Guild Wars 2 interview, part two

You got the Eye of the North expansion coming out for Guild Wars later this year - but what's going to happen to Guild Wars after the expansion comes out now that Guild Wars 2 is coming?

JS: We'll continue to support it with live content, we'll continue to have holiday events and support the tournament infrastructure of the game. It's obviously very much in our best interests to keep Guild Wars players happy, because we think most of those Guild Wars players will be Guild Wars 2 players. Between now and the release of Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars will be fully supported by us as a development team.

The other important point to make is that nobody has to worry about what's going to happen to the Guild Wars servers or Guild Wars 1 after Guild Wars 2 ships. As long as there are people playing and enjoying Guild Wars 1, we'll continue to run the servers and support the game.

On a more general note, do you see the MMORPG genre establishing a greater presence on console any time soon - the genre's still very much PC-oriented?

JS: I think there are several factors contributing to the fact that PC is still the prominent MMO platform. And one of the biggest factors of course is that's just where the genre evolved. And it still continues to be where the vast majority of the players are. There have always been technology issues with bringing MMOs to console, such as the lack of a built-in hard drive and of course the lack of broadly adopted internet connections.

Fortunately, this generation of consoles has solved in the internet connectivity, or is solving the internet connectivity issue. It's still not the case that every next-generation console ships with a hard drive, which is rather unfortunate. But there's other factors too, such as the publishing model of consoles, which has always been 'make a disc and ship it' and the way you publish content on consoles isn't really designed for that content to change over time. And of course that's one of the things players expect with an MMO, you want to world to be fresh, you want new content and new things to do.

I think that's a discussion we are having with all the console developers - and probably other companies are as well - and it's certainly our hope that we can work that out and figure out a publishing model that works.

The day following the conducting of this interview, we asked Jeff Strain direct whether ArenaNet is planning to bring Guild Wars to console to clear up any confusion potentially resulting from his answer above. The response? "No comment at this time."

Microsoft's Games for Windows - Live introduces cross-platform play between PC and Xbox - do you think cross-platform support for MMORPGs is something worth pursuing?

JS: I think - Microsoft's Games for Windows -Live aside, because we're still evaluating that and I'm not really deeply involved in that... But as a general principle, I think that if you're going to make an MMO and deploy it on console, then really what you would like is for it to work across all the platforms that it supports. Not just between PC and Xbox 360, but between PS3 and Wii, if you're shipping it on Wii.

I think that definitely that's an interesting direction for the industry, is to look at ways to be more client-agnostic and have people be able to access your game in any way they can. Because the real value of MMOs and online games in general is the community itself.