The Daily Grind: So how worried are you about Guild Wars 2?

    
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Last night’s devastating news that NCsoft was forcing Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet to make major layoffs definitely shook me, even more than the Blizzard layoffs, which at least seemed tuned to redirecting staff into content for games. Everything I’ve heard suggests to me that ArenaNet got Paragonned – that Guild Wars 2 was doing fine for itself but wasn’t able to carry the financial weight of so many unannounced projects, hence the axe.

Of course, Guild Wars 2, unlike City of Heroes, is at least escaping with its head.

I saw a lot of folks last night bemoaning the death of MMOs or the bubble bursting for video games, but how many times have we heard that over the last decade? At least every month? Addressing the AAA bubble and race to the bottom was one of the first things I did when we re-founded this site four years ago, and it’s on my mind always because obviously without online games Massively OP doesn’t exist.

But games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 are still here, still counting solid playerbases, and still getting updates, even if they’re not as fast as we’d like. Maybe I’m just being optimistic here, but Guild Wars 2 isn’t going away, and I’m curious to see where it will go next under a leaner studio that maybe isn’t so burdened with side projects that fizzle out before recouping costs. I’m heartbroken for those bearing the brunt of what I suspect will eventually be proven to be studio mismanagement, but I’m also looking forward to support those will will continue on with the game in the future too. And while I definitely think we’re due for an industry shift, I thought that years ago too when EverQuest Next went under, and I don’t think it’s necessarily mobile doom all the way down.

How worried are you about Guild Wars 2? What about the rest of the industry?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Roger Melly

Not at all . It will probably go into maintenance mode now but they will keep its doors open for years to come like GW1 .

It is a game I have enjoyed playing but I only on a casual basis so that doesn’t worry me .

I have my doubts that GW3 will ever become a reality now though .

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Henryk

It will probably go into maintenance mode now but they will keep its doors open for years to come like GW1

why should GW2 go into maintenance mode? in the last quarter report the game did ~14 million US Dollar! that’s still a lot of money

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Left this one quite a while ago as I couldn’t find the fun in it. Doubt that they will manage to bring people back to the game as MMO’s seem to die the death of a thousand cuts.

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Frank White

So many of you going on and on about where and when AN went off the deep end, and it’s mismanagement of this and that, but I haven’t seen anything that convinces me that any of this had much to do with AN itself. This is all part of a bigger overhaul of NCSoft itself, and nothing especially to do with AN, not that I’m aware of.

To quote their official statement on the layoffs once again:“We can confirm that due to the cancellation of unannounced projects, ArenaNet will make staff reductions. This is part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSoft in the west, but the Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 game services will not be affected, nor is any upcoming game content canceled.” In other words, they were doing well enough that they could funnel money into other non-Guild Wars related projects, and it was those that they had to axe because of this larger organizational overhaul.

All of which seems to support Bree’s statement that, “Everything I’ve heard suggests to me that ArenaNet got Paragonned – that Guild Wars 2 was doing fine for itself but wasn’t able to carry the financial weight of so many unannounced projects, hence the axe.”

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Baemir

Not at all. Never liked the game.

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Utakata

I’m worried if Tina Lauro Pollock is worried. :(

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psytic

If GW2 goes under or goes on maintenance mode the MMO genre is dead to me. I just can not get into WoW anymore. ESOs clunky combat makes me only play in small bursts and FFXIV Ive forced myself to level through Heavensward to catch up and I just find the levelling experience is one of the most generic and grindy fetch quest filled experiences i’ve ever had… and supposedly people thought this expac is better than Storm Blood. The Primal fights and group content is fun but I cant force myself to get to end game in that game. I have prayed for years for an updated Cantha expac to save me from this dead patch in MMO gaming.

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PanagiotisLial1

By the way seems they cancelled their livestream today

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Fenrir Wolf

I think so. I hope that it remains on maintenance at least.

It was Heart of Thorns that did it.

And, sadly, even ArenaNet knew it. Really unfortunate state of affairs. I just didn’t know they wouldn’t be able to recover following their error of judgement.

Heart of Thorns was a right ruddy mess, wasn’t it? ArenaNet, like a number of those MMOs I’ve loved, just didn’t know who their customers were. For whatever reason, they were convinced it was comprised of players from World of Warcraft who enjoyed punishing grinds.

I remember the apology they wrote when they realised how very wrong they were. With the discussion elsewhere of wowfugees, I wonder if that played a role somewhere within this sordid affair?

Short paragraphs, a sign that I’m a little emotional, though I don’t know quite what to say. I feel sad for them, I suppose. I feel this way because they did realise. Once they had, though, I’d moved onto playing The Elder Scrolls Online, I imagine that was true for many.

I’m more jarred by this because I could see in Path of Fire they were genuinely making an effort again to add value for different kinds of players. Events like the races, and the token hunts, along with the mounts adding variety to jumping puzzles was everything a player like myself could’ve wanted.

It’s always too little too late. That’s the problem with a mistake like this, but in this case it’s a little more frustrating. There’s no stubborn irritation because they realised and apologised.

They’ve made missteps, and they’ve come clean about most of those, too. ArenaNet isn’t perfect, but there’s a lot to like, there.

I suppose I feel guilty, as well. I could’ve supported them sooner than I did. I guess I was just cynical that they wouldn’t be true to their word, which they really were. I’ve said this before, but Path of Fire is the closest thing to Free Realms and what I’d want out of a massively multiplayer title that I’ve seen in the longest time.

Having fun with other people in a way that isn’t insidiously competitive (in the bad way that MMOs can be) or toxic.

Shoganai, eh ArenaNet?

I suppose my main question now is whether people are madly gathering as much server-related information as they can to put up a private server one day. I’d not want GW2 to go the way of Free Realms.

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PanagiotisLial1

I wouldnt worry at the moment, just they shouldnt had let it out in a way to panic the playerbase. I think in 2-3 months all will return to normal if they handle their communication better

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imayb1

Hm. It’s hard to blame Anet about “panic[ing] the playerbase” when it was one informant to Kotaku that did that. We’ll see how they handle things over the next week or so before I judge their handling of communication in this case.

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PanagiotisLial1

well you dont wait till last moment to make an announcement as such “leaks” can happen. You make an actual announcement in advance. The way it happened was hard to convince their playerbase all will be good. Their announcement(after all was public knowledge) was too vague too. But the blame is on both companies there, not just Anet

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Test Test

Not at all, i left ages ago because the game totally failed to deliver on its manifesto promises….and just turned into another grindy raid mmo, with added rng lootbox crap obsession

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I’m more worried about GW1. It has always been the superior of the two games, and the recent love it has received over the last year has been welcome.

However this smells like just a first step. NCSoft statements mean nothing. Both Vanguard and Wizardry put out road maps a week before their closings we’re announced.

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Fenrir Wolf

I can’t agree with you on which is superior as I’m less focused on combat and coerced competition. I mean, they’re nice, but they’re not something I can do all the time. My heart just isn’t in it. I’d rather get involved in a teleport dog race.

Quite not in me to just hit keys and watch violence explode across my monitor for hours on end, I need more than that. I’m probably not masculine enough for it, but I’m not certain I’ve ever been masculine enough for anything that has a prerequisite.

I do agree with your pertinently voiced concerns, though. And I do hope that initiatives to gather server information from both games is already underway.

Go, beloved hounds! Sniff those packets!