[GW2] Market Power!

Guild Wars 2 is on sale today. Best way to buy it, in my opinion, is definitely just going with the digital offerings from the linked site. The Collector’s Edition appears nearly all sold out in Europe, and I don’t know how long before GameStop and BestBuy close out that SKU.

It’s an interesting tactic because it is the first time I bought a game… actually purchased, and I won’t get to play it for awhile. ArenaNet promises that there will be a Beta Weekend Event at the end of April, but this is not the actual game. This is a beta test. Doing a bit of research for this post, I found it interesting that Diablo 3 (considered a rival to Guild Wars 2 by some) was also up for pre-purchase. Except there was very little incentive to pre-purchase Diablo 3. Pre-purchasing Guild Wars 2 ensures beta access and a 3-day head start. The head start alone is worth it, in my opinion. 

I am hoping that ArenaNet/NCSoft releases some numbers on the pre-purchase sales. It also worries me if they do. We are seeing pre-purchase abounding with all the new Kickstarter options, and pre-purchasing Guild Wars 2 isn’t much different. I don’t know when either Guild Wars 2 or the recent Kickstarter video games will release, but hopefully because I pre-purchased I get something cool. It’s also going to be interesting to see if we pre-purchasers might fund another month or two of Guild Wars 2 polish.

What worries me is that the pre-purchase of Guild Wars 2 (and perhaps a Diablo 3 trumpeting their numbers in echo) could make this the norm for video games, especially PC games. It could be a good thing or a bad thing, but change is always scary. In this instance, I had zero qualms about throwing my money at ArenaNet for Guild Wars 2. I might be more hesitant about Diablo 3, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on any exclusives to pre-purchasers if I later found out I really enjoyed the game (like Team Fortress 2 hats, amirite, Valve?).

Guild Wars 2 is already starting to make heads turn. The game won’t even be offered on release in NCSoft’s homebase, Asia, but Asian stockbrokers are buying up NCSoft anyway.  The linked report is fantastic by the way. In the dry desert of sales statistics, Daewoo Securities really squeezes some good cacti. They envision that Guild Wars 2 will sell 3 million during 2012, which would be almost half of the original Guild Wars lifetime sales. If ArenaNet says that they sold a million on pre-purchase can you imagine how much juice that will shoot into the market?

Something big is happening, and I am glad I am on board. Viva la dragon!

–Ravious

56 thoughts on “[GW2] Market Power!

  1. Ualtar

    My family is pre purchasing 3 copies. 1 for me, my wife, and my oldest son. The crazy thing is I probably won’t even be able to play this year due to military commitments. The hype train has carried me away.

  2. Brise Bonbons

    I find myself in an odd spot. I realize that over the past year or two my interest in MMOs (especially non-sandbox ones) has absolutely plummeted, leaving me sort of ambivalent about GW2. This has been exacerbated by some of Anet’s design choices which have turned me off, such as their implementation of conquest and the trait system.

    Anyway, that’s not the point for now. On one hand, I’ve waited so long to play GW2, and now that I almost have the chance to… I’d just rather spend the money on other stuff. There’s a weird dissonance at play, where unless I buy the game RIGHT NOW, I haven’t properly completed the foretold hype-arc. “The prophecy must come to pass!”

    Marketing does strange, strange things to us.

    *

    P.s. Oddly, I also find that after waiting so long for GW2, it’s easy to think “eh, what’s another month or two matter anyway”. GW2, you got me all twisted up inside.

  3. Unlucky Slayer

    I really really hate where this will lead us if it sticks. Why do so many people want to help promote this kind of practice. Paying full price for beta access. That is nuts! But I guess I saw this coming when they started thumbing their nose at the community fansites.

    1. Hornedcatmonkey

      What? We aren’t paying full price for Beta… We’re playing full price for the game AND Beta AND three day’s headstart access AND other stuff. The price isn’t going down after the game comes out.

      1. Unlucky Slayer

        Until the game actually comes out, there is no game. What if you pay for this and you do not want the game at all? Do you get your money back? I highly doubt it.

        1. bhagpuss

          Why on earth would you buy the game if you didn’t want it?

          I bought two copies today. I knew I was going to buy GW2 a year ago. If I could have paid for it back then I would happily have done so. Gets it out the way and I can forget about it.

          I just don’t see what the issue is. If you’re going to play it you have to buy it. What difference does it make if you do that on the day it releases, a month before or a year before?

          I consider being able to pre-purchase a real convenience. I’d have bought GW2 today even if there were no benefits attached to doing so beyond simply owning it.

          1. Unlucky Slayer

            What if you want to try it before making the money commitment? The only way to make sure you get to try it is either make it to a convention or get into Beta.

            Since they obviously only want the select few fanbois in the invite Beta, you are left with this Pre-purchase BS or waiting til after release and hoping a friend bought it.

