That Korean Investment firm, KDB Daewoo Securities, is talking Guild Wars 2 expansion… again. They are really keen on it happening the second half of 2013. They probably use models, stock discussions, and neuromantic rituals to determine it among all the other NCSoft happenings for 2013. Let’s make this simpler.
ArenaNet says their Guild Wars 2 Live Team is 15-20 times larger than the live team of Guild Wars 1. The Guild Wars 1 Live Team is about 5 people. ArenaNet staffs over 300 people. That leaves 2/3 of the studio working on something else. Take away business, pure tech, etc., etc., that still leaves a big chunk working on… something else. Enough to make KDB Daewoo bring it up a second time.
ArenaNet is very agile. One team that cleaned up Orr might have split up to build guild missions or helped with the next part of Flame and Frost. And, then the rockin’ sound guys probably have to spread their infinite love around between tons of projects. That isn’t to say that they do have a team working on expansion-type content. I would find it harder to believe that they didn’t. It’s just that ArenaNet seems to shift resources quickly.
When Community Manager Martin Kerstein responded that the studio is committed to expanding the world through the Living Story, I don’t think he was being disingenuous. It’s just likely that the shift of resources is to all the features coming in the February-March updates. Who knows where the brunt of the studio will be focused in summer.
Bottom line: I think expecting ArenaNet to sell some kind of content is a reasonable expectation for 2013. It might be a $20 “expansion” more similar to Eye of the North that opens up some of those regions hinted when Guild Wars 2 in-game map is zoomed out (e.g., Blood Legion Homelands). It could be a huge MMO expansion. ArenaNet seems to still be testing their income out a bit, as seen by the Bouquet of Roses, which thankfully was not in a randomly-generated box of chocolates [ed: remove Forrest Gump joke]. I am still excited at the prospect of seeing what ArenaNet intends for the game’s long term with a possible offering of such a future in 2013.