Top video game news of the week: Oct. 19

By Grant Meyer l @GrantMeyerDe l Daily Egyptian

‘Guild Wars 2’ hits 7 million players

ArenaNet, creators of “Guild Wars 2” have announced their free-to-play massive multiplayer online game has reached 7 million players, a 2 million increase from August.

This increase is attributed to the game’s recent launch in China and change to a free-to-play game. The game’s expansion “Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns” is releasing today and will likely raise the player count even more.


What is especially interesting about “Guild Wars 2” is it now has more players than the almost 11 year leader in player numbers, “World of Warcraft.”

Being a long time “World of Warcraft” fan and following the genre closely, I cannot say this is too surprising. Currently, Warcraft is in the lull between expansions and stuck in its worst expansion “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor,” meanwhile “Guild Wars 2” just released a new expansion, so naturally numbers would skew in Guild Wars favor.

Furthermore, “Guild Wars 2” is free-to-play, a change that has been applied to most mmorpgs, so the barrier of entry is much smaller to get into than Warcraft with its monthly subscription payment model. ArenaNet also tallies its players differently because it factors accounts which are both active and inactive whereas Blizzard only counts active subscriptions, a different statistic. I imagine if Warcraft went free-to-play its numbers would skyrocket and possibly pass its peak of 12 million players in 2011. Warcraft was last reported to have 5.6 million subscribers. 

Ultimately, this is great news for ArenaNet and speaks to the quality of their product.

Square-Enix plans to continue remaking games

In its annual report, publisher Square-Enix announced they plan to revisit its existing games and “revitalize” them for modern gaming platforms.

“We will revitalize some of our strong IPs in ways that meet the needs of the modern gaming market. For example, we will take an IP developed for earlier generations of game consoles and recreate it for the latest consoles, while also proactively developing versions for play on smart devices.”

This is a safe move by Square-Enix, because usually it is a relatively easy to profit from old games because the foundation of the game is already built. They announced in June they would remake the classic “Final Fantasy VII” and fans were ecstatic. If they treat these remakes right they could be great, but if not they are clearly cash grabs.

The company is no stranger to milking their franchises as they have been known to slap a series name on anything new even if it is not similar at all.

Ideally this does not affect the development of new games. If this new focus of remaking old games takes away from funding or development of new games that would be a tragedy.

Kojima rumored to have left Konami

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima may have finally left Konami, the company he has worked for since 1986.

Speaking with The New Yorker, a source claims Kojima’s final day at Konami was Oct. 9.

Konami on the other hand is claiming Kojima is simply on a vacation after launching the fantastic “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.”

Drama between the Metal Gear creator and his company has been common news the past year. He even made it clear he would leave the company after he completed working on his latest game, so it is no surprise that he would ultimately leave.

Provided he has not left yet, it is assumed he will leave before the end of the year. put together a timeline of all the events of the controversy.

Grant Meyer can reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @GrantMeyerDE