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ArenaNet is rethinking how it supports Guild Wars 2 after over a decade

The studio is ditching large expansions in favor of smaller, more frequent updates.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 14, 2023

2 Min Read
Guild Wars 2 promotional artwork

Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet is rethinking how it supports the MMO over a decade after it launched so it can deliver updates in a more "timely and consistent manner."

In a blog post, the studio explained it will be dropping larger expansions in favor of smaller add-ons and updates that will be released more frequently and at a slightly reduced price. Those more modest expansions will be supported with additional content through quarterly updates, which means "the next big release is only ever a few months away."

It's an interesting tidbit from the development trenches that highlights how a studio might shift gears (even after 10 years) to better support the evolving needs of its community and dev team.

ArenaNet said the new approach will allow it to strike a better balance between supporting popular game modes, delivering frequent quality-of-life improvements to core gameplay systems, implementing new features, and expanding the world with story updates.

"We evaluated what has and hasn’t worked over the years and used those insights to redefine how we develop and release content for our players. Our goals for the next phase of Guild Wars 2 are simple—we want to deliver content updates in a more timely and consistent manner, and we want to provide better support for the wide variety of systems and game modes that make up the Guild Wars 2 experience," explained the studio.

"Having the development bandwidth needed to iterate on core systems is especially important to us, and it’s something we’ve been making headway on over the last year with our quality-of-life improvement initiative. There are so many systems in Guild Wars 2 that have good bones, and they can be even better with just a bit of love."

ArenaNet added that its previous model required the "focus of nearly the entire Guild Wars 2 development team" to deliver updates at the size and quality that players expect, making it difficult to simultaneously develop expansions while supporting the game with regular content updates.

As a result, many areas of the game went under-supported for too long. The studio hopes that by taking a more balanced approach, it will be able to ensure that Guild Wars 2 sticks around for "many, many years to come."

The news comes shortly after NCsoft West, an operational division of ArenaNet parent company NCsoft, reportedly laid off 20 percent of its staff

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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