Guild Wars: Biding its time?

With all the ramp-up craziness of SWTOR these days (seriously, just a month or so to go?), it took me a little while to realize just how quiet ArenaNet is being lately with Guild Wars 2.  I mean, the three posts that they put up in October were… underwhelming, to say the least (ooh environment sketches in post-card form!), and Asura Week — their last big push for publicity — ended a month and a half ago.  For a game that’s allegedly entering beta by the end of the year, this just feels off to me.

Of course, it could just be a natural part of the PR cycle.  Sometimes there’s a lot, sometimes not so much, and ArenaNet is not well-known for a steady release of information.  The part of me that like to look at the big strategic picture recognizes that it might be futile for ArenaNet to try to counter-program SWTOR news with its own right now, preferring to wait out the launch frenzy before seriously ramping back up its GW2 campaign.

Another thought is that Guild Wars 2’s release is further away than many predict.  I think a lot of folks are really hoping for spring 2012, but fall?  Winter?  Could be.  GW2’s been a long time coming at this point, and ArenaNet is not looking to be hasty here.  Besides, a spring release will not only put it at the butt of SWTOR’s release but also send it head-to-head against TERA and The Secret World.  Not that GW2 is a direct competitor, what with its interesting pricing model, but it will be competing for mind-share of gamers nonetheless.

Assuming that ArenaNet makes good on its promises of unparalleled gameplay and MMO innovation, then we could be looking at a silent predator in the treetops, waiting for its best chance to pounce.  In today’s news cycle, where the hype is neverending and the news always gushing forth, few studios are willing to take the chance of turning the megaphone off and just letting customers see and judge the product for themselves.  In a scenario where ANet downplays the hype and releases a truly stellar game, we could see something that hasn’t happened in this industry in a very, very long time, if ever.  It might be worth it just to see people caught off guard.

Personally, I’d love to be hearing more about GW2 right now, but mostly just to know that it’s on track for a release that will happen within my lifespan.  That’d be nice indeed.

P.S. — I wrote this before doing my daily RSS reading, and saw that Kill Ten Rats posted on the exact same subject.  So that’s a weird coincidence, no?

10 thoughts on “Guild Wars: Biding its time?

  1. Cindy November 1, 2011 / 12:26 pm

    Maybe they realize how thoroughly sick some players (like me) are of SWTOR right now and want to avoid over-saturation. Bioware’s PR campaign for TOR has been unrelenting and, coupled with all the hyperbolic fan fervor, has made the game wildly overhyped. ArenaNet would be wise to avoid doing the same thing to GW2, imo.

  2. ravious November 1, 2011 / 1:55 pm

    Heh, that’s pretty funny. I saw you post it a bit after I did, and was like what? No H/T.

    Sound minds think alike. 😉

  3. bhagpuss November 1, 2011 / 2:07 pm

    I’m really hoping for Spring. I know picking the window well is crucial but pushing things out to next Summer or later risks running against Mists of Pandaria, for example.

    By next Spring SW:tOR will have been out for three or four months, which is generally a break-point for the uncommitted. I don’t believe for a second that ArenaNet would see either Tera or TSW as serious competition.

    But that’s what I hope. I agree that if it’s going to be next Spring, there’d better be a beta I really don’t want to wait another year. There’s such a thing as going off the boil.

  4. Maureen Lycaon November 1, 2011 / 2:57 pm

    A more worrisome possibility — the layoffs at NCSoft are somehow involved. They insist they’re still “fully committed” to GW2, and they’d be foolish not to be, but I have to wonder.

  5. Rinvan November 1, 2011 / 3:44 pm

    I would love to see the game come out in April of 2012. Then GW2 would not have to worry about both TOR & Diablo III.

  6. mynsc November 1, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    If the rumors are true, we might be seeing a beta announcement in a few weeks. That would certainly move the hype meter into red.

    And it would also make sense… what better way to “steal” some of the attention from SW:TOR than to invite people to play the game.

    So yeah, I’m betting is just the calm before the storm, a storm that will hit just before SW:TOR launches.

  7. Gary N. Mengle November 1, 2011 / 6:04 pm

    It’s my suspicion that ArenaNet are simply letting SWTOR enjoy its time in the spotlight. Its release is a lot closer so it’s naturally going to occupy the higher position on the hype ladder right now. Three months after EA launches, when everyone is sick and tired of hearing about it… then we’ll start to see more GW2 stuff again.

  8. muckbeast November 2, 2011 / 1:11 pm

    Considering GW2 has no subscription fee, they have the benefit of not needing to be too afraid of what other MMOs come out near them. The exception to this of course is SWTOR, because it is the 600 million pound gorilla that is the biggest thing to hit the MMO industry in 7 years.

    6 months or so after its release, there will be plenty of people looking for something different.

  9. Telwyn November 2, 2011 / 2:45 pm

    I have thought several times of late “Have they still not announced the 8th profession!?”. Yes perhaps from a marketing perspective they need a few big punches left to distract from SWTOR fever when it launches but it seems very drawn out.

    I know nothing about marketing really of course but I have to say it’s *rolleyes* time for me that they still haven’t revealed it yet.

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