An electronic afterlife is tough to find in gaming. The old makes room for the new in ways that can sometimes be brutally disruptive. Guild Wars 1 developer ArenaNet is working to ensure the community behind the 2005 MMORPG has enough support to live far into the future, according to recent comments by lead content designer Mike Zadorojny (via Eurogamer (opens in new tab) ).
Even after the release of its sequel last year, the first Guild Wars has retained a "thriving" player base, Zadorojny said, and the technology supporting the game should ensure this remains the case. "The game itself was so efficient on the server side in terms of the resources, like, it runs on a fraction of the hardware that we need for running Guild Wars 2, so having that on the back-burner is nothing compared to GW2," he said.
One key factor in maintaining the online world of the original Guild Wars has been the creation and continued use of automation to organize the game's tournaments, events, and week-to-week schedule. The small team currently dedicated to maintaining the game won't be putting together new content, but works instead to take care of any "massive issues," according to Zadorojny. These are presumably issues that go beyond the scope of the automatic system the developers have created, but the structures ArenaNet has behind the game definitely sound like they were designed with a long lifespan in mind.
"We've been doing a lot of automation support so that the game itself could last forever, even without anybody really touching it," Zadorojny said.