Ever heard of Turok 3? Neither have we. Turok: Evolution, the sequel in the series, completely failed to construct the excitement from the the original, causing an end to the story. Sequels have a huge impact on the survivability of a game franchise, and the developers at ArenaNet are taking no chances in terms of ruining Guild Wars 2 when it’s released in 2012. Ever since a sequel was announced in 2007, developers have been steadfast at creating new items, missions, and characters to ease the transition from the old game to the new. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just an online doctorate who plays the game sparingly, ArenaNet’s efforts to bridge the gap will be of interest to you.
Guild Wars Beyond
Originally released in 2005, the Guild Wars series has subsequently developed three expansions, named Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North. Although each expansion further progressed the storyline, no new expansions have been released since 2007. In order to bridge the five-year gap between the latest expansion and the release of Guild Wars 2, however, ArenaNet developed the Guild Wars Beyond storyline, which is an extension to the original four story lines.
The Guild Wars Beyond series includes War in Kryta, Hearts of the North, and Winds of Change, all of which are integrated into the games owned by current users. Although the new features are accessible to owners of any of the original games, the full story cannot be attained unless a player has bought all of the original games. By participating in the new storylines, players will have access to new unique items and areas with their existing characters, essentially building upon existing infrastructures of the game to create new experiences for all. Not only is this a way to ensure that players understand the lore before entering the Guild Wars 2 community, but it also gives players a nudge to buy the entire collection of existing games to help profit from a five-year old game.
Of course, developing the intermittent links between the original and sequel would mean little if ArenaNet decides to pull the rug on its efforts. In order to show appreciation towards players who revitalized interest in Guild Wars by playing the recent updates, ArenaNet developed a “Hall of Monuments” so fans of the original series will be recognized for their achievements in their prior lives. Since this system doesn’t provide an avenue for transferring old items over, it doesn’t alienate new players who are just learning the game mechanics.
Guild Wars is a great example of how a video game company can leverage its existing infrastructure to develop marketing campaigns while providing gamers with new content. Not only has this campaign kept existing gamers excited for the new installment, developers will also be able to gauge consumer interests in different aspects so they can tailor the new game to the specific demands of its gamer base.