Guild Wars 2 and microtransactions

The MMO Report: Guild Wars 2 Preview Special includes some interesting information about Guild Wars 2 and its “payment model”. As most of you probably know, Guild Wars 2 will be “buy to play” just like Guild Wars 1 is. That means that you buy the box with a key inside which lets you create an account. But there won’t be a monthly fee. It will have microtransactions like Guild Wars 1 did. But so far, they didn’t specify. The only thing I’d read was that it will be similar to Guild Wars 1 and that they’re trying out different things to put in the store.

I might have been too pessimistic but I feared they’d sneak in some items that make you more powerful. Because so far, whenever people asked, the answer was just that they’re “looking into what to put into the store”.

Either way, Colin Johanson (Lead Content Designer for Guild Wars 2) answers this question quite clearly in the MMO Report. You can find the answer starting at 12:50.

Or just read the transcription that I’ve written:

“Guild Wars 1 was buy the box, play it for free forever. Guild Wars 2 will be exactly the same thing. We are never going to charge a monthly fee for Guild Wars 2. If you buy our game, you can play it, that’s it. We believe that if we are doing our job and we are making expansion content that is good enough people will buy it and continue to support our company and if we’re not making stuff that good then they won’t and that’s their choice. We don’ think we should that we should charge them a monthly fee. We think that we should earn our money by making great content that people would want to buy. That’s very important to us. We will have microtransactions just like Guild Wars 1 did. It’s very important to us that our microtransactions are superficial things. Things that don’t make you more powerful than other players. They are things that change the look of the players only or change the fun experiences that you have on the side. They are never things that will make you more powerful than other characters and they are never things that you have to buy to play the game. When you buy Guild Wars 2, you get the whole game. Period. You never need to get a microtransaction to get more of it.”

This sounds great! Even though I wasn’t too happy to hear that in order to change your character’s armour (the look of it, not the stats on it), you’ll most likely have to pay*, I will gladly do so if that means that there’ll never be anything in the shop that will make my character more powerful!

Edit: For the German-speakers, a German translation of what Colin said.

“Guild Wars 1 war “Kauf die Box, spiel das Spiel kostenlos für immer”. Guild Wars 2 wird genauso sein. Wir werden niemals eine monatliche Gebühr verlangen für Guild Wars 2. Wenn ihr das Spiel kauft, könnt ihr es spielen. Wir glauben, wenn wir unsere Arbeit machen und Erweiterungsinhalt machen, der gut genug ist, werden die Spieler ihn kaufen und unsere Firma unterstützen und wenn wir nichts Gutes machen, dann werden sie es nicht kaufen und das ist alleine ihre Entscheidung. Wir glauben nicht, dass wir monatlich Geld verlangen sollten. Wir glauben, dass wir uns das Geld verdienen müssen, indem wir großartigen Inhalt machen, den die Spieler kaufen wollen. Das ist für uns sehr wichtig. Wir werden “Microtransactions” haben so wie es in Guild Wars 1 war. Es ist uns sehr wichtig, dass unsere Microtransactions für oberflächliche Dinge sind. Dinge, die einen nicht mächtiger machen als andere Spieler. Das sind Dinge, die das Aussehen von Spielern (Charakteren) oder “fun experiences” (unterhaltsame Erfahrungen? ^^ Mir fällt hier nichts Gescheites ein), die man nebenbei hat, verändern. Es werden niemals Dinge sein, die einen stärker machen als andere Charaktere und es werden niemals Dinge sein, die man kaufen muss, um das Spiel zu spielen. Wenn ihr Guild Wars 2 kaufen, dann bekommt ihr das ganze Spiel. Punkt. Ihr werdet niemals Microtransactions tätigen müssen, um mehr zu bekommen (“to get more of it” – mehr von was ist hier noch die Frage. ^^ Daher klingt die Übersetzung hier etwas komisch.).

*Edit: “They will be available for purchase through the in-game store and through gameplay through the use of karma”. I remember they said it would be a shop item but apparently, they have changed that in the meantime and will give you a choice of using some in-game currency or real money! :)