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Guild Wars 2 Launches in August

NCsoft and ArenaNet announced on Thursday that the long-awaited sequel to Guild Wars will be arriving on Windows PC in both Europe and North America on August 28, 2012. As with the original MMOG, Guild Wars 2 won't require a subscription, but the game itself will arrive in three versions, starting at $59.99.

"We’re offering gamers an experience that delivers on the promise of online gaming with a truly social experience in an immense, shared world," said Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. "After five years of creation, development, and polish, announcing the launch date of Guild Wars 2 is a huge milestone for us, but the thing we’re most looking forward to is seeing gamers from all over the globe explore this world and begin creating their own stories."

With the launch date now set, ArenaNet will have roughly two months to smooth things out before the MMOG goes live. The studio said it will focus on polishing Guild Wars 2 to ensure the highest quality experience on launch day (meaning no Diablo 3 blunders), which includes hosting a final Beta Weekend Event July 20-22, 2012.

"This is an incredibly momentous day for the studio and for me personally," Mike O’Brien added. "This journey began in 2007 when we first announced that we were beginning work on Guild Wars 2 and that you wouldn’t be hearing from us for a while. Then in 2010 we unveiled our manifesto for Guild Wars 2: a living breathing online world that challenges convention, that’s designed for fun instead of grind, and that brings social interaction to a new level in an online world."

"Through all the long hours and hard decisions, we were bolstered by the knowledge that we were not in this alone. All along you’ve been there for us, cheering us on, supporting us when we needed it, testing early versions of the game, and above all, giving us your honest feedback every step of the way. Guild Wars 2 is a better game for all of the work that our community has put in," he concluded.

Over on GameStop, the gaming retailer has three versions of Guild Wars 2 listed: the standard version costing $59.99, the Digital Deluxe Edition costing $79.99, and the Collector's Edition costing $149.99. This latter bundle includes a collectible metal box, a 10-inch Rytlock figurine, a custom art frame, portfolio, and five art prints, the Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD, and a 122-page Making of Guild Wars 2 hardback book.

As for the Deluxe Edition, it features a Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite skill, a Rytlock miniature, a Golem Banker, a Chalice of Glory and a Tome of Influence.