The mass multiplayer online RPG Guild Wars 2 has been released outside of Asia for a while now, though that has never stopped fans in the region from playing the game via digital distribution or parallel importing. Game developer ArenaNet has made it official that it’s planning on releasing a Chinese version of the game, making it the first time it has set foot officially in the Asian region (in the Chinese language no doubt).
Furthermore, the developer will not be making any free-to-play or subscription-laden tweaks to the game: Guild Wars 2 in China will be in its original retail model and subscription-free self since its release back in 2012. Kongzhong Corporation will be publishing the game in the region. The company is also known for handling local distribution of World of Tanks and World of Warplanes.
But why buck trends that are already the norm in China games? Guild Wars 2 China’s operational manager Atlantis Lai said that the game has the highest chance to appeal to the broadest base of Chinese players as they just have to pay it once and play as long as they wish without any need for a subscription fee, adding, “As the most important and famous product in the 2014 China PC market, we believe Chinese players will also recognise Guild Wars 2 globally renowned quality.”
In terms of content and updates, Guild Wars 2 China will be up-to-date as its North American and European counterparts. The Chinese version will enter its closed beta phase starting March 11 and will last for two weeks. Even if using the same business model sounds ballsy on ArenaNet’s part, it’s a risk worth taking. After all, Guild Wars 2 has sold more than 3 million copies within its first nine months of release and it managed to get critical acclaim from review sites back in 2012.