            Videos and Blogs do nothing for first hand exp. All I really wish that they would do would be a PUBLIC beta/preview like they did with Guild Wars. Is that so hard to ask for?

            1. gwj

              If you want to try before making a commitment, then wait until after release. They’ll likely have free trials like they had with GW after a while anyway, or like you said you can watch a friend play. If it’s such a big deal that you can’t be arsed to wait, then buy it.

              The distinction is the same as any other game with the exception of a gap between payment and game release. “Loyalty has its benefits”, or something to that effect.

            2. Coppertopper

              Everyone seems to forget that this is a subscription free MMO with all the trappings. Its like buying stock – due diligence is rewarded.

            3. gwj

              Yes, and “blind” devotion (that is, loyalty gathered from players of the previous game and/or demos and/or watching videos and reading blog posts) is rewarded separately. If you want one reward so bad you’ll give up the other, then I understand, but I’m not going to feel any pity.

            4. Curuniel

              I also don’t see how this is any different to any video game. You don’t know if you’ll really like it until you play it, and you have to buy it (in most cases, barring generous friends) to play it. If you’re not sure – don’t buy it at release! That’s what I do with single player games. Watch and see what the reviews and people you know say about it.

              Just because some of us are rabidly jumping on the chance to pre-purchase, doesn’t mean you should feel like you have to. Think about it again a couple of months after release if you’re unsure.

        2. Skar Hand

          What if you pay for it 3 days after it is released and you decide you don’t want it at all? Do you get your money back? I highly doubt it. That is the risk you must take to play video games. Buy it and you might not like it. The only difference between paying now and later is the $0.012 you would have earned in interest over the next few months.

    2. wormwood

      Unlucky, why are you so bitter? Is it because Anet decided to start their own forum or is it because you got sacked from you moderator post on Guru? :p

      Either way, I don’t have a problem with them pre-selling GW2. I have a problem with their cash shop (and I likely won’t be buying the game), but they’re free to do as they choose and as long as consumers keep supporting them, they’re right to do it.

  4. Token

    This game looks completely different from the original; and I know a whole lot of people bought and tried GW with great disappointment. Hopefully some of those old customers will come back and take a fresh look at this new game; you can’t go far wrong with lifetime access to a subscription-free game.

    1. Steve L

      A lot of people bought and played the original Guild Wars with great satisfaction too, let’s not forget that. I played Guild Wars 1 for almost five years.

      So sure, there were dissatisfied people, mostly people who expected an MMO and were disappointed you can’t jump..or people who didn’t have the patience to get through the VERY long tutorial process to where the game actually began…but make no mistake, Guild Wars 1 was a success in its own right.

  5. Peekayboo

    It does look like a great mmo but the payment model forces then to only have 1 na and 1 eu server meaning the majortiy of player will have high ping making it more of a casual game >_<

      1. Chakashio

        I think that he means that ANet will only have one NA Server and one EU Server, because ANet won’t get any money through subscription, because there is none.
        If they have more servers, they have to pay more; so they won’t have more. That’s what he is saying, I think.

        I do not believe it.

        1. Chris

          WvW pits three servers against each other. So there will definitely be more than one server per data centre. Yes, there are currently only plans for two data centers — one in NA and one in Eurozone. But each data centre will have multiple servers.

    1. Pixel Doll

      The EU and NA servers you are mentioning are not game servers but Data centers from which you will be logging into the game once you have purchased a copy of GW2 depending on your region. Those Data centers only purposes are for registering your account with them , tech support, customer care etc…
      Once you start playing GW2 you can play with everyone around the world on all the game servers or game “worlds” as they are referred to in the case of GW2. So if you are from NA you can and most probably will be playing with EU players and the rest of the world. ArenaNet has already posted this on their facebook. If people are thinking the NA servers are about playing with the rest of the world and the EU servers are about playing only withing Europe it is a big misconception, ArenaNet has already accentuated the fact that they wanted everyone to play with everyone no matter where you are from.
      The only issue arising from copies tied to one region in particular is if someone from NA/rest of the world travels to Europe and the opposite and wants to continue playing GW2. But I wouldn’t worry about that either as ArenaNet has informed us that they are working on a solution in regard to this.

      1. Ravious Post author

        Yes, but it is at best unclear if I choose to take my NA account over to France while I am on a business trip whether I will be able to play from a France IP. I think that’s the concern.

        1. me

          They said that at the moment you won’t be able to play from France. However they are aware that some of their players will travel so they are working on a solution.

          I interpret that as meaning they will put in something to allow people to play, they just haven’t figured out the specifics.

