ArenaNet says Guild Wars 2 is ‘still going strong’ and here to stay

    
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ArenaNet’s been pretty quiet, outside of Guild Wars 2 promotion, for the last two months since it was rocked by the layoffs of 143 employees and cancellation of two other games in February. But at EGX Rezzed, Eurogamer chatted up Lead Living World Designer Linsey Murdock and Senior Game Designer Andrew Gray about how the studio is settling into its smaller but more focused routine.

The duo – apparently accompanied by PR – spoke glowingly about the studio and the way ArenaNet handled the layoffs, but when journalist Robert Purchese asked about the direct impact on Guild Wars 2 itself, both the handler and Murdock stuck to the party line: that the Guild Wars 2 core team was “impacted” – but not too much. “We also got a lot of people back,” Murdock says. “So in terms of quantity of people on the Guild Wars 2 team: not very affected. But some people who had moved onto other projects came back.”

Worth noting is that Murdock declares that “Guild Wars 2 is still going strong.” I’ve seen skepticism about this, but just know that it’s backed up by statements from our own sources as well: Guild Wars 2 was actually outperforming expectations.

“Any game, as it ages, has a natural, slow decline – I don’t think Guild Wars 2 is any different in that way – but we declined slower than anyone expected because there is still such interest both internally and externally for the game. We’re still bringing in great revenue with micro-transactions. It’s not going anywhere.”

And as for the canceled games? “We would prefer to think of them as shelved,” Murdock says.

Source: Eurogamer

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Utakata

“…that the Guild Wars 2 core team was “impacted” – but not too much.”

Sooo…just a flesh wound? O.o

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Castagere Shaikura

Yeah its just bleeding player to ESO.

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DargorV .

“still going strong”
We’ll be the judge of that tyvm

SkySharkX2
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SkySharkX2

Whenever a company comes out and says that it seems like its a lie to try and convince people to keep plunking down money in the game only to close it a few months later.

abyssalstar
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abyssalstar

As opposed to saying what when asked?

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Alex Hyer

Whenever these companies say this, about a month later the game shuts down.

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Anton Mochalin

I think GW2 is really just fine simply because there are basically no other games like it – with that production value and that mix of progression mechanics. After seeing several lists of “most anticipated MMORPGs 2019-2020” I can say there are no other games like GW2 on the horizon as well. As someone playing GW2 I can say it just caters to some particular category of gamers very well and maybe that category isn’t the largest but it isn’t going anywhere. So GW2 is doing fine and is going to be like that at least for a little while. People play the game, people buy expansions and gems, the game is healthy.

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Bruno Brito

ESO is pretty much GW2 better, with different aesthetics.

That being said, i agree GW2 is not going anywhere “soon”.

That also being said, this isn’ health, it’s stagnation. GW2 isn’t healthy. It’s stagnant.

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Anton Mochalin

I’ve seen ESO on Steam sale for a very good price, totally affordable for me. But I really don’t like the aestetics. I just know I’m not going to enjoy the game where everything looks like it’s made of wood. I’d rather try some B-rank Korean MMO but with more pleasing graphics. I paid much more for Albion Online which has simplistic graphical style but again characters there don’t look like they’re made of wood.

I don’t think GW2 is stagnant. Just look at these two mounts they introduced in last three months. They are different enough to the ones that already existed. WvW has actually changed quite a bit with the introduction of Warclaw. And they are just part of ongoing changes, not part of a big expansion. Actually I don’t think big expansions are good for MMOs. Sooner or later any game releasing expansions will release an expansion which is subjectively weaker than expected by the playerbase. This has nothing to do with the quality of content but is all about expectations dynamics. And then the game gets backlash from the core playerbase. Smaller updates keep the players engaged without raising expectations too high. ESO with its several big expansions released recently looks like Neverwinter for me, a good game with a ton of campaigns which are all the same. GW2 has something magical to it, the world is really living. It’s not my favorite game, I’m much more a Warframe and Smite player but it’s always such a pleasure to return to GW2.

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Tizmah

Every friend I get to try out ESO with me says they get bored to tears playing it. I think that game is just living off the Elder Scrolls name and being f2p honestly. I remember they even showed off some DLC at some event for the game and there was literally no excitement from the crowd.

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Dug From The Earth

We’re still bringing in great revenue with micro-transactions

Sorry, this isnt a sign of a game doing fine. Even the crappiest of crappy games bring in good revenue with microtransactions… thats why EVERYONE is doing them.

