Guild Wars Sequel Preview Whets Appetite

ArenaNet, the developers of the popular online role playing game Guild Wars, and game publisher NCsoft yesterday announced a weekend sneak preview they’d offered of their upcoming Guild Wars Factions sequel game drew what they are describing as gamers in record numbers. The preview was available from 12:01 am Friday, March 24 until 11:59 PM March 26.

The Guild Wars Factions preview, said the two companies, reportedly drew more than 500,000 players in an invitation only event which logged a cumulative gaming time of over three million hours online. Gamers gained access to the event by purchasing a pre-order pack which contained a key code for free access to the event, pushing this pre-order pack into top ten sales lists alongside full retail titles.

Guild Wars Factions, which builds upon the success of Guild Wars, will be available on April 28 for $49.99 and no monthly subscription fees. ArenaNet described the game as one in which players “explore a rich fantasy world, acquire skills, build personalized characters, and compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world.”

“We knew that by focusing on new ways to play and new things to do within the game, such as the 12×12 Alliance Battles, which were extremely popular with both PvP and roleplaying gamers, that fans would respond enthusiastically,” says Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, in a statement. “This weekend reinforced that we are on the right track with Guild Wars Factions and are making a game that rises to the challenge to be innovative and ever-compelling for its fans.”