Guild Wars 2 Beta This Year, Says NCSoft

NCSoft chief financial officer Jaeho Lee revealed during a conference call that the company plans to launch the Guild Wars 2 beta during the second half of 2011. This indicates that the upcoming MMORPG could actually launch sometime in 2012.

Guild Wars 2 was originally announced back in 2007, promising a more unified MMORPG experience rather than a continuation of the current Guild Wars structure where players meet in public zones (cities) and then embark on private quests. Like Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, the Guild Wars 2 landscape will play host to all visitors within and outside city walls in real time, but still keep the free-to-play model.

Now four years later, developer ArenaNet and its 150-member team is still sticking to its "when it's done" guns. But NCSoft may have finally broken the silence. "Starting from year 2012, we believe substantial growth will be driven by new blockbuster titles like [Blade & Soul] and Guild Wars 2," Lee told investors. "Also, Guild Wars 2 will go into beta testing stage in the second half of this year."

Can't get any clearer than that.

"Providing players with rich and rewarding gaming experiences is what we’re all about at NCsoft. This is a very significant year for us with some huge announcements," he later told VG247. "We'll have a major presence at Gamescom (Aug. 17-21) this year where we plan on stealing a few headlines."

What? No E3?

NCSoft may be anxious in getting Guild Wars 2 out on the market, as both Aion and Lineage have seen decreases in revenue due to "soft sales promotions." Lineage II actually grew quarter-to-quarter thanks to increased marketing, but overall, NCSoft's first quarter sales were down 7-percent year-on-year and 2-percent quarter-over-quarter. Net revenue is down 30-percent compared to this time period a year ago.

But will Guild Wars 2 breathe a little perkiness back to the company's earnings? ArenaNet’s Martin Kerstein indicates that the game will bring a new experience to a tired genre.

"What we try to do with Guild Wars 2 anyway is to break a lot of the existing conventions, like by getting rid of quests and basically totally focusing on dynamic events," he told RPS in a recent interview. "So you just run through the world and happen on stuff, and that stuff has an impact on the world. It’s not just there’s this one guy standing with an exclamation mark and you go there, he says ‘hey, those evil bandits over there have been threatening me for the last 15 years, like I told the other thousand people before you…’ Then you go there and they’re not actually doing anything. So you kill them then come back, so the guy says ‘thanks, everything is fine now’ but you turn around and the bandits are back…"

"Our dynamic events will actually have an impact on the world, so if you defend a village it’s safe," he added. "It’s more like a living, breathing world."

If NCSoft sticks to its forecast, we'll get to experience this living, breathing world sometime in the second half of this year.

  • YES!! i cant wait oh yeah BTW FIRST!!
  • elcentral
    so meny years iwe been waiting. makes me smile to be able to soon check it out. thx toms this made my day
  • bak0n
    AION was to focused on hard core grinding and got boring quick. Also I'm now sold on the free to play model, although I'm not impartial to lifetime subscriptions either. It will be interesting to see what GW2 does.
  • samwelaye
    Guild Wars is one of the best games I have ever played on PC. Hope GW2 stays true to its roots cause if it does it will probably be the best mmo ever made
  • sliem
    WoW Cataclysm is already doing this dynamic stuff they call Phasing. You kill some baddies to finish the quest and then the landmark changes, no more baddies.
  • panacuba
    Totally agree with bak0n, I played aion since closed beta 1, and after 3 months of official release i could not handle the Grinding, a friend of mine long time ago recommend me GW but i wasnt in MMO`s by that time.
    Now with my new gaming rig coming in 3 months ill give a shot to GW2 :)
  • zkevwlu
    sliemWoW Cataclysm is already doing this dynamic stuff they call Phasing. You kill some baddies to finish the quest and then the landmark changes, no more baddies.
    Phasing isn't the same... it's still quest based and it's still fully predictable and repetitive. GW2 is using a fully dynamic world, where there are no quests to do and all events are fully random. Each random event will trigger other events depending on the outcome of the current event. It's completely unpredictable, and each play through will offer completely unique experience.
  • I hope GW2 has more depth and lasting appeal than Rift - which got boring after about 1 month (shallow endgame, no hook to play longterm).

    We need a MMORPG that doesn't get boring before the free month is up.
  • Kahless01
    i loved GW. ive had it forever. free to play is the way to go. i still have never finished the first game tho. never got through all the quests. only ever made one lvl 20 char too. in 5+ years.
  • Onus
    I still play GuildWars; it remains my primary game. I don't like the frequent nerfing of skills (especially those which make no sense in the context of the game world), but I like messing with builds in PvE.