Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has found itself in hot water over the pricing and marketing of its latest expansion, Heart of Thorns.
The update was made available to pre-purchase earlier in the week, though players are not one bit happy about the update’s three-tiered pricing scheme, which seems to benefit new players far more than existing ones.
Heart of Thorns, which requires the original Guild Wars 2 to run, comes in three flavours. From the press release:
- The Standard edition (£34.99/€44.99) includes Guild Wars 2 core game and GuildWars 2: Heart of Thorns, grants access to upcoming expansion beta weekend events, and gives players the exclusive “Maguuma Trailblazer” title.
- The Deluxe edition (£59.99/€74.99) includes everything in the Standard edition as well as an additional character slot, a miniature revenant Rytlock, a revenant finisher, the player’s choice of one of three Mordremoth’s Bane guild hall decorations, and a stylish glider skin.
- The Ultimate edition (£79.99/€99.99) includes everything in the Deluxe edition in addition to 4,000 gems, a €48.00/£34.00 value.
Players’ complaints don’t lie with the costs involved, but rather with the bundling of the base game with the expansion. As it stands for existing players, there’s no option to purchase Heart of Thorns without also buying an additional and redundant copy of the core game.
Confusing messaging up until this point has exacerbated the problem. ArenaNet’s FAQ had said prior to announcing these bundles that the original game would be required in order to play Heart of Thorns, leading many new players to purchase Guild Wars 2 in preparation.
Obviously, with news that every copy of Heart of Thorns will include a copy of the base game, they needn’t have. ArenaNet has begun issuing refunds to players who’ve found themselves in this position, and their FAQ has been updated to make it clear that the expansion includes the original game.
The problem here, it would seem, is some massively clumsy presentation. Community manager Ramon Domke took to Twitter to explain the situation to players, saying that the bundled version of Guild Wars 2 is free of charge and adds no value or price increase to the expansion. “See it as a bargain for new players,” he adds.
Veteran players, however, aren’t seeing it that way, with a popular post on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit now urging existing users to avoid the expansion.