ArenaNet Finds a Chinese Publishing Partner

Today ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 will stay subscription free in China and most importantly of all, will synchronise content with the West.

Although there's no firm release date for when Guild Wars 2 will release in China, it'll be quite the undertaking to synchronise content to the degree that ArenaNet want. To synchronise any content across multiple time zones is super difficult, especially with language barriers. Their partnership with KongZhong Corporation should also work out pretty well: their stock price is up on today's news while they already market World of Tanks. The full press release states:

BEIJING, China, and BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 27, 2014: ArenaNet, developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, and China publishing partner KongZhong Corporation (KONG), a leading provider of digital entertainment services for consumers in the People’s Republic of China, today announced details including trailblazing monetization and content update strategies for the release of Guild Wars 2 in China. The companies also announced the game will enter closed beta testing for China players on March 11.

When Guild Wars 2 enters the China game market, the game will keep the same innovative business model as the West, where players pay to purchase the persistent MMO game once and can continue playing and enjoy consistent releases of new content free of charge. KongZhongÂ’s approach is revolutionary for the China PC game market, where the free-to-play and time-based pay-to-play business models are most prevalent.
“Chinese players will get the same premium MMO gaming experience that Guild Wars 2 players in North America and Europe enjoy, with consistent and timely content updates,” said Mike O'Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. "Guild Wars 2 China will be synchronized with the worldwide version of the game."

These updates include Guild Wars 2Â’s frequent releases of living world content that adds new game play and story. That means game content will largely remain the same for all players, with the exception of some adjustments to the new-player tutorial that are designed for and requested specifically by Chinese players.

For the closed beta test starting on March 11, Guild Wars 2 China will welcome qualified players to a two week beta trial. Players can experience the game and provide valuable feedback on game features and quality before it becomes publicly available.

Late last year, ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 had sold more than 3 million units in just its first nine months in North America and Europe. The figure made it the fastest selling Western MMO of all time, based on data provided by DFC Intelligence.

At the time, David Cole, head of DFC Intelligence, said, “After triangulating against multiple data sources, it’s clear that Guild Wars 2 is the fastest-selling Western MMO of all time based on the first nine months of availability. This puts Guild Wars 2 in an impressive position when they release in China, where we’ve seen similar franchises really take off.”

China is the first region in Asia where Guild Wars 2 is launching.

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