Guild Wars 2 sees player numbers increase following post-launch slump

Friday, 23rd August 2013 15:10 GMT By Dave Owen

After an impressive launch, Guild Wars 2 suffered a drop in player numbers after it launched last year. Now people are heading back to Tyria slowly but surely, and the designers believe it’s a result of newly-introduced fortnightly updates.

Lead designer Isaiah Cartwright told Polygon “We’ve been able to stabilize since the post-launch decline, and we’re seeing slow but steady growth in concurrent players and also overall.”

No numbers were mentioned, but Cartwright stressed that any MMO will see a drop in players immediately following launch. They were able to plan for that drop and, by analysing player data, decided that bi-weekly content drops would keep players coming back.

As a result ArenaNet has succeeded in keeping a great deal of the original Guild Wars players, though the original game is still popular enough to remain profitable.



  1. roadkill

    Which is not necessarily a good thing! :/

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TheWulf

    I still have a soft spot for Guild Wars 2, it’s a good game. It’s just that narratively it’s terrible and the world design isn’t too hot, it’s too disjointed. That’s what put me off of it.

    The exploration, the jumping puzzles, the dynamic events, the business model, and just the feel of the game are fantastic and something I’d love to see more companies emulate. But the writing was oh so bad, oh gods was it bad. As bad as The Secret World can be (and it can be), it wasn’t ever that bad.

    I tolerated it for a long time, I ignored the obvious questions. (If the charr are so advanced, why are they using medieval means to transport materials to repair high-tech devices? Why aren’t the charr patrolling these areas with tanks to keep the ghosts down? Where the hell are the ROADS if they have cars?) And there were billions upon billions of those obvious questions, but then finally I met Trahearne, and he was the straw that broke the camel’s back.


    They introduced a one-dimensional Mary-Sue for the last 30% of the game, and it was awful. I was expecting that the personalities of each particular race would form a council to fight the dragons, because that would make sense. I’d be happy taking orders from Rytlock, Eir, or Logan. At a stretch even Caithe and Zojja would be tolerable.

    But Trahearne was 100 per cent obnoxious. I wanted to side with the dragons in order to kill him.

    Suddenly I understood why the dragons had come back.

    They’d come back to kill Trahearne.

    I empathised.

    So, yeah, it’s a great game. But oh gods the world design, the lore, and the writing in general… they make me want to take an axe to the heads of the people responsible. I was worried when I saw that they’d turned the high magicks of the asura into a cheap Phantasy Star knock-off, and the asura themselves into gnomes. That was worrying even early on, and that feeling just grew and grew.

    Guild Wars 2 is an example of how bad writing and bad world design can ruin a game, even ruin entire races (I’m sorry, but the asura and the sylvari are largely intolerable in how one-dimensional they are).


    It angers me. It frustrates me. It’s like Dragon Commander, you know? Except in Dragon Commander it’s kind of the opposite — the lore, design, and writing are all top notch, but it’s the awful gameplay that lets that one down.

    I hate seeing a game come so close to greatness and then falling so short.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. DSB

    Pretty interesting. I believe the loss expected of a F2P MMO is about 70% on average within the first year, so if they’re able to claw their way back with that business model, that’s a job well done.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. TheWulf


    It wasn’t a free to play, though. It was a buy to play. So they likely had no problems in that area. That’s a business model I’d love to see more MMO publishers adopt.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. GrimRita

    Ive tried to go back twice now and just cant get to grips with the double dutch being spoken on my server. English is like a 5th language. And, to make matters worse, as a result, Blacktide is a woeful WvW server. So I guess that I will have to fork out 600 gems for a server transfer? pah!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DSB

    @4 Obviously. By having people invest 60 bucks at the beginning you’re decreasing the likelihood of just “window shopping”, but arguably you’re also limiting your userbase, which is the ultimate revenue stream.

    I’ve been told some crazy stats recently.

    Supposedly the average DOTA 2 player drops 20 bucks on the game. But that’s actually down to a minute few players spending an exorbitant amount, more than it is about everyone spending at least 10 bucks. And that’s a game offering nothing more than aesthetic advantages.

    F2P is fucking interesting economically.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. hitnrun

    @2 Agreed, except I never found the redeeming qualities in the game.

    I mean, you go into an MMO with pretty low standards for narrative and lore. But GW2 was incredibly bad. My friends and I jokingly referred to the Asura exclusively as “Taru Taru” and we’re not even big Final Fantasy fans. Playing my Taru Taru necromancer was so boring, and the story so bad, it smothered my considerable interest in the game in 20 hours. My friends made it to level 40 or so before they stopped playing as well.

    The world was like a master class in everything that is wrong in MMO world design since the wowclones started. I felt like I was looking at a graphical representation of Farmville – a series of tasks stretching out into infinity, with every inch allocated to some labor or other.

    I give them points for converting WoW into a fairly deep action game, something I didn’t think could be done, but it wasn’t interesting enough to make me spend time in that world.

    #7 1 year ago

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