I've been recently pondering what really will happen with Guild Wars 2. Through beta, release and the rest. I've started to wonder how it will turn out. I have sort of half of my brain thinking it's going to take the MMORPG market by storm and the other half a bit perplexed. I think that through all the praise and dedication I've given to ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 respectively there has to be some sort of disconnect.
I mean not every one of us see eye to eye. We all have different views and opinions, so what I think of Guild Wars 2 may be completely different of others. So here I sit thinking failure for Guild Wars 2 is nigh impossible and yet someone who hasn't seen what I've seen about the game might think differently. I think a good example being Duke Nukem Forever. My friend was really excited for the game where I was puzzled. From what I had seen it looked extremely boring and a mediocre shoot-em-up. But for him it was different, he had played the earlier titles where I had not. I didn't have any background interest in the game and dismissed it, that is similar to his feelings for Guild Wars 2.
I played the first game, albeit Guild Wars 2 is straying pretty far from what Guild Wars was like. They will just feel like different games, but the small historic references to draw them back together. It will be an interesting twist, a new game with older lore dashed on top. But Guild Wars 2 is going to be vast and I truly hope it gains a lot of popularity. I want the developers to prosper, I want more sequels from ArenaNet. I think I've seen so much and have never been this dedicated to a game... ever. It feels strange but as a kid I never really "followed" games. I would see an advertisement on a website or hear from word of mouth. Then I would try the game, probably already been released some time before then. But I never really was there for release or even before that. I think developers are becoming as involved as ever with players. Through alpha/beta testing and the hype they can foster is amazing.
But what happens when the dust settles. When release has come and gone. For ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 I think they are already a step above subscription MMORPG's, because they aren't a subscription MMORPG. That may sound obvious but it makes sense. Spending money every month on a game is an important decision, and it needs to be worth every cent. With Guild Wars 2 there is no over-burdening feeling to play. You won't feel pressured to play because you had payed fifteen bucks and wanted to squeeze out as much of your months playtime as possible. You can just come and go as you please. Heck, I still jump on Guild Wars every now and then. And that game was released seven years ago.
I feel this will be the future for Guild Wars 2. A long life filled with all the awesome things they are packing into it. No pressure to play and that will help them tremendously. Subscriptions kill games, and we need to put a stop to it.
Hopefully with ArenaNet leading the charge.