Guild Wars 2 Game Director Mike Zadorojny left for Amazon Games Studios – in November


Two weeks ago, we reported that Guild Wars 2 Game Director Mike Zadorojny had quietly departed ArenaNet last fall. Originally leaked by a troll account on Reddit, the news was confirmed to us by our own sources for our article. ArenaNet did not respond to a request for comment.

In any case, now Mike Z himself has confirmed his big move on his very own Linkedin. According to his page, he became the Live Operations PM at Amazon Game Studios working on Crucible back in November 2019, five months ago – just as we’d estimated. His tenure at ArenaNet apparently came to an end the same month.

It was our understanding that John Taylor became the top game director at ArenaNet in Zadorojny’s stead, but the community still hasn’t heard from him directly. The most recent communication from ArenaNet with an actual developer name on it was earlier this week from a content designer.

The move to Amazon Game Studios should come as no surprise, as it’s been the destination of choice for many former ArenaNet devs, including Colin Johanson, Eric Flannum, Jeff Grubb, Stephen Fowler, and Jon Peters.

In any case, we certainly wish Zadorojny and his replacement the best, though it’s unclear why and frankly disturbing that the community has been left in the dark about the game’s leadership for five months.

In other Guild Wars 2 news, the game is kicking off MightyTeapot’s Masters of the Arena PvP tournament this weekend, with qualifiers beginning tomorrow.

“Teams qualify by playing in the monthly Guild Wars 2 automated tournament. The top six teams from each region will qualify to play in the regional finals, and the top two regional teams will progress to the global finals. Qualification begins on March 28 and ends on May 23. […] All qualifiers will receive gold, and the top teams have a chance to win cash prizes, gold, gems, and more!”

Source: Linkedin, official site

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Abel Sánchez

Please no, Anet doesn’t know how to balance WvW (PvP) servers, we will have the same problem here?

Fenrir Wolf

It’s weird. I grant you that I’m definitely worried but I’m also a little confused as I feel like the game’s been going from strength to strength. Path of Fire was the most fun I’d had in Guild Wars 2 in a while, and it’s been on an upward curve ever since then.

The Icebrood Saga has, hands down, some of the most engaging and fun content I’ve had the joy to experience in the game. Even the opening prologue zone with the flying archery challenge and the destruction derby (I’ve always wanted to drive one of the charriots) was a blast.

The writing is the best it’s ever been, too. They’ve actually put together something very interesting with Jormag and Bangar as both raise very interesting questions.

Caveat lector as I’m going to head into obvious spoiler territory talking about the writing, okay?

Is Bangar actually an antagonist? Or is he just playing plausible deniability with Jormag? See, he shot the Commander and that’s fascinating. On one hand, that seems bad, but on the other it’s playing up the xenophobia he seems to be riddled with whilst freeing the Commander from being influenced.

“I’m still totally under your sway as I shot the vile traitor!”

Which could be his attempt to pull the wool over Jormag’s eyes. If, of course, that’s what Jormag actually wants. What fascinates me is that Jormag seems to be compassionate toward Aurene. So is Jormag riddled with torment in the way that Kralkatorrik was or is she just a bit mom-crazy and out of touch? By which I mean that her minions seem special to her in a way that’s not applicable to any other dragon.

She threatened to freeze the world at one point out of desperation to stop the cycle of destruction and creation. She seems to have changed tack since then given the circumstances and now she’s apparently seeking an alliance with Aurene. It could be then that she’s so out of touch she doesn’t know how to deal with mortals so she just opts for mind control as the default as that’s how she’s always done things.

It could also be that Jormag is so powerful that she can’t actually help persuading mortals despite herself, that her influence is too powerful regardless and ideas get put in the heads of her thralls whether she intended to or not. Those ideas—to protect her thralls as a mom-crazy dragon—could exhibit as xenophobia.

Sooo… Bangar could think he’s trying to be clever and pulling the wool over Jormag’s eyes by pretending to be xenophobic whilst doing his best to help the Commander. All the while Jormag doesn’t actually want that but her desire to protect her babies is pushing her influence to protect them to weird, xenophobic places and that’s what Bangar thinks she wants.

I really hope the story plays out that way because it’d be really funny if that’s how it’s all working out. It would explain the overall strangeness and mystery of the story thus far. What I want to know then is why Jormag hasn’t been taken by the torment. I mean, the Forgotten freed Glint from the torment with their ritual, they did the same for Aurene’s egg, and we freed Kralkatorrik from torment in the last few hours of his life. If Jormag isn’t riddled with the torment then who freed her? Is Jormag resisting the torment? If so, what aspect of her dragonhood allows her to do that?

Then there’s the question of who created the torment. The torment seems to want to enforce the cycle of destruction and creation that Jormag hates. That cycle might’ve benefitted the Six though, you know? I mean, what if the humans weren’t from another world but rather just a past cycle? The humans start losing their piety so the world gets destroyed and the Gods scoop up the most faithful of their worshippers and then dump them on a new world once it’s been prepared by their loyal servents—the Forgotten.

Except the Forgotten had plans of their own this time which also seemed to involve stopping the cycle of destruction and creation.

Did the Six create the torment or are they just using it to their advantage?

