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Guild Wars set for launch

NCsoft's new MMORPG marks a launch day first in the USA and Europe.

In what publisher NCsoft says is a worldwide first for massively multiplayer online games, new RPG Guild Wars is to launch in both Europe and North America during the same week.

The game will go on sale in the US on April 28 and in Europe the following day. It has already topped pre-order charts in both continents, and more than 500,000 players have taken part in preview events.

"All of our hard work and effort that has gone into this simultaneous release finally feels justified," said Max Brown, sales and operations director for NCsoft Europe.

"Guild Wars, with its unique server technology, will allow people from all over the globe to play together. In light of that, we felt it was important to have both sides of the ocean starting at the same time, and we're pleased to say we have made that possible."

Guild Wars is the first title from ArenaNet, which was founded by members of the Warcraft and Diablo development teams. It allows players to explore a fantasy gameworld, build unique characters and compete with others around the world in head-to-head guild battles.

The game has been designed with global play in mind, so there are no sharded servers and no language-specific versions. Launches in other territories are planned for later this year, and NCsoft is confident Guild Wars will be a worldwide hit - it has already been named most anticipated game of 2005 by Korea's Electronic Times.