Veteran MMO studio casually reveals Guild Wars 3 is in development, and fans aren't sure how to feel

Guild Wars 2
(Image credit: NCSOFT)

Guild Wars 3 has quietly been confirmed.

Although Guild Wars 2 was first released way back in 2012, it's still one of the most popular MMOs with active servers and just last year dropped the generally well-received fourth expansion, Secrets of the Obscure, with more to come in 2024 and 2025. That, combined with the fact that developer ArenaNet and publisher NCSoft haven't so much as teased a sequel, makes it a big surprise that Guild Wars 3 has now been officially, and weirdly casually, announced.

Per Korean publication Inven (translated by Reddit user Sydius - via Kotaku), NCSoft co-CEO Park Byung-moo recently confirmed the existence of Guild Wars 3 in a rather nonchalant manner during the publisher's recent shareholder meeting. No additional details, beyond the fact that the game is now in development, were revealed, but the news nonetheless sent shockwaves through the MMO community.

While there's of course a general excitement that a sequel is coming, there's also some concern that the game could ditch its tried-and-true monetization model of charging players one price for the initial entry and then only charging for big expansions after that. In other words, Guild Wars has historically differed from other MMOs in that it doesn't ask players to pay a subscription fee, and some folks are worried NCSoft will start charging a monthly fee or find some other live-servicey way to monetize the sequel.

"I hope they keep what made GW1 and 2 unique. $60 purchase one time, with expansions, and a beautiful world with champ trains. That'd be a day 1 buy for me. Excited to hear it, i have faith. Scared to hear it'll be f2p or something," said one Reddit user reacting to the news.

"As much as I love GW2, it's clear that the monetization model wasn't sufficient in enticing NCSoft to allocate more resources to it as time went on. You could feel the decrease in quality from expansion to expansion, living world to living world," argued another commenter, concluding, "And given the current landscape of monetization in MMO's, and how NCSoft is going about it in their other games, I'm very skeptical that it won't be an MTX fest," they concluded.

"The mention of GW3 came as a response to a question about NCWest being in the red for 8 years. Pretty sure they will attempt to make it a cash cow," said another skeptic. "2004 was 2 decades ago. We're not getting that golden age back."

"I'm expecting F2P with heavily crippled access and progression locked behind MTX," echoed yet another concerned fan. "Like F2P only having certain weapon types, limits on professions, hard caps on character power progression."

With so little word from NCSoft, and virtually nothing from presumed developer ArenaNet, it's impossible to say what direction the sequel will take not only in terms of monetization but in every other regard. That said, there's no denying the multiplayer gaming landscape has shifted dramatically since Guild Wars 2 released, so it wouldn't be at all surprising to see a very different type of MMO whenever Guild Wars 3 launches.

In the meantime, here are the best MMOs you can play today.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.