Developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft, Guild Wars: Prophecies originally launched as Guild Wars back in 2005. The game set out to bring the MMORPG experience to PC gamers, but without the monthly subscription fees. Typically the game is referred to as a competitive online role-playing game (CORPG).
While gamers still had to buy the retail game, the difference between Guild Wars and the typical MMORPG was that the game didn't offer a persistent world. Instead, NCSoft servers hosted public communities within each virtual settlement. When players left the settlement, quests and encounters were endured in private, "instanced" areas supplied by the servers. Guild Wars servers also played "matchmaker" for players wanting to adventure together in co-op mode by linking them together into an "instanced" quest.
Guild Wars took on the "Prophecies" name after NCsoft launched the next campaign, Factions. The third campaign, Nightfall, launched in 2006, followed by the campaign/expansion pack combo Eye of the North in 2007.
The biggest selling point for the Guild Wars series is that it caters to both the solo and guild player, offering the ability to hire NPC mercenaries to fill any gaps. The series is also incredibly beautiful and greatly varies in style as the player traverses across its virtual terrain.