Free-to-play and subscription-based business models are the dominant force in Asian regions like China, but one major upcoming game is bucking the trend. ArenaNet has announced that when Guild Wars II launches in China later this year, the same pay-once model from North America and Europe will be applied to the region.
ArenaNet has partnered with Chinese publishing company KongZhong Corporation to release Guild Wars II in China, which will mark its introduction to the region on March 11 through a closed beta. ArenaNet says KongZhong’s business model approach is “revolutionary” for the China PC game market.
“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,” ArenaNet president and cofounder Mike O’Brien said in a statement. “Guild Wars 2 China will be synchronized with the worldwide version of the game.”
Guild Wars II’s regular content releases will be “largely” the same across North American, European, and Asian servers, with the exception of a new tutorial requested by Chinese players, ArenaNet said.
Guild Wars II sold more than 3 million copies during its first nine months on the market, making it the fastest selling Western MMO of all time, according to DFC Intelligence data. China is the first region in Asia where Guild Wars II will be released, with other territories to follow.