Now let me pose a second question: If the success of a subscription-based MMO is measured by the number of people paying a monthly fee, how does that impact game design decisions?
If we chose fun as our main metric for tracking success, can we flip the core paradigm and make design decisions based on what we’d like to play as game players? Can we focus our time on making meaningful and impactful content, rather than filler content to draw out the experience? Can we make something so much fun you might want to play it multiple times because it’s fun, rather than making you do it because the game says you have to? It’s how we played games while growing up. I can’t tell you how many times I played Quest for Glory; the game didn’t give me 25 daily quests I needed to log in and do, I played it multiple times because it was fun!
The answer can be found in the mechanics and choices made in subscription-based MMOs, which keep customers actively playing by chasing something in the game through processes that take as long as possible. In other words, they design content systems that take more time to keep people playing longer. If this is your business motivation and model so you keep getting paid, it makes sense and is an incredibly smart thing to do, and you need to support it.
Now that we’re just two months away from launch, we’ll spend our remaining time optimizing, polishing, and balancing the game, to ensure that we provide you with the best launch-day experience we possibly can. To this end, I’m excited to announce that our next and final Beta Weekend Event is planned for July 20-22.
This is an incredibly momentous day for the studio and for me personally. This journey began in 2007 when we first announced that we were beginning work on Guild Wars 2 and that you wouldn’t be hearing from us for a while. Then in 2010 we unveiled our manifesto for Guild Wars 2: a living breathing online world that challenges convention, that’s designed for fun instead of grind, and that brings social interaction to a new level in an online world.
Through all the long hours and hard decisions, we were bolstered by the knowledge that we were not in this alone. All along you’ve been there for us, cheering us on, supporting us when we needed it, testing early versions of the game, and above all, giving us your honest feedback every step of the way. Guild Wars 2 is a better game for all of the work that our community has put in.