Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny's Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments.
Guild Wars 2 claims to be unique in the genre by featuring a storyline that is responsive to player actions, something which is common in single player role-playing games but rarely seen in multiplayer ones. A dynamic event system replaces traditional questing, utilising the ripple effect to allow players to approach quests in different ways as part of a persistent world. Also of note is the combat system, which aims to be more dynamic than its predecessor by promoting synergy between professions and using the environment as a weapon, as well as reducing the complexity of the Magic-style skill system of the original game.
As a sequel to Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 features the same lack of subscription fees that distinguished its predecessor from other commercially developed online games of the time, though until August 2015 a purchase was still required to install the game. As reported by NCsoft and ArenaNet, by September 13 (about 2 weeks after launch), despite temporarily halting first-party sales, the game has sold over 2 million copies. By August 2013, the peak player concurrency had reached 460,000. By August 2015, over 5 million copies had been sold, at which point the base game became free to play.[