NCSoft is delaying the release of Guild Wars 2 until at least 2010, but isn't saying why.
Not that it's terribly hard to guess, of course. A lack of ready cash is almost almost certainly the reason that Guild Wars 2 is getting shoved into a "2010/2011" release, instead of debuting later this year as was previously planned. While City of Heroes and City of Villains are doing ok, the pricey-to-develop Tabula Rasa is all but dead. NCSoft's Profits were down 40% during 2008, to $20 million. Not a bad haul, but not a great one overall.
Then again, maybe Guild Wars 2's new engine is to blame for the hold up. It, along with a much-requested Z axis, was meant to add to the new game's appeal and help distinguish it from its predecessor.
It will be interesting to see if a similar fate befalls Aion:The Tower of Eternity, which is also due out by the end of the year though.
Mike O'Brien @ GuildWars.com:
To our fans,
There have been some published rumors over the past few days about Guild Wars 2 delays, and I'm writing you today to set the record straight.
You've all seen announcements about restructuring at NCsoft West, and it's natural to wonder whether that restructuring impacts ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 development. In fact, the reason NCsoft West is restructuring itself is so that the company can put all of its focus into its top-tier games like Guild Wars 2. Our team continues to grow, and has the strong support and financial backing we need to achieve our goal of making Guild Wars 2 the best online role-playing game ever created.
On Friday, NCsoft released investor materials that showed a very broad release window for Guild Wars 2, with the explanation that release timing is still "to be announced." ArenaNet has never given a release date for Guild Wars 2 other than "when it's done." NCsoft's investor materials are a reflection of that philosophy.
I know some fans had hoped for a smaller gap between the launch of Guild Wars: Eye of the North and the start of beta testing for Guild Wars 2, but we communicated last summer that it would be some time before we could commit to any beta or launch dates. Guild Wars 2 is a large and ambitious game, and we're going to take the time to do it right.
I'm immensely proud of what our team has accomplished and continues to accomplish with the development of Guild Wars 2. We'll have a lot more to say when we're closer to release. Until then, we thank you for your continued interest and ask you to stay tuned.
Interestingly, the original penciling in was late 2008 for the public beta. Maybe this is just press pipe dreams?
Or maybe not...
We announced the Beta date for the second half of 2008 because we're confident of getting it into Beta for that period. From there, we just have to see where it takes us depending on how well the Beta the going - that is what will determine the release of the game.
Source: Total Video Games