Eurogamer: World of Warcraft has been going for the same amount of time as Guild Wars, and Blizzard hasn't felt the need to do a sequel. Why is now the right time for a Guild Wars sequel?
Eric Flannum: We made the decision to do a sequel a while ago. It was partially for selfish reasons and partially for business reasons.
The selfish reason was we wanted to work on something new. Once players have bought into a game, once they've invested a lot of time in the game, it's difficult to make big changes without fundamentally changing the game.
We respect our Guild Wars 1 players a lot. We know they love the game. There were just so many things we just were, now we've built this experienced team, we've released four titles with this team, we felt like we could do so much more.
But at the same time we don't want to destroy this thing our players love. We wanted to embrace the new direction we wanted to go in.
We had been throwing around a bunch of ideas. Hey, in the new Guild Wars campaign we can do this and this and this. We had a campaign planned called Utopia – a few people know about it – there were a lot of ideas in Utopia that are the basis for what we did with Guild Wars 2.
We started looking at it and said, 'Wow, this is different. If this was a completely new game we could take this even further. We could do really cool stuff.'
We said, 'Yeah, you know what? We should do that. We should go for it. We should be ambitious. We should try to make a game we think is going to be a game changer.'
This is going to be something unique people haven't seen before, similar to what we did with Guild Wars 1, but in new areas.
The impetus was, 'Yeah, let's embrace this new direction and let's not do it at the expense of the game Guild Wars 1 players love.'
We've always said we're going to keep the Guild Wars 1 servers going as long as anybody's there who wants to play on them.
We look at Guild Wars 2 as a continuation of the ideals we started in Guild Wars 1 – the anti-crime philosophy, all of those things - but it takes it even further.
Mike O'Brien: Guild Wars 1, it was our first game as a studio. We were a small team with a small budget. We were a studio nobody had ever heard of before with IP nobody had ever heard of before.
The success of Guild Wars 1 was overwhelming in a great way. We never thought we were going to sell six million copies of Guild Wars 1.
Through that process we were able to build an amazing and veteran team. This team shipped four titles in three years for Guild Wars 1. As we grew as a company and got more and more experienced at this, I realised we have a team that can accomplish anything here.
I've said before and I'll say again: our team is the most amazing team doing this in the business today.
Guild Wars 2 is our opportunity. We've got 150 people working on it. We can accomplish all the things we thought online worlds should always have been accomplishing. That's why we're still ambitious this time. And you see it through everything we do.
I know everybody reads it and says, 'Wow. Sounds fantastic, but I don't know if you're going to pull it off.' Well, that's why we're so excited right now, and that's why we're talking to you right now.
We're releasing a video that shows it all in action and we're inviting people to come to gamescom and play with us, and to watch all these things we've talking about come to life on the screen.