Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has issued an update on the studio and its long-running MMO.
The headline announcement is the End of Dragons expansion has been delayed from late 2021 to early 2022. In a post on the Guild Wars 2 website, ArenaNet director John Taylor explained the delay:
"As expansion development has progressed and the real-world challenges of the past year and a half have changed the way we live and work, it's become clear that we need a little more time to deliver our creative vision for Cantha. As a result, we're delaying the release of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons from late 2021 to early 2022.
"We appreciate your patience as we take the time to give the expansion the attention it deserves. I'm incredibly proud of the work the team is doing to bring Cantha to life, and we can't wait for you to see and experience it for yourselves."
Taylor also announced the return of former Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson, who now co-leads ArenaNet.
Johanson left ArenaNet back in 2016 to work at Amazon on Crucible, the multiplayer game that was cancelled five months after release and four months after un-release.
Johanson, who spent over 11 years working on the Guild Wars franchise as a game designer and game director, isn't the only former ArenaNet dev to return to the studio. Josh "Grouch" Davis, who also left ArenaNet in 2016 to join Amazon, has rejoined the team as the head of live operations.
ArenaNet will now focus on Guild Wars 2's famous World vs. World (WvW) as a "cornerstone" mode, and said it's working on upgrading the game's engine to DirectX 11 to help improve frame-rates and pave the way for potential graphics upgrades down the road. This will be rolled out in an opt-in beta later this year.
"We're investing in our infrastructure, engine, and graphics because we're looking to the future," Davis said. "This is a long-term effort."
ArenaNet will show off a first look at End of Dragons during a livestream set for 27th July. Expect a new trailer, feature reveals, and details about the story, characters and other aspects of the game.
Guild Wars 2 launched nine years ago in August 2012. Some have cast doubt on its future in recent years, but the game's community has taken the return of Johanson and co as a positive sign that Guild Wars 2 is here to stay.