I see comments here and on the general Guild Wars forums about the MMO being “dead.” The game will, as far as we know, have no further commercial updates, such as their three campaigns and one expansion. However, with ArenaNet still selling units (over 200,00 between 9/08 and 12/08), heading towards a whopping 6,000,000 units sold likely sometime this year, and the Guild Wars Live Team feverishly adding updates and content to the game. It is far from being proclaimed “dead.”
Linsey Murdock, Live Team game designer, posted on the Guild Wars Wiki about the amount of ArenaNet employees that have been giving their free (read: non-job) time to help with the coming April update. So far she has named 30+ employees that are working on Guild Wars 2 that have graciously helped out with the next update for the original Guild Wars. They have not released much more information on the actual content in the monster update, but Linsey and Co. are working so feverishly that she nearly forgot her job anniversary (scroll down to 3/27/09 entry).
I decided to fire up the old bat this past weekend for the Competitive Mission Weekend (double faction). I was playing Fort Aspenwood non-stop, and I heard that the rarely played Jade Quarry even got some attention. At least for weekend events, the game felt really alive. I also see plenty of competition going on with the Guild vs. Guild tournaments. The game has pockets of very strong activity.
To be fair there are also plenty of “dead” zones in the game, but they are present in many, many “living” MMOs. Guild Wars, at least, gives lonely players henchmen and heroes to power them through some of the older content. The monster update is also in addition to all the skill balances and bug fixes that happen from monthly update to update. All this, of course, with no subscription fee.
it’s a chopper, baby