        2. Pixel Doll

          Yes as I said in my earlier post they are looking at a permanent solution for this a this moment. One thing we need to all understand is that the game isn’t complete yet and hasn’t launched. So we should expect all those concerns to be addressed before launch. Give them some time:)

  6. RK

    I have nothing agaisnt this practice! i would buy the game anyway, so whats the problem of pre-purchase the game if it even guarantees me to also play the betas events.. only diference is that im spending the same ammount a couple of months earlier than i would, but at same time i will be able to play beta events.

    1. Unlucky Slayer

      A Public Beta with Preview weekends like they did with Guild Wars would serve the same purpose, and would cause more people to buy. They are going to have the rabid fanbois no matter what they do, they should be trying to get the Fence Riders to pay for their game.

      1. BA

        The way it is worded, pre-purchase guarantees access to all future betas. That sounds like others will still get to enter the betas by limited signups and Jerry give-sways. They may even still have an open beta weekend for all we know.

          1. Token

            You can still apply to participate in beta events even if you didn’t pre-purchase the game. But I think you do have a valid point, it would be better marketing strategy for them to hold an open beta.

            1. Curuniel

              We don’t know what will happen in future. It’s possible that they won’t have any open beta (they’ll most likely get plenty of people to test with from pre-purchase, and might not want everyone to start at once). Then again it’s also possible that they may have an open beta or preview, but they’ve said pre-purchase is the only way to GUARANTEE beta access just in case.

          2. Brise Bonbons

            Very few companies run truly open betas (i.e. you can just sign up and be certain you’ll get in) anymore, as far as I’ve seen. If they do, the game is probably F2P anyway.

            With a game like GW2, even if they do a real open beta, they wouldn’t be running it this early. Usually an MMO does its really big tests a couple weeks before launch, when it’s as polished as it’ll get.

            That said, I think GW2 is a game which could benefit mightily from a demo. But it has so much positive hype, they know most people curious about it will be willing to pay in advance – either for the chance to play early, or to support ANet.

            I don’t know, I may snark about the silliness of pre-purchasing a game that doesn’t even have a release date, but it just doesn’t bother me that much. Seems a fine way to support a dev you like, while getting some little perks for being an early adopter.

            Hell, you could go out and put down a pre-order for thousands of dollars on any number of to-be-released-at-some-point cars (which will then likely have numerous new model glitches). Why not a $60 game?

  7. r1nka

    Uhm I’m going to have to correct you: The pre-purchase version of the european CE is nearly sold out, you can pre-order the CE just fine.

    Judging from the statement made by the german retailer 4u2play that there are (currently?) only 1500 pre-purchase CEs in Germany (= all german retailers combined obly have 1500 of them) I’m assuming there are at most 10k in Europe (probably much less), so them being sold out says abolutely nothing about the game being successfull, limiting those pre-purchase boxes like that is just an instrument to create hype.

    1. Ravious Post author

      My guess is that there was a limited print run due to the statue, and coupled with what Martin Kerstein is saying I’m not sure if a pre-order of the CE will actually get you one.

      With GW1 CE pre-orders, I was never guaranteed one and had to kick down some doors to get one. It makes me pretty wary, and I’m still feeling up in the air about whether I actually will get a CE even though I have one fully paid off with a pre-purchase.

  8. The Ogre

    Such a shame that they decided to region-lock the game (the two versions, “North American” and “European”, of the client aren’t compatable and if you travel between regions, for whatever reason, you won’t be able to log in at all unless you BUY the version appropriate to that region).

    It means ArenaNet/NCSoft definitely do not get my money while such consumer-unfriendly policy stays in place… (leaving them in the company of EA, Activision, Sony, and UbiSoft on my boycott list)

    1. Tabe

      This is a misconception that a LOT of people have about their policy. They obviously didn’t have good wording when it came to presenting their region policy because so many people are left with the wrong impression. The only thing that is ‘region locked’ to watever copy of the game you purchase is the datacenter by which you download the client and updates. This way the datacenters don’t have to carry every single language pack for each client.

      On top of this, the only thing that it will effect is download time. If you’re in America with the European version for example, you would be routed to the European datacenter in order to download the newest update, but you can still log in and connect to the american datacenters and servers to play with a lower ping. The only real restriction you might have is a higher ping if you wanted to play on your home server hosted in the EU datacenters. This goes for all of the copies being sold in Asia as well; Asia will have to connect to the American datacenter to play the game until further notice, but its not like they won’t be able to play the game.

      It would be INCREDIBLY stupid of Anet and NCSoft to have restrictions like many people think. Especially when they had such a large Korean and south east asian userbase in GW1.

      1. Ross Smith

        No, according to Anet themselves, Ogre is right. Quoting directly from the GW2 FAQ:

        “Is my copy of Guild Wars 2 tied to my region?

        Yes. To play from North America you must purchase a North American copy of the game. To play from Europe you must purchase a European copy of the game. Note that this restriction impacts where you can play from, not which game worlds you can choose to play on.”

