Mike O'Brien, Founder and President of ArenaNet, has confirmed via blog post that Guild Wars 2 will be coming out in 2012. As today is Lunar New Year's Day according to the Asian zodiac system, O'Brien and co. have marked this year as their own Year of the Dragon.
"According to tradition, the dragon embodies passion, independence, and ambition. We think it’s a perfect analogy for what we’re trying to accomplish with Guild Wars 2," he said. "We’re a company full of MMO and RPG fans, and we’ve set out to fundamentally rethink how you deliver an RPG experience online. So this year, the Year of the Dragon, let’s usher out old thinking – the tired old quest model, stiff repetitive combat, and monthly fees – and usher in the new."
This all boils down to the announcement that the company recently finished their first closed beta test and are now ready to hold progressively larger events.
According to O'Brien, the testing schedule is as follows: in February they're going to invite select press to beta test the game (that's me, I hope!), then in March and April they'll "aggressively ramp up the size of [their] beta test events," so that everyone else will get a chance to participate as well. This leads to the release of Guild Wars 2, which will be later this year.
It's a bold statement to mark this as the year of Guild Wars 2, but I'm definitely not complaining. If offered a spot in the Guild Wars 2 beta would you be interested in testing?