ArenaNet, the studio behind the Guild Wars series, is working on a new fantasy action game for consoles (via WccfTech).
WccfTech reported that the developer is seeking an art director who would be responsible for an “unannounced third-person fantasy action console title.” The position would require communication with “all levels of internal staff and external partners” and mentoring of multidisciplinary artists, and the ideal candidate would also need to know their way around Unreal Engine 4. A fantasy game is standard issue for ArenaNet, which has supported Guild Wars 2 with a chunk of expansions and seasonal updates, but the devil is in the details regarding this unannounced title.
Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 have only ever been available for PC players. ArenaNet has stuck to its guns on that front for nearly two decades—it seems to have never been tempted by a mobile port or a Switch release of its successful games. It could be that this project will be Guild Wars’ console debut, and act as a move to attract new audiences and to encourage cross-play between the platforms. However, the job opportunity doesn’t reference MMORPG elements or features at all. In addition, Guild Wars 2 uses a unique proprietary game engine, whereas this project uses Unreal Engine 4. This could be one more clue that the upcoming console game will be an all-new intellectual property from ArenaNet.
All of this is speculation, of course, because nothing has been officially revealed with regards to this new project. The developer experienced a shaky few years as revenue from Guild Wars 2 began to wane. Parent company NCSoft said that the “restructuring, cost-cutting, and strategic realignments are all being done to secure our tomorrow and to provide the foundation that will allow us to grow and acquire.” In 2018, ArenaNet was scrutinised for firing two developers who disagreed with a fan about how narrative design works in a massively multiplayer online game. The developer felt that they had not acted “professionally and respectfully” while representing the company, whereas former Guild Wars 2 narrative designer Jessica Price said that ArenaNet “folded like a cheap card table the first time their values were actually tested.”