Leaderboard: Does Guild Wars 2 need another expansion?

If you’ve followed NCsoft’s quarterly investor reports for the last many years, you’ve probably seen dozens graphs of Guild Wars 2’s revenues and the impact of expansions and other content on the game. There was one floating around when the layoffs hit too, demonstrating that 2018 hadn’t been the title’s worst year by far. Now there’s another, as Redditor KimimotoLP compiled all of NCsoft’s revenue reports since the game’s launch to concoct a single (shiny new rainbow) chart to remind folks how the game has waxed and waned through its last seven years.

I was interested in Guild Wars 2’s earnings since release and put the numbers into a chart (numbers from NCSoft’s financial reports) from Guildwars2

(For clarity’s sake, know that the Y axis here represents millions of Korean won.)

I thought it would be worthwhile to embed this so we could revisit the numbers too. Apart from the 2012 launch, which one could argue was the height of the MMORPG genre as well as an exceptionally hyped and huge release, there are a few other notable peaks: most specifically, the quarters around retail expansions Heart of Thorns (2015) and Path of Fire (2017). While Path of Fire didn’t sell quite as well as Heart of Thorns did, it maintained significantly higher revenue for the year immediately afterward and has only in the last three quarters started to trend toward the lower numbers seen in the two years after HOT.

The Reddit thread has some hyperbole from folks saying the game is clearly in maintenance mode. It is clearly not in maintenance mode, with another full season (saga) on the way and what is very obviously renewed studio interest in supporting it, now that the other games it was working on are canceled. But the question of an expansion keeps coming up repeatedly, both because players want it and because the devs have now said they won’t rule it out. There’s a sense that an expansion is something a high-end, top-five MMORPG should be getting on a regular basis – World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV get them every other year, for example, while Elder Scrolls Online puts up a chapter and three DLC between its every birthday. Expansions generate hype, money, and more than anything, confidence the game belongs in that top tier and has a strong future in front of it.

But when confronted with the raw numbers, some folks in the community are arguing that maybe an expansion isn’t in the game’s best interests. Sure, it’s usually a solid spike for a quarter or two and several more quarters of solid numbers afterward, but if it costs a whole lot to actually build, is it actually worth it? If something relatively inexpensive – like another season or two – can hold numbers steady riding on a cash shop, should ArenaNet keep reinvesting in pricey new expansions?

What do you think? Is an expansion actually in the game’s financial interests? Should Guild Wars 2 focus on another expansion in the future?

Leaderboard: Should Guild Wars 2 focus on another expansion in the future? (Choose up to three.)

  • Yes, it needs the revenue. (14%, 151 Votes)
  • Yes, it needs to restore player confidence. (28%, 309 Votes)
  • Maybe, if it's actually going to be good. An expansion that devalues the rest of the game or pits playerbases against each other won't cut it. (17%, 186 Votes)
  • No, it's not worth the financial investment or resources taken off other projects. (1%, 15 Votes)
  • No, I don't like the way Guild Wars 2's expansions usually work out for the game. (1%, 14 Votes)
  • I just want expansion-level content (like elite specs) and don't care how it's packaged. (18%, 203 Votes)
  • I would rather see better or faster seasonal content. (5%, 55 Votes)
  • I would rather see Guild Wars 3 or other games. (11%, 121 Votes)
  • I don't want to pay for an expansion. (1%, 8 Votes)
  • I don't care about Guild Wars 2 or expansions but I really wanted to click on something. (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments). (1%, 12 Votes)
  • No response / view tally / quaggan butts. (2%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 655

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