Half a Million Gamers Played More Than Three Million Hours in Guild Wars Landmark Weekend Event
April 3, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA): ArenaNetÂ®, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild WarsÂ®, and NCsoftÂ® Corporation, the worldâs leading developer and publisher of online computer games, opened the virtual door for a weekend-long sneak peek at its new game Guild Wars Factionsâ¢, and players around the world responded in record numbers. From 12:01 am on Friday, March 24 until 11:59 pm on March 26, more than 500,000 players participated in the invitation-only preview event and cumulatively spent more than three million hours online, making the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event (FPE) one of the largest preview events in gaming history. Guild Wars Factions is set to hit store shelves April 28, 2006 with an estimated retail price of $49.99 (US).
âWe knew that by focusing on new ways to play and new things to do within the game, such as the 12x12 Alliance Battles, which were extremely popular with both PvP and roleplaying gamers, that fans would respond enthusiastically,â says Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet. âThis weekend reinforced that we are on the right track with Guild Wars Factions and are making a game that rises to the challenge to be innovative and ever-compelling for its fans.â
The extraordinary weekend is just the latest success for Guild Wars, the wildly popular game that continues to redefine the online roleplaying experience. The Guild Wars Factions pre-order pack offered a key code for access into the FPE, driving gamers to their local game stores and driving sales of the pre-order pack into weekly Top 10 lists alongside full retail titles at stores and chains around the world.
âGuild Wars continues to set new standards for online roleplaying alongside some heavyweight competition,â says Bob McKenzie, Senior VP of Merchandising, GameStop, Inc. âThe combination of a unique pre-order pack for retail, an exciting live preview event for players, and a high level of anticipation for Guild Wars Factions has helped to create one of the best pre-sale campaigns for GameStop and EBGames. We get the impression this is only the beginning of a very exciting year for the Guild Wars franchise, and we look forward to the April 28 release date of Guild Wars Factions.â
Guild Wars Factions is the highly anticipated stand-alone follow up to the critically acclaimed game Guild Wars, an online roleplaying game in which players explore a rich fantasy world, acquire skills, build personalized characters, and compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world. ArenaNet attributes the success of Guild Wars to compelling game design, innovative technology that offers a unique online gameplay experience, and a revolutionary business model with no monthly subscription fees charged to users.
About GameStop Corp.
Headquartered in Grapevine, TX, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME)(NYSE:GME.B) is the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer. The company operates 4,490 retail stores across the United States and in fourteen countries worldwide. The company also owns two e-commerce sites, GameStop.com and EBgames.com, and Game Informer(R) magazine, a leading video and computer game publication. GameStop Corp. sells the most popular new software, hardware and game accessories for the PC and next generation video game systems from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. In addition, the company sells computer and video game magazines and strategy guides, action figures, and other related merchandise. General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company's corporate Website: http://www.gamestop.com/investor-relations/.
ArenaNet, located in Bellevue, Washington, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCsoft Corporation. ArenaNet has built a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and develops premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players. ArenaNetâs first title, Guild Wars, is a global online roleplaying game that allows gamers to play with anyone, anytime and anywhere in the world. Its highly anticipated follow up, Guild Wars Factions, will be released spring 2006. More information about ArenaNet can be found at www.arena.net.
About NCsoft Corporation
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, NCsoft Corporation is the worldâs leading developer and publisher of online games. Founded in 1997, NCsoft is home to LineageÂ®, the worldâs most successful online roleplaying game. NCsoft has joint venture offices located in Japan, Taiwan, and China, as well as branches in North America and the United Kingdom. In fiscal year 2005, NCsoft posted revenues of KRW (Korean Won) 338 billion or approximately US$346 million. More information about NCsoft can be found at www.plaync.com.