After already moving 3 million copies, ArenaNet is looking for a little bump before thinking about expansions to GW2.
Today, Arenanet announced that it was dropping the price on the boxed entryway into its MMO Guild Wars 2 from $59.99 to $49.99. In a call with the lead content developer Colin Johanson this afternoon, WarCry.com discovered the team is focusing on delivering free major content release once or twice a month, as they have in May with Secrets of Southsun and the ongoing additions to Guild Wars 2's Living Story.
"We have not ruled out building expansions in the future, it's something that we're definitely still considering but our focus is on making the core live game as strong as we can," Johanson said.
He has ramped up his team's production to be able to deliver new and exciting content to the Guild Wars 2 world as quickly and efficiently as possible. Johanson says the new process "changes the way that we do everything, from how we localize to how we record VO, to how every person in the office works and the workflow that they do. We had to change all of that to be able to build at a faster cadence like this and we've really spent a lot of time in the background in the last four months building out the capacity to do these releases faster."
Part of the impetus behind this "cadence" of releases was direct fan feedback. They wanted more, faster. "With Flame and Frost a lot of our fan feedback was 'We wish it would go a little bit faster' and we just didn't have the teams oriented or the technical capacity to do that," Johanson said. "We do now."
He feels the effort has been successful and that ArenaNet is offering the frequency of content releases you just don't find with other MMOs. "If you look back starting in October, we've done a major release every month in the game. When we hit April we actually did two between the super adventure box release and the culmination of the flame and frost release and then this month in May we're doing two major releases as well, so if anything we're getting more aggressive and doing more free updates to the game and making it even stronger."
The world of Guild Wars 2 is filled with thousands of dynamic events that constantly change based on the actions of players like you. Fast-paced, action-oriented combat lets you attack on the move, dodge and roll away from enemy blows, team up with other players, and take advantage of environmental weapons to dominate the battlefield! Competitive play in Guild Wars 2 is easy to learn, but offers challenges for new players and hardcore PvPers alike. Guild Wars 2 is your story - your choices determine how your personal story evolves, and with thousands of possible variations, no two players will have the exact same experience.
To think that all this content comes without an ongoing subscription bringing in revenue is staggering. Johanson said ArenaNet has moved more than 3 million copies of Guild Wars 2, and he feels it's in a really good place with how much it earns from microtransacations. He acknowledged that free to play is a route a lot of games are going, but Guild Wars doesn't need to do anything as drastic as giving away its game for free just yet.
"A lot of the games in our genre are headed towards the free to play model or already there," he said. "We're seeing consistent steady growth and sales and we don't see a real strong need for us to jump into that market at this point. we think a small price drop will attract another group of players."
Dropping the entry point $10 may be just enough to get some people excited about trying something new. "In the timeline of a game, eventually at some point you do reasonably need to lower the price a little bit," Johanson said. "This felt like a good time for us to do that but we didn't need to do anything crazy at this point."
As for what's in store, you certainly expect more development in PvP. "We're just committed to growing PvP as much as we can and growing that competitive community," he said and he's planning on leveraging the competitive gaming's popularity and streaming to do it. Arenanet only added spectating to PvP 3 weeks and already the number of people watching streams more than doubled week over week.