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'Guild Wars 2' defies the odds for online RPGs with a third expansion

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
ArenaNet

Guild Wars 2 has been one of the most resilient online RPGs to date -- it has persisted for nearly eight years despite competition from heavyweights like World of Warcraft, not to mention its own challenges. And it appears that the game has plenty of life left. ArenaNet has announced that it's working on a third Guild Wars 2 expansion. There are so few details that the developer isn't even talking basic features or story, but it did release concept art (above) hinting at an Asia-themed setting.

ArenaNet is prepping a slew of events in the meantime, including a pair of festivals, another Living World episode with a territory-focused capture mode and the return of the Tournament of Legends in early summer.

While it's not clear exactly how many people are playing GW2 at this stage in its history (estimates pegged its active user base at 1.5 million in 2018), there's clearly enough to warrant a third add-on. The achievement is no small feat for a game that has not only been considered an underdog at times, but doesn't rely on the monthly subscriptions you frequently see with online RPGs. In its current form, GW2's core game is free-to-play -- you mainly pay to expand beyond that feature set. If ArenaNet is eager to start work on a third expansion, that shows just how many players are willing to fork over money when it isn't completely necessary to play.