Guild War 2 has gone free to play. Developer ArenaNet says it has made several changes to preserve the game's experience as it welcome free players.
(Photo : ArenaNet)
Developer ArenaNet has lifted Guild Wars 2's pay gate out front and promises it won't install a bunch of new tollbooths inside of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
ArenaNet believes it has an answer to a problem that often keeps new players from joining a game that has been around for years, the developer stated in a blog post.Â
New players joining games that have matured must decide whether to purchase the base game along with the expansions their friends are playing, or start with the core game to level up the player's characters.
"We've seen examples in the industry where that kind of thing has gotten out of control," ArenaNet says. "It doesn't seem right, and we want to do better."
While many MMOs charge a based price and or a monthly subscription fee, ArenaNet has stuck with their standard model. Consumers pay one price up front.
So with its first full-fledged expansion due out on Oct. 23, ArenaNet says it wants to keep its business model simple.
"So let's be clear that when we say Guild Wars 2 is buy-to-play, we're only asking you to buy one thing: the current release, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns," says ArenaNet.
We're not changing the way people purchase cosmetic items or adding a bunch of new items in the store. Guild Wars 2 will remain the same game it always has been."
ArenaNet isn't changing how people buy cosmetic items, Mike O'Brien, president of ArenaNet, said in a Gamespot interview. The developer also won't add a ton of new items to the game's store, according to O'Brien.
"If people are expecting we're going to go in and heavily monetize free players now, that's not what this is about," O'Brien said. "This is about making the base game available for everyone to try because we believe that when people love Guild Wars 2 they're going to buy Heart of Thorns."Â
But while ArenaNet wants things to stay simple, it couldn't deny the potential complications associated with letting people join paying players for free. So the developer has made three major changes to facilitated the influx of new players.
For one, free account will be allowed less character slots. Secondly, ArenaNet is placing chat and economy restrictions. And lastly, free accounts will be restricted from skipping ahead to places where they could be disruptive.
"We've found in testing that it's hard to read a list like this and know how it's going to feel in action," says the developer. "All these changes are live today, so we invite you to see for yourself."Â Â