Players Are Pissed Over Guild Wars 2 Expansion Pricing

Players Are Pissed Over Guild Wars 2 Expansion Pricing

Earlier this week ArenaNet announced preorders for Heart of Thorns, the first major expansion for Guild Wars 2. Then all hell broke loose over the upgrade’s $US50 base price tag.

For some players, as seen in the ArenaNet forums and in the Guild Wars 2 subreddit, it’s a simple matter of the price itself — they feel $US50 is too high a cost for what players know is coming with the expansion pack. It doesn’t look like a whole lot on paper — advanced progression, a new weapon for each class, a whole new class, guild halls, fresh competitive modes and what sounds like a single massive jungle zone comes across as a bit light for half a hundred dollars.

That said, Guild Wars 2 is a massive game that ArenaNet’s been regularly updating for nearly three years now at no additional cost to players. They have been running off largely cosmetic purchases from the in-game store and the initial purchase price of the game for ages now, and could probably use a hit.

Others see the pricing unfair for a different reason entirely. Up until recently, players were under the impression that the core Guild Wars 2 game would be required to play Heart of Thorns. Up until it was quietly changed, an official FAQ for the expansion listed the original game as a requirement. Then along comes the preorder announcement, and $US50 gets purchasers both the original game and the expansion pack.

What if players already own the original game? Well they get the expansion pack, and that’s it. No gem bonus, no additional character slot so they can play the new class without deleting a character of dropping an additional $US10 on an extra slot (the deluxe version and above do offer the slot). A lot of existing players feel slighted and somewhat cheated.

Players that have purchased the original game (which generally runs between $US10 and $US20) over the past month have reported some success in getting their money refunded — a process which also closes their account.

I’ve been swarmed with emails and Tweets about this situation since late Tuesday night. I’ve gotten messages from folks in the vocally pissed group, as well as at least one player who said the entire situation is “probably the biggest entitlement syndrome I personally have ever seen from a community against a company that has went of it’s way to offer free content and make it’s player base happy.”

ArenaNet hasn’t been able to respond to my inquiries, likely due to the whole E3 thing, where it also debuted a video covering its upcoming guild halls system. I am sure everyone would be quite happy with if they weren’t busy being angered or upset by this other thing.

I doubt ArenaNet had malicious intent when it and parent company NCsoft set the pricing for Heart of Thorns. Including the original game with an expansion pack is a normal practice for traditional MMOs, though it normally starts happening further on down the line than the first major release.

I’m hopeful that once the E3 smoke clears and ArenaNet gets a moment to sit and think about the issue, they will come up with a way to keep everyone happy. They took care of that gem thing, remember? gem thing, remember?


  • Way too early to announce pricing in my opinion. They’ve been leaking bits and pieces of info over the expansion over a very long period now, but they have only showcased less than half of the specializations and a little bit of the new zones. Honestly people just don’t know what they are throwing money at apart from what’s offered on the box. (Which is a large issue as observed).

    This is exasperated especially by the other MMO expansions that have been released or are about to be released soon. It gives people something to compare HoT to, with a prime one being Heavensward for FFXIV, as well as comparing it to past expansions for Guild Wars.

    Arenanet just needs to flesh out the information offered about HoT to give people more reason to justify the purchase. The more questions they leave unanswered the more they’ll find that players will fill in the gaps for them, for better or worse.

  • I see that as a positive.

    50 dollars for an expansion is fair, yet the community is pissed that it also includes the core game, seeing they already have it they feel it should be cheaper or get something else?

    To me that is the devs being dedicated to expanding guild wars not only are they selling the expansion at a fair price of 50 but they offer a free copy of the core game to lure in new players.

    I think fans are acting a little entitled. Even if the expansion is a little “slim”… “ArenaNet’s been regularly updating for nearly three years now at no additional cost to players.” They are crazy with the updates and content, if this funds them for the next 2 to 3 years I say the fans have gotten a great deal, most paid subscription games cannot keep up with GW2 content updates.

    • Yup!

      I’m looking forward to this, the price is fine for the gameplay hours I’ll pull out of it.

      I vastly prefer this model to either subscriptions or f2p. I’m free to come and go as I please, and I’m not constantly being reminded that I’m a lower class of player (i get enough of that at home).

    • Customers are being told that in order to purchase the thing they want, they will also have to purchase something else that they don’t need. That’s called tying, and is pretty anti-consumer.

      You could say this is useful for new customers who don’t own the base game, but there are reasons for those customers to be annoyed too. As the story says, the expansion FAQ originally said you’d need a copy of the base game to play the expansion. If they went ahead and purchased the base game ahead of the expansion’s release on that understanding, then they’re now being told that they wasted their money.

      • Aye. When SE announced the prices for the FFXIV expansion, I believe it was $30-40 alone, $50-60 alone but with (digital) Collectors Edition status and $60-70 with the base game and expansion (this is all in USD. AUD was $20 more expensive or something).

        The expansion has so far been pretty good with a very smooth Early Access (there were issues for the first hour, but after that, no issues whatsoever). Music is great, too:

  • I think these people are pretty selfish frankly, 50 is fair, support the company and enjoy yourself, how cheap can people get?! Professionals DESERVE to be paid, it’s just a rort for the publisher otherwise.

  • i think everyone is missing out on the main point of this entire argument. the “entitled little shits” are the ones who preordered gw2 and have played since launch, buying gems every now and again since i’ve managed to throw in well over 600 hours in this game.. i mean ffs, what do you have to do to be entitled to a fair go? hmm? (probably spent well over 300 dollars on this game already… )

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