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?