Tomorrow, ArenaNet will make Guild Wars 2 available for pre-purchasers and will open its servers to the general public three days later on August 28. The standard edition costs $60, with no additional subscription fees or expectation of payment for “the full game.”
The creators of the game claim that by eliminating the factor of subscriptions, their game design can focus more fully on delivering a fun experience that rarely presents itself as a chore (as is the case in many other MMORPGs). In this sentiment, as is apparent from Beta impressions and feature listings, we see a crucial change to the way these games are developed.
Since World of Warcraft’s release and explosive success eight years ago, games within the genre have stagnated. Even in recent years, as WoW’s subscription numbers drop, new MMOs take many cues from Blizzard’s behemoth. WoW’s success is in fact a double-edged sword for the genre, simultaneously proving its mass-market appeal and forcing it into a repetitive cycle.