Guild Wars 2 Game Director Crystin Cox has departed ArenaNet

    
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I'm alive! I promise.

During research on an entirely unrelated article, we noticed that ArenaNet Game Director Crystin Cox has apparently moved on from her role on popular MMORPG Guild Wars 2.

Cox was a key designer on Guild Wars 2 even before it launched in 2012 and then served as Game Director for the better part of the last two years. She was a bit of a controversial figure within the game’s community given her focus on monetization strategies in the game. Last year, for example, she gave an interview to Gamasutra in which she argued that lockboxes can provide a “value” to players that they can’t get any other way.

She has now been credited as a Microsoft rep on a paper for Project Horseshoe alongside other ArenaNet employees. The move is also recorded on her Linkedin profile, which says she left ArenaNet in November 2018 after nearly seven years there for her new role as the Principal Program Manager at Microsoft on the PlayFab team.

We’ve reached out to ArenaNet for comment on who her replacement might be and will update if the studio provides a statement.

Source: Linkedin
Update
ArenaNet has now confirmed to MassivelyOP that Cox is no longer with the studio but declined to comment further about the impact on the company except to note that MikeZ is also still a Game Director on the title. ArenaNet also declined to discuss how many Game Directors it has.

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Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Thank you for deleting that exchange, I kind of called you guys out in my last comment because I wanted to avoid getting sucked further down one of my own dark rabbit holes.

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Dwarf-Orc

I’ve never heard of her. I thought we had Colin Johanson, then Mo, and since PoF it’s Mike Z as game director. That’s weird.

Mordyjuice
Reader
Mordyjuice

I thought Mike Z was the game director.

miol
Reader
miol

From the paper:

Building friendships takes many hours of interaction.
The time required to build a single friendship bond [10]:

Casual Friend: 40-60 hours
Good Friend : 90-110 hours
Best Friend: >200 hours

o.O

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Utakata

I assume that’s departed as opposed to dearly departed? o.O

Swifty
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Swifty

Anyone that defends lockboxes is an enemy to gamers.

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Zora

Seven years in the same company is I think above the industry average, she probably accrued enough “prestige points” to buy herself an out into a higher position elsewhere?

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Adam tecnavia

The loss of anyone who values lockboxes can only mean good things for a game

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Matt R

what he said

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Randy Savage

But ANet is a subsidiary of NCSoft so they probably hired her because of her views on lockboxes. Whoever they get to replace her is just going to tow the line that those before her towed too. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

ArenaNet operates largely as an independent studio, from what I know from years back they don’t really pressure them to hire/fire folks. So they’d have had little if any impact on their decision to hire her.

We’ll have to see if they replace her with someone as lockbox friendly, but unless anything major has changed whoever they hire will be their choice, not forced on them by NCsoft.

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Randy Savage

That’s even worse that the lockboxes are their own choice. It’d be much easier to support their game if I thought it was an evil corporation forcing their hand.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Lockboxes are pretty much industry standard for every F2P/B2P game, you may hate them but they’re not going anywhere as long as they keep driving revenue in a big way.

Anet actually has a pretty decent implementation. They update them periodically, plus there are ways to earn keys in-game (plus you can buy cash shop currency sold by other players using in-game gold to buy keys as well) if you really want to roll the dice. But they’re completely, 100% optional and packed primarily with cosmetics and the odd occasional fluff item (self-res tokens, teleport to friend tokens etc.) that are usually cheap in the store.

Probably one of the only developers that has a more fair lockbox model is GGG, and that’s mostly because IIRC they publicize the chances you have to get things from the lockbox so you can make a more informed decision.

miol
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miol

It doesn’t really matter how many different condiments/ingredients you add to it, a s*** sandwich will always be one damn s*** sandwich!

If you’re buying keys through gold,
someone else is paying for it.

And in the end we all do! :/

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Randy Savage

Instead of apologizing for developers, we should be raising awareness within the gaming community about the dangers of gambling and how companies hire immoral psychologists who help them design systems that exploit the flaws in the human psyche. Social media companies do this too, as well as casinos. It’s time we wake people up instead of saying that drinking the kool-aid is optional. Yeah it’s optional; so is heroin.

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McGuffn

At the time, I think people thought it was. She came from Maplestory/Nexon and around the time she joined Arenanet Nexon also invested into NCSoft as some sort of hostile takeover. I think some also thought the nexon investment and the Cox hiring were linked or something. It’s been a while. Nexon has now divested its shares.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Really looking forward to what their next game is. GW2 is one of my faves ever but after thousands of hours, I’m ready for something new.

“Play our game for 10 years” isn’t really my cup of lapsang souchong.

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Rick Mills

Yeh, that would be more “pu erh”