During E3 ArenaNet announced the pre-orders for their upcoming Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion and the pricing has come under fire from current Guild Wars 2 players.
Prior to the announcement ArenaNet had been running numerous discounted pricing deals for the original Guild Wars 2 which this has been ongoing for many months so there’s nothing unusual in that. The issue appears to be that the expansion is retailing for £34.99 and will now also include the original Guild Wars 2. In other words there’s no need to own the original game to play the expansion, it’s being chucked in for free. It was originally understood that the base game would need to be purchased to access expansion content.
When the pricing was announced ArenaNet posted a comment to explain:
“To clarify: $50 is the price of the expansion. We included the core game as a free bonus to make it easier for new players to get into it.”
However, veteran players are finding it harder to find the value in purchasing the expansion and view it as paying for the game twice due to what’s actually included. There’s been complaints about the lack of an extra character slot in the standard edition of the expansion for one, an extra that is included in the Ultimate Edition for £79.99 along with gems which are used for purchases.
While the pricing plan is unlikely to change it does appear to be geared more towards attracting new players and less about keeping the existing community happy. The fact that ArenaNet retrospectively updated their FAQ to mention that a free copy of the base game is thrown in has also frustrated existing players.
ArenaNet are now trying to address the issue raised by recent purchasers of the base game who are asking for refunds due to the base game now being included with Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion. They have stated:
“We’ll most certainly help anyone out who just bought the core game and would like to make the change to a HoT pre-purchase.”
There will be no other way to purchase the Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion according to ArenaNet if you are an existing Guild Wars 2 player the pricing and content is likely to stay as it is.