ArenaNet president and co-founder Mike O’Brien announced that he is leaving the company to start a new, yet unnamed studio.
O’Brien shared news of his departure in a letter posted to the Guild Wars website today, sharing a brief look back at his 18 years at ArenaNet along with the announcement.
“For the past two decades we’ve gotten to work with brilliant developers and advisors, we’ve enjoyed an amazing relationship with the Guild Wars community, and were able to pursue the games of our dreams,” writes O’Brien. “I’ve appreciated every moment of it. But the time has come for me to take a step back. Next week I’ll join some of my friends in forming a new studio. We’ll go back to the beginning and make small games again.”
O’Brien notes that he opted to back away from his position as the game director of Guild Wars 2 two years back in favor of new product development, leaving the position to ArenaNet’s Mike Zadoroiny. In his departure note, O’Brien says that Zadoriny is once again taking on a larger leadership role in the company following his own departure from ArenaNet, though that exact position isn't mentioned in the statement.