claims.

The overall message of Johanson's words (outside of his annoyingly constant misuse of "literally") largely depends on how cynical you are with regards to the massively multiplayer online gaming genre, but there are undeniable facts here. First, as we stated above, no expansions are currently planned or in development for Guild Wars 2. This stands in stark contrast to the first Guild Wars which saw three expansions prior to the release of its sequel.

Secondly, as Johanson states, ArenaNet has no real plans to make a Guild Wars 3. Instead, it will continue to add content and features to Guild Wars 2. How long that might last is anyone's guess, but we have to assume it isn't the firm's indefinite plan. What happens when the game's engine is so dated that players turn up their nose in disgust at the title? That only takes three or four years in our modern era (especially given the semi-realistic art style of the Guild Wars franchise), and what then? ArenaNet could go the EVE Online route and release aesthetic upgrades for the game, but those are generally huge additions found within expansions for the game, which Johanson already stated were not being planned.

Does this mean Guild Wars 2 is dying? Not necessarily, but it doesn't bode well for the game's future either. Then again, maybe we're just wildly cynical. The free-to-play business model seen in Guild Wars 2 has enabled far too many objectively terrible games to hit the market and at some point it simply must become oversaturated. We've got a soft spot for the Guild Wars franchise and would hate to see it became a victim of the economic realities it helped usher in.

Source: IGN

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I kind of applaud that idea, but I'm horribly confused how that can remotely be economically feasible. They don't charge for patches, they don't charge for actual content, they don't have any sub fee of any kind, they dont plan on expansions, so the only income is the box fee for Guild Wars 2?

How can that possibly sustain them in the long term?

Is there somethin I'm missin here?

shintakie10:
I kind of applaud that idea, but I'm horribly confused how that can remotely be economically feasible. They don't charge for patches, they don't charge for actual content, they don't have any sub fee of any kind, they dont plan on expansions, so the only income is the box fee for Guild Wars 2?

How can that possibly sustain them in the long term?

Is there somethin I'm missin here?

I'd imagine that, if it's anything like the first Guild Wars, they may eventually charge for the expansions. I don't think they'll be charging full game price for them, though. It might me more like a DLC range of pricing. I hope they can stick with Guild Wars 2 and maybe expand and develop it the way WoW was done (adding new lands, professions, playable races, etc to one game). It may help it last longer. At the moment, my friends and I have been playing the game on and off. We're mostly waiting for new content. We pop in for their events every once in a while, but we haven't played consistently for a while.

shintakie10:
I kind of applaud that idea, but I'm horribly confused how that can remotely be economically feasible. They don't charge for patches, they don't charge for actual content, they don't have any sub fee of any kind, they dont plan on expansions, so the only income is the box fee for Guild Wars 2?

How can that possibly sustain them in the long term?

Is there somethin I'm missin here?

Yes you are missing something - they also have the gem store thing to bring in money. I dont how much money it does actually make from that though or whether they have any plans to expand upon it, but i guess they must make something from it if they aren't planing any expansions and whatnot.

I don't really see this as a big deal. The game's been out like, what, 7 months? I've always been of the opinion that your base game should last you at least 2 years or so before you start trudging out expansions. Solidify the core game into a really solid experience before pumping out tons of new landmasses to explore.

I don't think they'll stay away from expansions, I just think it'll be a while before they actually start working on it.

Just give me Catnha and I will be happy for a long time. Thats what keep me in GW1. That and the events.

Something remotely related: They once let slip that they had only 1 or 2 people work on class balance after release... so yeah, was pretty obvious.
Though that may have been an elaborately crafted fake for all I know... they actually seem to have started making actual class changes again.

Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Tragedy's Rebellion:
Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Huge chance we won't get Cantha. Originally there was a Cantha district in Divinity Reach, it was completely finished with NPCs and everything. However Koreans and Chinese were angry that it combined their cultures and thus they were forced to remove the district with a giant hole...

Korten12:

Tragedy's Rebellion:
Tbh they have a looooooooot of work to do to get GW2 to be half as good as GW 1 was. A LOT of stuff is a mess and PvP is just in a horrible state. I hope we get to go to Cantha and Elona again, they are way more interesting than Ascalon, and the "no expansion" thing is just temporary.