          1. hemmer

            They also said they really want to resolve that issue, so it’s just the current state of things. Using a proxy server could still be an option if push comes to shove.

        1. Mili

          When in France (to use Ravious’ example) with a US GW2 client, why not simply proxy or VPN to an American IP. This isn’t a perfect solution; but would suffice for those with a half-way decent computer that can make up for the extra hop(s).

          1. The Ogre

            Probably because such things are anything but simple for the vast majority of people. Plus, it can be detected (so, at best, your connection would be refused). Third, there should be no need at all to even think about having to do such things in order to play the game.

            1. James

              You realize that for the vast, vast majority of people traveling from
              NA to Europe and needing to play GW during will never ever be a thought let alone a problem?

              This is such an insanely niche and specific problem..holy crap maybe the 12 people doing so will be pisses, but who cares?

    2. Tib

      They said they are working on a solution for players that travel. What exactly that situation is, we don’t know.

      Why the situation is there, we also don’t know, since it doesn’t seem a-net or ncsoft have a 3rd party publishing partner. But it probably concerns ping/performance and localization for the cash shop.

  9. Craywulf

    I would not be surprised at all if GW2 sells 3 million copies in less than 3 months. This of course means that there’s no major hiccups or public relations disaster. They’ll hit 6 million within a year, easily.

  10. -Pagan-

    Funcom is also on the prebuy bandwagon with it’s new MMO The Secret World. Not only are you prebuying the game in full, but you have the option of buying a Lifetime sub before ever stepping foot in the game world.

    Seems like a huge gamble.

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  12. Tib

    “It could be a good thing or a bad thing, but change is always scary. In this instance, I had zero qualms about throwing my money at ArenaNet for Guild Wars 2.”

    Yes, it is concerning. We’re really close to pre-buying before we know the system specs (and technically, we already are there with kickstarter, although nobody expects those to be hardware intensive unless they do less than no optimization)

    we know next to nothing about balance, the vast majority of the zones, etc… Orr could be a few grossly underpopulated/underdeveloped zones with just three small events in it for all we know ;)

    Arenanet seems to be offering more than diablo, so there’s that, but basically, the only reason most people will pre-purchase is because of hype. and maybe the coercion/bonus of headstart.

    1. Xaira

      Incidentally, we do know the system specs. https://buy.guildwars2.com/, scroll to the bottom of the page.

      Me, I’ve been plating GW1 since its release, and I have been following this game since announcement. I know, for a fact, that I’ll be buying it, so why not pay for it early and get a whole load of things, including a beta in which I can assist in making my favorite game series even better. Pre-purchase was a no-brainer. (Plus, I know I have the money now, and not sure if I will come release.)

      1. Tib

        Oh, absolutely, I’m right there with you and prepurchased. But in the future, we might not even know system specs before companies let you order.

        And with GW2 they could still potentially announce something that would be deal breaking for many people, like a very limited number of character slots (everyone pretty much expects we’ll get five now, but lets say anet announces that we’ll only get 1 or 2?) There is a lot about the game we just don’t know.

        1. Jason J.

          Thats true, unknown or unexpected changes occurring between pre-purchase and launch day is one concern people need to take into consideration, prior to paying for the game. However, if it is a drastic change, like you gave for example (I know its an extreme example, to get the point across)that people will absolutely rebel against. They would risk FUTURE sales of expansions and long term profit for a short term boost.
          Imagine they did what you said, only 1 or 2 character slots and then offered more in the shop (which im not a fan of, but as long as its not game breaking i dont care, look at all the shit wow sold). People would be PISSED, I know I would be. I would also guarantee you that I would NOT buy them and that I would NOT buy the future expansions.

          To conclude, my main point is, while changes can-and will-take place between now and release. The majority of their profit, in the long term, will be selling expansions, which no one will do if they find ‘shady’ practices common place in the first release. This is one of those times capitalism will work to our advantage, if they fuck with us in the short term (to screw us out of money from the shops) then we will do the same to them by not buying their expansions.

  13. Juno

    Pre-purchase is Win-Win… seriously.

    From ANet’s standpoint, they get some early return on investment and initial player base metrics.

    From the Player’s standping, we get pre-purchase rewards. The 3-day early access and the beta access are incredible rewards imo.

    If a player doesn’t want the rewards, or feels the risk-to-reward ratio is too high, then don’t buy. No harm, no foul.

    1. Juno

      Following up on an earlier Ravious post, it may be interesting to note that I won’t be pre-purchasing Diablo 3.

      I love the D3 franchise, but there are no incentives to get the pre-purchase that I can see. No benefits to me as a consumer. Also I’m not a big fan of Blizzard as a developer stemming back from when they killed Blizzard North and dropped all product development except WoW.

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