So, yes, the story since Living World Season 4 has been on point. I could say since Path of Fire but LWS4 especially is where I found myself hooked and riddled with questions. So in my honest opinion the writing has just gone from strength to strength in weaving a compelling conundrum for the community to unravel.

My only worry about the game currently is Bangar. I really hope that ArenaNet has him do a face-heel turn once he realises what’s going on. I want him himself to come out and say that racism is bad. There’s an… unpleasant ethno-supremacist element to the Guild Wars community that’s been there since Prophecies and they’re not good or pleasant people. They’re very White Power about everything. They hated Path of Fire because it went to Elona, they hate the charr, they hate anything that isn’t about Ascalonian humans and I’m honestly tired of them.

I really like the treaty and I’m very interested in all of the non-human races in the game. I’m hoping that if we do go to Cantha that means we’ll learn more about the tengu. ArenaNet does need to see the Icebrood Saga through properly though and they really do need to have Bangar turn around and make a statement against xenophobia. It’d shake these undesirables out of their comfort zones.

I mean, I’ve had death threats from these crazies for playing a charr and I know others have too. They’re very Nazi in how they seem to see the charr as fictional stand-ins for the Jewish peoples, and they’re pissed off that “the charr won” rather than being relegated to absolute genocide. Which is idiotic because it was the Flame legion that “won” and they were outcast for it.


They’re just a massive headache and ArenaNet could do more to tell them that Guild Wars 2 isn’t for them. That’s why I want them to have Bangar—of all people—make a statement about why the treaty is worthwhile and racism is idiotic and outmoded. Right now, they’re using Bangar as a figurehead to claim that their negativity toward the charr and charr players is justified. Frankly, as an autistic, gay person who isn’t young? I’ve seen enough hatred to last me a life time, I don’t want it to be a part of my games as well. So… ArenaNet, fix that.

Ethno-supremacists don’t make your game more marketable.

Still, those horrible people aside? Like I said, I feel like Guild Wars 2 is going from strength to strength. So I don’t know whether this reshuffle is really a bad thing.

I’m really not sure about the Cantha expansion but I trust them. I’d prefer content that focuses more on the Pact races. The asura could use a look-in with their own saga. Still, Cantha could be good for making the game more popular in China. If that keeps one of the few only MMOs I’ve ever liked afloat? That’s fine! If it’s just for nostalgia though then… Bad. Bad ArenaNet. Bad. The original Guild Wars is best left in the past.


hopefully Anet shuts down sometime in the future so someone else can take GW IP and make a proper GW1 sequel.

Jim Bergevin Jr

If only that would come to pass. Unfortunately, the reality is that once goes Anet, so goes Guild Wars … for good.


probably true…

Fenrir Wolf

The least profitable decision the company could make, honestly. The tiny minority that was so obsessed with Prophecies isn’t very profitable and often it’s just an incredibly toxic presence within the community.

Guild Wars was the past. It’s gone. Let it go.

Dankey Kang

So we’ll be seeing the Charr in New World?


There should be a “Friday (Weekend?) News Dump Leaderboard” every Monday, for which news piece is wanted to be buried the deepest on top! ;P


r/Guildwars2 in denial..

And after the years of trash talking GW2 (rightfully so) and saying he’s going to quit the game, Teapot gets an officially sanctioned tournament hosted by ANet. That’s rich.

Bruno Brito

Ah yes, GW2 PvP tournament.

Hours upon hours of circlehumping, bunkering, visual clutter and unmitigated toxicity.

Who wouldn’t want to watch that.


I’m pretty leery about both of these companies at this point. I don’t know who is left at ANet to know if they would produce a good product or not and AGS so far seems to have just taken a lot of old developers with old ideas that don’t seem to amount to too much so far.

blah blazh

Well good luck to him at Amazon. Has Amazon released any of their games yet? It’ll be interesting to see how they progress as a game studio.

For GW2, they actually have seem to turn a more positive corner lately. I don’t know if there is any correlation to the above but GW2 looks to be on a good track at the moment.

Fenrir Wolf

That’s my feeling, pretty much. Guild Wars 2 is great right now! Icebrood is rocking it. It’s some of the best bloody content they’ve ever had. The only people who’re pissed about it are the Prophecies-obsessed Gwoggers and they can go and… do something unpleasant to themselves, collectively.

Things might go downhill from here, they might not. But right now? I’m having fun. I’m not usually one to praise MMOs but ever since (and including) Path of Fire, ArenaNet’s been on the right track. To heck with the Gwoggers! Guild Wars 2 could use less Alt-Righters anyway, not more.


And this is important exactly why? Those gaming executives are one trick ponies. Releasing a sequel with slightly better graphics and obsolete mechanics and/or ruining completely new game – it’s the “best” they can do.

Raimo Kangasniemi

It certainy is important in that it confirms that Crucible is still in production – not much has been heard about it since Breakaway was cancelled.

Bruno Brito

Because…Mike has been at Anet for 11 years? I hate suits as much as the next guy, but not every top level suit is nameless. Some of them end up shaping things for years to come, mostly in bad ways.


Indeed. Heck, look how crazy things got for good ole’ JaB in Blizzard after he took charge! Heck, he celebrated his first year as President with the Blitz Chung fiasco on his 1 year anniversary.

And yes, I’m referring to J. Allen Brack… But I’ll refer to him as Jab or Jabber… because there is only one ‘Brak’ I care to know.