People buy microtransactions because of human psychological reasons galore… many of which have NOTHING to do with how good the game actually is.

What an awful statement to use to support that their game is doing well.

abyssalstar
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abyssalstar

GW2’s gem store is an excellent model for cash shops. No p2w, just cosmetic and convenience items, and it’s updated weekly. Hell, whenever a cool new mount skin is released, the player base goes crazy and buys it in droves.

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Dug From The Earth

Its also clearly the focus of the companies efforts much of the time. Rather than putting out content players want, instead they spend effort on things like a mount for WvW… and of course, the 6 skins you can buy off the cash shop for it.

So while its not pay 2 win (it IS pay to advance faster/better), it does still hinder the game by splitting the focus of the devs from releasing non-store content. Especially now with there being even fewer people working for the company after the layoffs.

miol
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miol

edit: nvm

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Bannex

This game hasn’t been going strong since the 2nd expansion released.

Sure they’ve done some living story crap but they def haven’t kept the momentum going which is a shame because path of fire was a giant step in the right direction and one of the best mmo expansions ever in my opinion.

abyssalstar
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abyssalstar

The momentum feels just fine to me. New map and story every 3 months. Constant balancee updates. Two new mounts since PoW awith a third on the way. The population is healthy and active. I don’t know what the hell you’re basing this on but it feels like you’re way off base.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

The TL;DR version:
comment image

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Venomlicious

I like how they mention the microtransactions. I tried to play it and got to level 10 then looked at the cash shop. I should have known it was going to be bad when the true owner is NC Soft. It looked to Korean to me.

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Greaterdivinity

What’s wrong with the cash shop? It’s how they generated revenue while they’re releasing free content in between paid expansions.

It’s largely cosmetic and convenience items, with no real power or anything objectionable sold there.

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Dug From The Earth

nothings wrong with it per say…

but using it to measure how well the game is doing, is just flawed.

MMORPGS are reliant on number of players, especially dedicated ones. Cash shop sales are reliant on Whales, which are often a lot fewer in number. Judging an mmo’s “health” based on cash shop sales is not at all accurate. Most of the player base could be gone, minus the handful of Whales making purchases.

So them using that statement to back up the fact that their game is doing well, was just a very very poor choice.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m not using it as a measurement of success, I’m wondering what makes it look “Korean” or bad in any way.

As for cash shops and players, you’re right to a point. But the reality remains that revenue is pretty solid/steady and that what little information we have on player numbers indicate they remain mostly stable.

They mentioned strong MTX sales specifically because that counters arguments that they’re circling the drain financially or something to that effect from the types of folks that don’t pay any attention to quarterly earnings calls.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

How else would you measure the financial success of free-to-play game then? In love of players points? A number of players, a huge part of which doesn’t pay a cent in years and not interested even in expansions? The only reason why they shouldn’t have to use the word “microtransactions” is that people stop thinking when they hear it and immediately get angry.

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Dug From The Earth

No, the reason they shouldnt have used that word is that players want to know certain things when it comes to an MMORPG

1. Are there enough other players playing the game?
2. Is the game still getting content for free on a regular schedule?
3. Will there still be paid expansions for the game coming out?
4. Is the game in “auto pilot mode”?

etc

The answer to all those questions can be the exact opposite of what players want to hear, and yet, the game can still be selling lots of microtransactions.

In fact, in GW2’s case specifically:

1. There are plenty of players
2. Content is dwindling, and showing up less often
3. Its unlikely there will be another paid expansion
4. The game has many aspects of being on auto pilot, especially when the company can lay off a good amount of its workforce that was responsible for maintaining the game in with the auto pilot set to OFF.

So I think the last thing the players want to hear about is microtransactions.

Not to mention, if they are making such good money on them, why lay off so many employees? Its just a lesser degree of what Acti-Blizzard did by saying “we had record financial results this year, our CEO got a 30 million bonus, but.. we had to lay off 800 employees”

Microtransactions do not in any way represent a healthy mmorpg. But, as you said, it can represent a financially profitable one.

An mmorpg relies on more than just the money the devs get for it to be considered “healthy” by the players, as I laid out in the top part of my post.

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psytic

Not even sure what this means. Its got to have one of the tamest player friendly purely cosmetic cash shops ive ever seen. The devs still have to eat. Im boycotting the game because I don’t like their management or forum practices but the cash shop was pretty on point imo.

abyssalstar
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abyssalstar

There’s nothing “Korean” about their cash shop. It’s strictly cosmetic and convenience. There’s no p2w there.