At PAX Prime today the developers of Guild Wars II, ArenaNet, announced that the game will be going free-to-play starting immediately. During the 3 years it has been released, it has sold 5 million copies and released 40 content updates.
However, the upcoming expansion titled Heart of Thorns will still require players to pay. The expansion is set to release on October 23.
Additionally, ArenaNet also announced that raids are going to be released. They will be scripted for 10 players and will be challenging end-game content. The first raid will premier after the expansion arrives.
“Once we activate the first raid in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, players will quickly discover that our raids are not waiting to have fun nor about endless gear grind–there are no attunements to complete before you raid, and they won’t become irrelevant or even drastically easier because of a new tier of gear or a level cap raise,” says game director Colin Johanson.
ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien stands by his assertion that the game will not entail a great deal of spending to enjoy, stating that, “We’ve always tried to make sure that Guild Wars 2 is a game where you come into it and you’ve got the whole game. There’s nothing tricky going on. We are continuing that as we make this transition.”