Guild Wars 2 studio ArenaNet seeks art director for unnamed console title

    
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Time to get that ol’ pondering mill a’churnin’. It looks like Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet isn’t going to be a one title company, as a fresh job posting for an art director has been spotted which specifically states that the company is working on “an unannounced 3rd person fantasy action console title.”

Gameplay details on this in-development title aren’t immediately discernible from the job requirements (it is for an art director, after all, not a programmer or other gameplay-related position), but it does rather interestingly ask for someone with experience in Unreal 4, which is a departure from ArenaNet’s in-house engine used to develop Guild Wars and GW2. It’s also unclear whether this console title is the same one referenced in a senior gameplay programmer job that was posted in November, but chances seem good.

We’ll remind our readers that any details about a console release from ArenaNet, MMO or otherwise, is still likely a long way off if it even makes it off the ground. ArenaNet has binned at least one developing console title during a massive wave of layoffs in February. We’ve also had teases of a mobile title in the works and major investment into the studio as of NCsoft’s latest quarterly financials. So, fingers crossed but no breath held.

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Ewan Cuthbertson

As long as this is a completely new team. If they start siphoning devs off GW2 again Anet is dead that was horrible management. Anet are perfectionists we know that from the amount of time it took to get GW2 out. If they siphon of devs from GW2 their biggest money maker to move onto a brand new game that could take 4 to 7 years to develop the company is dead.

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

It’s not a console port of GW2. Port doesn’t need any art-direction, simple as that.

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PanagiotisLial1

Keep in mind they need to convert to UE4 too

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Greaterdivinity

but it does rather interestingly ask for someone with experience in Unreal 4

I may be overthinking this but…

1. Anets engine simply can’t work on consoles for one reason or another. That’s disappointing, but reasonable.

2. The more concerning bit, which is that with the departures that they’ve lost some of the talent behind it? I know MO is out and the engine was originally his baby, though I’m not sure how many senior engineers have been hit during the layoffs etc.

I hope it’s the former. And while I can’t say I’m not a bit disappointed to hear this rather than them porting GW2 over or making a big reinvestment in GW2 (or 3!), the fact that they’re working on other projects is good. GW2 likely can’t sustain a 200+ person studio alone, and the game sure as hell doesn’t seem like it’s got anywhere near that number of people working on it. So that they’re looking towards the future and the level of support is explained via splitting projects (likely not in full production yet, but still) is a good thing in the end.

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kvlt_vonnegut

ANet’s in-house engine barely works on PCs anymore, it makes sense to bin it

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Greaterdivinity

It works pretty well actually. Yeah, it’s CPU bound a DX12 update would help quite a bit based off the performance of the unofficial mod, but there’s quite a lot that’s impressive under the hood there, especially the ability to deploy builds with little to no downtime and to keep the game running with little to no maintenance to speak of.

Performance could definitely see some nice improvements, but beyond that it’s got quite a bit that other games/engines could benefit greatly from.

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PanagiotisLial1

Am I the only one who thinks they are just porting GW2 to consoles but dont want to reveal it so they are careful on their job postings?

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Michram142

ol’ pondering mill a’churnin’

what does it even mean? first line and I got mindfocked XD

Alyn
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Alyn

kinda like, finer’n frog hair split two ways-
comment image

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Yup I called it, they’re winding down GW2 in favor of the next big thing; I’m not bitter about it per say but I will not bankroll a game I have no interest in (my monetization better go to the game I’m playing).

On the flip side I spent $150 on Crown Coins for ESO, along with my subscription and those CC Points (it was on sale so I wound up with 27,500 give or take).

Why would I do this?

It was Christmas, I had money to blow, and I am confident that ESO will continue to get development for a long time.

ANet decided they no longer wanted my money over a year ago when they started making stupid decisions.

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Bruno Brito

Hum, i don’t think they’ll wind down per se, since GW2 is their cashcow, but i do think they want to make something as a safety net.

I wonder if using U4 engine and not their dumpsterfire engine is a signal of that.

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Danny Smith

Isn’t it only barely making more than Blade and Soul and Aion nowadays? it aint Wildstar levels and probably never will be but the recent years gave the impression its firmly in the ‘chugging along in the background’ stage of its lifespan for the publisher.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s below B&S (21.4B) but above Aion (13.2B) still sitting at a nice 15.1B (in Korean won). It’s still by far their best performing western title to-date in the longterm, and in no real financial danger we can tell (revenue is far above WS even when it’s in it’s downturns).

And B&S is a huge property overall for them, far bigger/more important than GW is. Hence why they’re still throwing so much marketing and development money at it (UE4 upgrade, frequent promotional events and tournaments in various regions etc).

It’s sitting pretty roughly 7 years out from launch and without an expansion release in a few years, actually. We can grumble about the state of things, but revenue remains stable which is good and gives them the freedom to work on additional projects like this. It’s probably got at least a few good years left in it before they start winding down and moving on to the next thing(s).

NCsoft Q3 2019: Another flat financial quarter as NCsoft pumps money into NCWest

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Danny Smith

inb4 Guild Wars 3 but its a tardy to the party hero shooter battle royale.

-i half joke but i take this as less ‘maybe they are porting GW2!’ and more ‘i guess this is the first hard hint they are moving on from GW2’

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TomTurtle

It’s not surprising that ArenaNet would try again, especially in regards to its bottom line. Hopefully whatever it is would be cross-platform between consoles and PC as that seems to work out well money-wise. A bonus is that it may be better optimized than something like Guild Wars 2. I’d also personally like to see them put out another MMO, though supposedly that engine isn’t great for them so who knows.

If you’re a GW2 player hoping for care and attention for the game, this is not the best news. We already saw the game affected negatively from previous side projects and here we’re being faced with the same problem once more. This could turn out to be similar to the transition from GW1 to GW2 where ArenaNet placed most of its focus on the new project to the detriment of the pre-existing title.

I imagine it won’t be such a dramatic drop in development for GW2 as they still need to make money to support their new project. It’s still a drop though, which can be argued that we’ve already seen happening in regards to this project, nevermind what we saw happen within Season 4 before the layoffs.

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Vitor Braz

This game is probably a couple of years away from a build that can be publicly revealed, and unless ArenaNet has some other project in a more advanced state – Guild Wars 3 sounds like the only real option -, I don’t see NCsoft keeping the studio going for a few years without more layoffs or restructuring.

It’s sad, but there aren’t many studios capable of living off a single game/franchise for many years, and Guild Wars 2 seems to be running its course.