A method for success: Guild Wars 2 sells 3 million copies in a changing MMO market

a method for success guild wars 2 sells 3 million copies in changing mmo market

Guild Wars 2 is different from your average MMO, though it may not appear to be on the surface. ArenaNet’s game is built to avoid some of the structural problems that have hampered online role-playing games since the late ‘90s. It opened quests to players of varying levels so they can play together. It rewards exploration of the world and encourages you to wander freely rather than restricting you to specific regions dependent on how much time you’ve poured into the game. And like its successful predecessor, there are no subscription fees in Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet’s forward thinking has been well rewarded; the company’s sold 3 million copies of Guild Wars 2 since releasing the game in August.

The studio announced the sales milestone on Tuesday, boasting recent additions to the game like new PvP and PvE maps as well as a whole new dungeon called “Fractals of the Mist.”

Guild Wars 2’s success is a case study in what’s necessary to succeed in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game market in 2013. It was one of many high profile MMOs to open for business in 2012, including Funcom’s The Secret World, En Masse Entertainment’s Tera, and Electronic Arts and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic (which technically released during the last days of 2011.) Unlike Guild Wars 2, those three MMOs all opened requiring monthly subscription fees from players. In the past six months, all of them have either dropped subscription fees entirely or plan to in the immediate future.

Even at their respective peaks, though, none of those games matched Guild Wars 2’s sales. Over 2 million players participated in the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta test, but a mere 1.7 million players were paying to play the game in February 2012 just after its release. That membership shrunk to 1.3 million by May and continued to decline across the year. The Secret World has sold just 300,000 copies since opening last year.

ArenaNet’s model, however, proves that a new MMO can open and build a substantial audience on expensive up-front sales. The game’s also steadily sold over the past few months. It sold 2 million copies within the first two weeks of release (including pre-orders), and its built steadily at a rate of more than 300,000 new players per month.

2013 will prove a momentous year for MMOs as Blizzard is expected to share details about its successor to World of Warcraft. Even now, though, we can be guaranteed that that game won’t have a monthly subscription fee.

Movies & TV

Disney debuts the first photos from Star Wars series The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Movies & TV

Marvel and IMAX release even more Avengers: Endgame footage

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.
Movies & TV

The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.

Hook up your stream setup at a great price with these Stream Deck alternatives

The original Elgato Stream Deck is a great device for managing your content while you stream games on Twitch, but there are plenty of Stream Deck alternatives that can do the job, as well.

The best video games for kids, sorted by age group, for April 2019

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30-plus games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.

You can score an Xbox One X and three games for $339, but you have to act fast

Microsoft’s latest console is easily the most cost-effective way to get your game on in 4K, and this sweet limited-time deal – which brings the Xbox One X and three games down to just $339 through April 17 – makes it even cheaper.

Cuphead bosses ranked from easiest to hardest to wallop

Cuphead is notorious for being an exceedingly tough boss rush game. Now that the gorgeous action game has arrived on Nintendo Switch, we decided to rank all 19 of its bosses from easiest to hardest.

Travel in style with our guide to getting the Regalia mount in FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV is currently running a crossover event with Final Fantasy XV, and the famous Regalia vehicle used by Noctis is part of the fun. Here is how to get the FFXIV Regalia mount.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse — and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

Get in control with some of the best Xbox One gamepads you can get right now

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.

Pro Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players react to Joker gameplay reveal

Joker's gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed and professional players are sharing their thoughts on social media. We also reached out to a pro player to get her first impressions and fears based on what she's seen.

Play The Sims 4 the way it was meant to be played using a keyboard and mouse

The Sims 4 recently added keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One and PS4, giving players the chance to experience the game as it was designed. Here is how to use keyboard and mouse in The Sims 4.

10 Nintendo Switch tips and tricks to get the most out of your hybrid console

Have a new Nintendo Switch? Awesome! It's a great console from the moment you turn it on, but owners can make it even better by using a few simple tips and tricks. Here's what every Switch owner should know.