To rock in the Chinese New Year, ArenaNet has announced that Guild Wars 2 will be released this year. There was much dancing and celebration in the streets. Even though most revelers were celebrating the announcement, they didn’t mind the company of the other Chinese New Year party-goers.
In the blog post, Mike O’Brien then goes on to discuss ArenaNet’s plans for the ongoing beta:
We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we’re now ready to hold progressively larger events. In February we’ll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate. And of course, this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year.
Don’t worry, faithful readers. My firstborn is already shipped well on her way to the ArenaNet studios.
There are a couple of interesting points, though. Press are usually involved in MMO betas at some point, but usually this is one of the last phases of beta. What does ArenaNet intend with having awesome, dedicated bloggers and some real journalists in the beta? Normally, I would assume they would be under a non-disclosure agreement, but it would be really cool if ArenaNet kind of said “we’re so amazing, just come play and tell the world.” It could also be that ArenaNet wants possible “reviewers” to have more time to play so the Metacritic crushing reviews happen all the fast upon release.
Which of course leads to the question, when is release? Certainly nothing would be more epic than it launching on the Guild Wars 7th Anniversary. Yet, many times in the past it seems a good idea for MMOs to shut down beta and give the company a couple weeks to add that last bit of polish. This would lead the launch on the edge of summer, during exam time for students, near vacations, etc. Most MMOs will not launch during summer. Then there is this bit of Nostradamus-ish evidence of ArenaNet soccer jerseys possibly signifying June 28, 2012. My personal best guess is September with a wild card bet of April.