Guild Wars 2 Pre-Launch Turnout Numbers Are Impressive

Though most MMOs are suffering from the growing pains of a market transitioning from subscription models to a free-to-play one riddled with microtransaction and vanity items, ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 is in the interesting position of never having to face such a dilemma. Instead, Guild Wars 2 relies on a pay-only-once model to sustain the game.

After building up plenty of hype due to the game's many innovations in the MMO realm, including its unique dynamic events and storylines, it's not much of a surprise that Guild Wars 2's done well at the numbers game. According to ArenaNet, the game sold over 1 million copies and sustained 400,000 concurrent players at its launch. No doubt early access to the game for pre-orders helped cushion the numbers quite a bit, but posting such numbers is still no small feat.

Guild Wars 2's success is refreshing, especially when other MMOs have had relatively little luck. Recently, BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic, despite having a strong start, has abandoned the subscription model for free-to-play (with level restrictions) after its numbers began dropping. Even Blizzard's ever popular World of Warcraft is losing traction, bleeding a million subscribers within a matter of months. One of the most recent story-based, recurring subscription MMOs, Funcom's The Secret World, is struggling to capture its market. Even vampires and zombies, usually winning formulas, aren't enough to attract players, apparently, as Funcom has revealed that The Secret World has sold only over 200,000 copies. The developer's lost something close to $35 million and has suffered a slew of layoffs.

Though Guild Wars 2 has had successes in the first few days, it'll be interesting to see the game's numbers in a few months. Will the new content that ArenaNet continues to push out be enough to capture current players' interest while drawing in new players?

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  • xaero1ne
    GW2 with its no subscription model has restored my faith in MMO's. For many players like myself; who only have a few hours a week to play games, and who have a tendency to split our time between several games, its a huge sigh of relief knowing that i can come back to GW2 any time i want without having to dish out my credit card.
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  • beetlejuicegr
    I saw Guild Wars 2 at a friend's house, i have to admit its a 2010+ mmorpg, meaning graphics and details are awesome but i do have to say another thing too...

    All mmorps released this year and last year are trying to have things that World of Warcraft doesn't have. This is really nice for us, the customers, however an mmorpg isn't going to survive for long if it just have stuff that wow doesn't.
    Uniqueness, gameplay, long term / end game gameplay are really important. I don't mean to say that GW2 doesn't have them, it is really a nice surprise to see such a nice mmorpg that makes you want to play and level up again (after hours and hours on many other mmorpgs the last 10 years for me), but i am curious if the pve endgame is there or not.
    And as i am the first to post (strange!) i will also say, that buy once and play forever without subscription is really really nice but that means that microtransaction system will appear and will make us pay way more / month in a total of a year..
  • burmese_dude
    It's the best game I've ever played. I think the #s would only go up and up. Their mail an item idea is a brilliant one.
  • booyaah
    Is GW2 an action MMO? I haven't seen much game play footage and never played GW1.