Guild Wars 2 Expansion Coming?
I enjoy Guild Wars 2. The lack of a subscription means I never feel pressured to get the most out of my time in-game, the class diversity of capability, and the world itself are all strong positives for me. Arenanet has also been a positive part of the experience for me, as they have always spoken of prioritizing the players and the game itself over commercial immediacy, something exceedingly rare in the gaming industry these days.
When asked if an expansion was in the works for Guild Wars 2, they have repeatedly said they are not working on one until they have managed to get the base game nearly perfect, implying they might actually never do an expansion, but only patches of new content.
Then NCSoft came out with their quarterly earnings report.
The earnings report itself is not terribly shocking. Sales are down a bit, though still higher than last year. Guild Wars 2 has been out long enough it is not surprising to see its sales drop a bit. What is a bit of a shock is the conference call discussion about the quarter earnings and expenses, specifically one part where NCSoft allegedly confirms they are preparing an expansion pack for the MMO.
I want to believe this is either a premature statement made specifically for investors or is an error of some sort. Arenanet has been very clear in admitting the game is not at the point they want it, and agree an expansion before they (and their players, particularly on the PvP side of things) are satisfied with the base game would be a mistake. Nevertheless, with this revelation it is unfortunately necessary to consider the chance that Arenanet has, actually, been working on an expansion they either chose to deny or were contractually required to deny.
NCSoft's words could mean any number of things. They could be referencing the eventual expansion that seems all but certain from a successful MMO, certainly one lacking a subscription fee. It is possible NCSoft has a separate team from Arenanet working on an expansion, though that would seem foolish to have the teams far enough removed for Arenanet to be unaware of it entirely. They could just be talking about a particularly big patch, for all we know. Corporate words are dangerous to take literally.
Please give us a statement on this soon. It's nice actually believing in someone on the developer side of things, especially for an MMO. It would be nice to know if that faith has been justified or not.