Huge chance we won't get Cantha. Originally there was a Cantha district in Divinity Reach, it was completely finished with NPCs and everything. However Koreans and Chinese were angry that it combined their cultures and thus they were forced to remove the district with a giant hole...

Huh, I didn't know that. Shame. It seems unnecessarily melodramatic to me. (Korea and China being angry that is)

I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

Wow, what a poorly written article. Obvious axe to grind along with petty gripes makes it difficult to take anything stated seriously, especially when the article itself is based around conjecture about a simple statement that expansions aren't in production yet after only over half a year.

So, since i'm a player, they are focusing on the idea of making the world change bit by bit, than just create an expansion? This is bad how?

To be honest what kind of killed GW2 rapidly for me was their focus on these "social events" all over the place where to advance you pretty much move from event point to event point and do whatever happens in that area in order to advance. Whether that happens to be fighting local monsters, or carrying chickens to safety, or whatever else, sometimes with a choice of things to do. It was cool at first but got old quickly, and I wound up missing a more traditional MMO structure. Too easy for things to get annoying if there are too many or too few people around.

It was an interesting idea, but I think it's one of those cases where they simply tried to innovate too much, and become all things to all gamers, and it just didn't work out as well as everyone hoped.

It's sad to see the franchise in trouble (despite not being a huge fan), but at the same time I'm not entirely shocked either, after all I wound up stopping playing fairly early on myself.

One also has to wonder at the projections involved in this as well. They did launch with the microtransaction idea right from the beginning, and seemed to have high expectations for it, as opposed to it being a game entirely propelled by it's box sales like the first Guild Wars. It's not a great economy (real world) right now, and on top of that virtual property seems to have not exactly been the cash cow a lot of games expected it would be as people have been catching onto it.

As ironic as this will sound I think the problem we're looking at with a lot of the current crop of MMORPGs that go free to play is that they have no idea how to run a microtransaction system. They tend to either wind up in a situation where they wind up selling entirely cosmetic or conveinence items, and that doesn't seem to be going over all that well in the big picture because most players will tend to ignore those, or just buy a couple of things they like, and then nothing else. Or engaging in harassment where they basically cut down all of the game features to a bear minimum in an effort to force people to subscribe, or force people to drop huge amounts of money unlocking every little thing piecemeal, and even then not allowing you to buy everything if you aren't going to commit to paying a monthly fee (ToR and DCUO are examples of this).

For all their criticisms, I think Cryptic/Perfect World actually hit on the right balance, which is to actually sell items with in game power/effects. Making it so the game is perfectly playable without that stuff (and not even especially difficult to complete the content with what you have free access to) but for it to be desirable. Then to make it so that it's possible to obtain any of the paid content entirely by playing the game over enough time. Money thus becomes a time saving conveinence, not entirely nessicary, but something people are willing to invest in the game more willingly because they don't feel as forced into it. Some people do indeed exploit the system and remain entirely FTP squatters, but most wind up investing some degree of both time and real money into the game. Cryptic/Perfect World's philsophy having apparently taken Star Trek Online from 1 foot and 4 toes in the grave, and turning it into a bigger success than City Of Heroes was for them in it's prime.

A lot of people will go off about greed, management, etc... but looking at which games seem to be doing really well, and which ones seem to be lingering on, I think a lot of it comes down to how they are approaching their business model.

