If ArenaNet get their way, Guild Wars 2 will never have an expansion

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Oh gods, what have we done? ArenaNet have been talking about their living world concept for months now, and we’ve nodded along like ninnies to the idea of pen and paper RPG-style ongoing stories without a thought for what it might mean.

No expansions.

“So right now we’re not really looking at expansions as an option,” ArenaNet lead content designer Mike Zadorojny told Eurogamer on a trip to London last week.

Ha-whaaaat?

“It’s something that’s on the table but it’s not something we’re focused on, because what we want to do is – our idea here is that with Living World, we can do what expansions would have done but do it on a more regular basis.”

Zadorojny confirmed there certainly wouldn’t be an expansion this year, and added: “If we do this right, we will probably never do an expansion and everything will be going into this Living World strategy.”

The nitty gritty of this strategy involves four separate living world teams within ArenaNet, each made up of designers from all disciplines. A team will spend four months developing about one month’s worth of updates, and eventually release something like February’s Flame and Frost run.

“This allows us to have this world that’s changing and evolving and essentially goes into what television does,” said Zadorojny. “We want [Living World] to be our avenue for changing the face of Tyria.”

That said, these teams make up only a “fraction” of ArenaNet’s 250+ workforce, and Zadorojny says they have no other games in development.

“We have large feature teams that are working on exciting things behind the scenes that, when it’s ready, we’ll release those with these updates,” he hinted.

Hmm! Have you bought into ArenaNet’s ongoing, developing questlines? Or will you miss the odd WoW-style ‘event’ release that sees retired players swarm back to the game?