Guild Wars 2 beta opens in March

January 23, 2012 // 3:41 p.m.

Tags: #arenanet #guild-wars #guild-wars-2 #mike-obrien #mmo #rpg

ArenaNet has confirmed its plan to launch massively multiplayer on-line role playing game Guild Wars 2 later this year, offering early details of the game's beta programme in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

Following on from the subscription-free MMO Guild Wars, the sequel features an all-new engine with improved graphics where gamers can immerse themselves in an impressively-sized world known as Tyria.

'We're a company full of MMO and RPG fans, and we've set out to fundamentally rethink how you deliver an RPG experience online,' claimed Mike O'Brien, ArenaNet's founder and president, in an announcement timed to coincide with the Chinese New Year. 'So this year, the Year of the Dragon, let’s usher out old thinking – the tired old quest model, stiff repetitive combat, and monthly fees – and usher in the new.'

According to O'Brien, while the initial closed beta testing for the title has finished, a new press-only preview will begin in February, to be expanded to the public in March and April at an 'aggressive' pace.

O'Brien also confirmed that the game is still on track for a 2012 release, promising that Guild Wars fans will be getting their hands on the title before the end of the year. Sadly, however, there's no news yet of a firm release date.

'It’s been an incredible adventure over the past five years, working with our community and our team of dedicated artists, designers, and programmers to realise this vision,' O'Brien added. 'This year, the seeds of that work come to fruition. We can't wait to play the game with you.'

Details of how to access the expanded public beta are expected to appear on the official site some time towards the end of next month.

Excited about the prospect of Guild Wars 2, or do you think the MMO genre peaked with World of Warcraft? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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