Unless your purely taking the attitude of donating to the game for it's survival (which I have done in the past), one needs to ask themselves WTF anyone would invest in Guild Wars Gems. I mean absolutly nothing there really benefits your character, you can only carry/store so many costumes, dyes are neat but your likely to come up with a color scheme you like long before you buy hundreds of them (assuming your willing to pay that much simply for color), weapon models, exps boosters... etc... none of that really helps you that much in the game, except maybe to hit endgame sooner. Compared to say someone dropping $25 for an Assault Cruiser Refit in STO or whatever, that's pricey, but it actually gives you in game benefits for doing it. What's more it's something you could get in game by say grinding Dil for a month or two if your playing regularly, so someone who really wants one but can't afford it in RL terms could still get it, the game keeps going by simply having so much desirable stuff that it keeps people working towards it in game play, as well as dropping the occasional wad of cash by way of a shortcut or to make their advancement easier. Not perfect or "smart" in any objective sense, but it seems to have worked to the point where I see Perfect World Bragging, where games like Guild Wars 2 seem to be flagging, and games like ToR "enhance" their Free To Play options with mixed results (I sat down and paid a few bucks to unlock a character to the level of subscriber, only to find out stupidly it couldn't be done, largely because of what there was simply no option to upgrade which is how I missed it, the whole microtransaction system there being not only based on harassment, but intended to do little more but force you into subscribing anyway if you really want a full experience, which defeats the entire FTP/Microtransaction system).

Scarim Coral:
I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

I can imagine Cantha will have some issue with the fact that a large chunk of people aren't using human characters, at least from what I understand happened to the nation.

Also isn't Elona like all demons now? Though having a large event that allows players to fight their way to reclaim the Far Shiverpeaks or the way to Elona would be a pretty cool way of introducing them.

snekadid:
Wow, what a poorly written article. Obvious axe to grind along with petty gripes makes it difficult to take anything stated seriously, especially when the article itself is based around conjecture about a simple statement that expansions aren't in production yet after only over half a year.

Seriously.

I panicked when I saw the title, but the only content in the article was "We want to make some expansions but we aren't working on any right now." The game has been out for just over 6 months and they're currently in the middle of working on some huge content patches...Is that really such a strange thing to hear from the devs?

What a weird article.

We will focus on developing our current game further. Expanding it and working to create things that will change the game so much that a few years from now you won't even be able to recognize it as the original we started at.

Escapists reaction:

RUN PANIC! A developer is actually supporting their title and plans on expanding on it kinda like WoW did for a decade. PANIC! PANIC!!!

Kind of an over reaction there Earnest.

How does "We're focusing on improving existing events and adding lore" translate to "Guild Wars 2 is the end of the franchise"? Kinda a leap don'tcha think? These small changes that happen with some regularity make the game feel more alive than standard MMOs with their "Big Event every 2 years".

zdog jr:

Scarim Coral:
I think it's a shame unless they will add defeating the remaining elder dragons in patches? In saying so I can easily imagine them adding in explorable areas in the undisclosed places like the Crystel Desert and the Far Shiverpeaks.
Still I wanted them at some point address the current state of Elona and Cantha as in expansion. I have read what happens to those places but will our game characters get to venture those regions?

I can imagine Cantha will have some issue with the fact that a large chunk of people aren't using human characters, at least from what I understand happened to the nation.

Also isn't Elona like all demons now? Though having a large event that allows players to fight their way to reclaim the Far Shiverpeaks or the way to Elona would be a pretty cool way of introducing them.

True, I was guessing that could of been some kind of a hidden resistance or non human races that were in hiding in Cantha (like any Tengu that weren't able to head back to Kryta) or maybe any non human character that enter into Cantha had some sort of diguises that make them look like human as they are capable of doing that in GW2 (Tibur disgusing as Demmi was pure class!).

As with Elona, last time I've read the lore on what happen after GW, it was under the undead hand of Palawa Joko (the undead king that was brought back in Nightfall in exchange for helping the heroes on how to enter the desolation desert).

Guild Wars 2's flaws are numerous and, unfortunately, only growing. And the negative word-of-mouth about the game has spread ever since the November fiasco.

Why on earth would they rush to release an expansion?

This article is the conceptual equivalent of declaring World War 3 because that one Russian kid pushed an American kid on the playground.

Earnest Cavalli:
Then again, maybe we're just wildly cynical.

Yeah, that.

Seriously, I have no idea where this excessively negative interpretation comes from. It's weird.

Reading the comments quoted in this article it sounds like a guy trying to reassure players that they aren't rushing to sell them a new expansion and they can count on new updates for the existing game world.

