Guild Wars 2 expansions will be smaller and more frequent in future
ArenaNet have outlined their development roadmap
Guild Wars 2 is over ten years old now, and last year it brought its long-running storyline to a close with its third expansion. Now its developers say they want to release smaller and cheaper expansions more regularly, with quarterly updates filling the gaps in between.
Historically, expansions have been released for Guild Wars 2 every 2-4 years, with 'Living World' seasons developing the story in-between. "This made it difficult to simultaneously develop expansions while supporting the game with regular content updates. It also meant that many areas of the game went undersupported," says the latest studio update.
Resources are going to be reallocated to change that in future, with ArenaNet "releasing smaller expansions more frequently at a slightly reduced price and adding additional content for those expansions through quarterly updates, meaning that the next big release is only ever a few months away."
Each expansion will kick off a new story arc, with "two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards." The quarterly updates will then add a new open-world map, new story chapters, challenge modes, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode,and new rewards. "Once that expansion’s story is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner."
For years, Guild Wars 2 felt like the standard bearer for MMOs that weren't World Of Warcraft. That title has more recently passed to Final Fantasy XIV. To me, an outsider to both games, this sounds a lot like Guild Wars 2 moving to an update model that more closely resembles how Final Fantasy does things.
The full post contains a more specific roadmap for the first half of 2023, including the release of the next chapter of last year's End Of Dragons expansion on February 28th. It sounds like the full shift to the new expansion release cadence will happen in the second half of the year, with more details to come later.