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Path Of Exile 2 is now so huge it's "a completely separate game"

Originally it was billed as an expansion to Path Of Exile 1

Artwork of Path Of Exile 2's Marauder class, who is standing on a pile of skulls and holding up their sword
Image credit: Grinding Gear Games

When Path Of Exile 2 was first announced in 2019, it was billed as an extra large expansion patch to the original game - an update, so to speak, rather than a standalone sequel. Since then, however, the scope of Grinding Gear Games action RPG has grown so much in the intervening years that they've now decided to make it a "completely separate game". The news comes from tonight's ExileCon, which also marks the first time we've seen Path Of Exile 2 in action since that original announcement.

"The scope of POE2 effectively just ended up being much, much larger than we kind of expected," Grinding Gear Games' co-founder and Path Of Exile 2 creative director Jonathan Rogers told RPS in a press briefing ahead of tonight's ExileCon keynote.

"We realised at some point that our original plan we announced in 2019 of basically having POE2 being sort of a built-on expansion to POE 1 was just actually not something we could really do. The differences between the two games just became so major that effectively POE2 is now a completely separate game."

As a result, Path Of Exile 2 will have its own new campaign and respective end-game. Previously, the campaign was going to be shared across both games, but Rogers told us the growing differences between POE1 and 2 meant "there was no real possible world where they could be merged".

A monk attacks enemies in a forest in Path Of Exile 2
Image credit: Grinding Gear Games

Thankfully, Grinding Gear Games' approach to how in-game purchases work across both games remains the same as before:

"We're still keeping the policy where all of the microtransactions are shared between the two games," Rogers clarifies. "That was obviously really important, and that also means that all the purchases players will make going forward as well as all the ones they made previously will still be retained and they'll still be able to use that stuff."

They're also planning to continue supporting the original Path Of Exile after the launch of its sequel, too. "It's our intention to continue to support both games and actually make sure that we're still giving a good amount of attention to them," says Rogers, as the dev team are fully expecting fans to continue playing both.

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"That's one of the good reasons to have the microtransactions across both as well because it means you don't have to feel like you support one game or the other," he adds. "You can just continue to play both and everything will still work."

You can see more of Path Of Exile 2 in action in the substantial gameplay demonstration below, which, if you ask me, looks a heck of a lot more exciting and interesting than its very obvious rival, Diablo 4. Just look at that monk's staff twirls! Gorgeous stuff. We've also got more specific details about the new Monk and Sorceress classes shown off in the demo if you want to read more.

Path Of Exile 2 "still has quite a bit to go" in terms of development, Rogers says, but the devs are hoping to launch it into closed beta on June 7th 2024.

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