All I heard was "we're gonna give our core game so much support that we won't need dedicated expansions to beef up the content".
Gradual, constant, organic change over a long period of time much like an actual world. That sounds a lot like what MMOs should have been from day one rather than the staggered influx of content expansions are. I don't see this as something warranting all the doomsday folk with carboard signs. It's just a different approach. One which will arguably require more effort and yield more content overall, but I'm not gonna place a wager on that just yet.

rofltehcat:
Something remotely related: They once let slip that they had only 1 or 2 people work on class balance after release... so yeah, was pretty obvious.
Though that may have been an elaborately crafted fake for all I know... they actually seem to have started making actual class changes again.

I'd believe it, as Necro and Mesmer are poorly balanced for anything outside PVP, condition builds are worthless outside of PVP due to the retardedly low 25 condition cap, and Warrior is so OP as to be stupifying. I recently went back to playing with some friends and made a warrior, by lv50 I've face tanked every champion I've come across, and soloed most of them. A task neither my Necro or Thief are even remotely capable of.

As for expansions, they better put something out there against this statement. Knowing that there may not be any more content coming is the fastest way for me to no longer want to play, seeing as Living Story is kinda suck, even they admit that. FoTM was a good idea, but desperately needs more floor types added in before I'm willing to climb it more.

You know what is absolutely astounding to me? The posts I read on the official forums are happy.

Let it sink in. An MMO's official community board is happy about the developer's statement.

This is the worst example of misleading, headline grabbing I've seen on the Escapist in a long time. Every alarmist point made is drawn from supposition and unsupported correlation between tenuously related subjects. The tone is also thoroughly subjective, despite all the "we's".

Not a Guild Wars fan here, at all. In fact, I couldn't give rat's arse what happens to the franchise. I am a very disappointed reader of the Escapist though. Did this astoundingly bad article even pass over the editorial desk before it was posted?

Ironside:

shintakie10:
I kind of applaud that idea, but I'm horribly confused how that can remotely be economically feasible. They don't charge for patches, they don't charge for actual content, they don't have any sub fee of any kind, they dont plan on expansions, so the only income is the box fee for Guild Wars 2?

How can that possibly sustain them in the long term?

Is there somethin I'm missin here?

Yes you are missing something - they also have the gem store thing to bring in money. I dont how much money it does actually make from that though or whether they have any plans to expand upon it, but i guess they must make something from it if they aren't planing any expansions and whatnot.

I'm not really sure its bringing in that much money, i mean given the fact you can trade gold for gems and you can get gold pretty easily end game... I dunno, would be interesting to see how much money they're bringing in though.

This article seems to be assuming a lot, while little of it is based on actual fact, just saying. They haven't said that they are producing any expansions yet, so you just go all out and assume that it is dying? I don't know, maybe, just maybe they don't want to reveal any details about possible expansions or a possible GW3 yet. The game just came out anyway.

Seriously, what the fuck were you thinking when you wrote this?

Besides, the expansions that we've seen to the game so far has been monthly, so instead of getting an expansion every now and then, we've been getting smaller ones every month since the start. I think it's a good way of doing it, might even be better than with larger expansions.

I'd like to see more events like the christmas and halloween events, which had pretty substantial content, but were removed after the holidays.

It hasn't been out that long and they need to fix the base game before they even think about adding expansions anyway. From the sound it they are planning on slowly adding more content to the main for now rather than separating it out and releasing an expansion so it's not dead.

Sadly even if they do add expansion it's not going to be Elona or Cantha. Elona from what I understand is suppose to have been taken over by Joko (undead leader from Nightfall) and NCsoft does not want them to do Cantha because the homogenizing of different Asian cultures is deemed offensive with the in universe excuse of Cantha now being very xenophobic and cut off.

I cannot tell where you, Mr. Cavalli, draw your information from. The quotes presented here indicate exactly the thing I want to see in this game. To me, at least. Long lasting support, more content to be realeased when it fits and enhancing the mechanics which make this game stand out and be unique.

This article was all but the quality I used to see here. Since when do wild assumption, one-sided reporting and waving flag doom were set the standard here?

What is it that changed the escapist lately anyway? I was wondering, all these new authors and shows that feel so out of place and mostly... terribly bad.

