This just in from Pann -
GUILD WARS FACTIONS TO BE UNVEILED IN MASSIVE BETA TESTING EVENT AVAILABLE TO MORE THAN 3 MILLION GAMERS
ArenaNet Opens Up Highly Anticipated Game to Global Beta Test and Announces Pre-Order Availability
BELLEVUE, WA (February 9, 2006) ArenaNet®, creators of the #1 selling online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the worlds leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today plans for a landmark event to preview Guild Wars Factions, the highly anticipated follow up to 2005s critically acclaimed game Guild Wars. On March 24, 2006, game players around the globe are invited to participate in the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event, an exclusive and one-time opportunity unlike any offered before.
All current Guild Wars players can join the event, and will be able to invite up to three of their friends using an in-game invitation interface. Entry into the beta event will also be available through the Guild Wars Factions pre-order package, which will include the Guild Wars Factions (GWF) pre-order CD, a GWF beta access key, a friend key that allows access to the beta event, a 14-day, 10-hour trial key for the original Guild Wars game, a tactical guide, and a quick-reference card. The Guild Wars Factions pre-order key also adds one unique item for each of the games two new professions, the Ritualist and the Assassin, and authorizes the user to play Guild Wars Factions 24 hours before the games street date in spring 2006. The Guild Wars Factions pre-order package will be available in retail stores nationwide beginning February 28.
A game beta test of this size and scope has never been offered before and is a unique event for both fans and the ArenaNet team alike. With current Guild Wars players, their invited friends, and players around the world who purchase the GWF pre-order converging on the game for the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event, ArenaNet is preparing capacity in all its data centers to handle record-breaking numbers of new players.
To be able to open up Guild Wars Factions and share this one-time experience with so many people is truly a thrill, said Mike OBrien, ArenaNet co-founder. Guild Wars players will get the opportunity to play Factions before the games release while sharing the game with up to three of their friends. We cant wait for the feedback from the seasoned players, as well as those who join us for the first time on March 24.