What’s been the key to ArenaNet’s approach with Guild Wars 2?
We worked from the understanding that the business model is going to open the doors to a lot more players, and you’ll have potentially a more diverse audience with arguably more casual than the hardcore niche. Then you have to think about the core mechanics and the core design of the product, and how you really bring the player into the game. These mechanics lead to more in-depth mechanics that are more typical of an MMO because we don’t want to alienate people that love the core complex mechanics of MMOs. I’m certainly one of those players. I think that that’s fantastic. As an industry, we could all do a better job of teaching the player how to get to the point where these more complex systems are in the game. And then have more enjoyment by understanding what they are, rather than feeling like an outsider. Having a more diverse community and listening to that feedback gives us metrics, and the information required, to really understand how to build a big, great accessible game.
After the failure of Star Wars: The Old Republic, do you see room for another big subscription MMO in the future?
It’s pretty simple. The best quality MMO is going to pull customers towards it. Certainly a subscription model does offer a huge barrier to entry, so unless the game that comes out with the subscription is miles and eons above anything in the free-to-play or traditional purchased box space, then it’s going to struggle. At the end of the day, the players and the communities are going to go to the game that matters to them the most.