If this keeps on I really need to go back to my old habit and only check here wednesday evening.
Zero Punctuation seems to be the only thing left that is worth watching.

So far

Earnest Cavalli:
When the Guild Wars franchise made its debut with 2005's aptly titled Guild Wars, it was hailed as a World of Warcraft killer.

Eh... what?

Guild Wars was released only a few months after World of Warcraft.

Nobody hailed it as a WoW-killer, at the time WoW wasn't "WoW" yet.

I'm not usually that guy, but...IGN is not a reliable source of information about anything. The developer's statement was positive news (depending on your stance) and was not cause for doom and gloom. GW2 is not free-to-play, it's pay-to-play, which is an entirely different monetizing structure. Their only real competition on that front is The Secret World. Also, the headline was very baiting and painted a disingenuous picture of the statement and situation.

I'm not saying any of this to be mean, I just want this site to be the best it can be. Take care and please see this as constructive as that's my intention.

Wow, just wow. Journalism is one thing and this article isn't.

Seriously. GW2 has its flaws, but overall its a good game, a real alternative to WoW in a big way than any "WoW Killer" we saw up until now.
Do they want to kill WoW? I don't think so. It caters to a different clientel, its that simple. And it works. I for my part see those developer comments and must say "Great, they frikkin work on it and we actually feel this InGame!"

Therumancer:
Snip.

I agree with most of your post bar one thing. The problem with GW2's microtransaction store isn't that cosmetic items are poor sellers or anything, it's the opposite. It's just the the cosmetic items they have up in their store are shit, cheap enough that you don't have to pay real money to get them and are so few that it takes you hardly any time to get them all.

If they want people to buy their cosmetic stuff they need to cycle in new stuff and cycle out old stuff. This gives the old stuff value for "not being available anymore" and new stuff is always valuable because people like shiny new things. I quit playing after the first month because the game bored me and went back a month ago just to see what the state of the in game store was.

It was nearly identical to how it was 5 months before. That's a crushing disappointment for people that would want to give them money to buy cosmetic stuff. It's painfully obvious that the GW2 team have no idea how to run an in game store. Give people enough time and they'll obtain everything through in game means but give them a time limit and they'll cough up if they want it bad enough.

And for the love of God, update your inventory. If you have the same items in the store for 6 months straight with nothing new then people will just stop checking it altogether. And they should want people to check their store every damn day hoping for something nice and new.

This article makes a terrifying mountain out of an innocuous molehill.

The writer says "We've got a soft spot for the Guild Wars franchise" and yet seems over-keen to predict its total and final doom.

I get the impression that this is in fact written by someone who dislikes Guild Wars, and specifically because of the first paragraph:

"When the Guild Wars franchise made its debut with 2005's aptly titled Guild Wars, it was hailed as a World of Warcraft killer. Fast forward to the present day and Blizzard's MMO is still king of the heap, while the latest Guild Wars title seems to be stagnating at the very least."

That sounds, to me, like the words of those people I've watched from a distance oh-so-many times. The "WoW is the best, everything else that tries to compete can go die in a fire!" people. It sounds more like a "You were wrong, ha ha!" statement, than the words of someone who has a soft spot for the Guild Wars franchise.

And that is why I think you turned a harmless comment into a prediction of doom.

Arenanet say: "We're not planning sequels or DLC for GW2 yet."(no surprise since the game is only six months old.)
Earnest says: "DOOM! DOOOOOM! The franchise is finished FOREVER!"

Some very poor journalism here. I'm not even into GW2 and I can tell its doing well. Everyone I know (except me) has bought and played this pay-to-play (not F2P) game, which has monthly content updates and special events all the time (that I am forced to hear about) and a really dedicated fanbase. The model for this game is that they don't need to release x-pacs...they've got the game itself, the in-game shop for monetization of the existing player base, and the promise of future customers as the game expands to keep things going. Just because they aren't doing it Blizzard-style does not lead to the conclusion GW2 is a failure. The author of this piece appears to be going for inflammatory remarks for one of two reasons: trying for page hits (good luck) or he has a chip on his shoulder about the game for some weird reason. Either way, much fail to be seen here.

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