Several interesting posts in various places today. First up, on the official Guild Wars 2 Facebook page:
It’s been a long and exciting journey that you, our community, has taken with us, and we will enjoy launch that much more if we can spend it with you. To that end, members of the Guild Wars 2 team will be traveling around the United States* on September 1st to celebrate launch in New York, Austin, Orlando, Los Angeles, and of course Seattle.
At each event, ArenaNet employees will be on hand to sign your Guild Wars 2 games, books, and posters. We’ll also have giveaways of t-shirts, posters, and an exclusive in-game item. The giveaways are first-come-first-serve as long as our supplies hold out. Finally, we’ll hold a raffle at each GameStop location for one Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition.
**Bring your friends**
Time reports on the pre-sales numbers and peak concurrent user levels:
In any case, publisher NCsoft is sharing preliminary numbers for all you MMO comparison wonks: Over one million players paid to play the game ($60 standard, $150 collector’s, and it’s free-to-play thereafter) during the three-day early start. And that’s not counting the one-day preorders or, obviously, whatever sales the game enjoys today as it officially launches. So that’s sales, but how many people are actually playing this thing? During the headstart phase, NCsoft says demand for the game topped 400,000 simultaneous online players, calling it a “record-breaking” figure for an MMO pre-launch. Outside of pre-launch, a game like World of Warcraft has seen peak concurrent users of over 800,000 and my understanding is that top PCU figures for an MMO are around one million unless we start pulling in crazy-big China-based stuff like Zheng Tu Online or Fantasy Westward Journey.”
Time‘s Matt Peckham sounds like he’s having lots of fun playing Guild Wars 2, calling it “the Pinball Machine of MMOs”:
Guild Wars 2 is one of those rare games that knocks your life off-kilter like a meteoroid banging into a satellite. That’s how it’s been for me, anyway. I knew it was coming, but, fool that I am, wasn’t paying attention. I’d planned on noodling with the pre-launch a little, just to get the character name I wanted and make sure it’d run on my computer, then come back after the game launched wide on Tuesday (today).
Fat chance. It devoured my weekend whole, kicking my The Last Story play-through to the curb. What can I say? Something just grooved a few hours in, though I partly blame the game servers for not crashing like a proper just-launched MMO should. I mean come on, ArenaNet, the least you could have done was go dark for half a day or two.