The number of active Guild Wars 2 players has more than doubled in the last 3 years

Guild Wars 2’s third expansion, End of Dragons, seems to have gone down well with its community. To the extent that, in a giant post detailing what’s next for the game, the studio also takes a moment to celebrate the game’s popularity in recent times.

“We’re seeing incredible growth in the community,” writes ArenaNet. “In fact, the number of active Guild Wars 2 players has more than doubled in the last three years. This growth has helped Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons outsell our previous expansion, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.”

I asked Guild Wars 2 game director Josh Davis what, specifically, counts as an active player — and if that increase was driven by alternate accounts rather than regular fresh blood.

“Active players are defined as those who fully log into the game and load into a map,” writes Davis. “Our growth over the past three years is largely driven by the influx of new players into the game and the return of veteran players. Many live service games saw significant growth during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustaining that growth until 2022 and see no signs of slowing down, especially with a Steam release and future expansions on the horizon. Players with alt accounts are a very small percentage of our overall player base.”

It’s surprising how much growth the game had before the expansion’s release – it was a relatively quiet period in terms of new content, although the free legendary amulet given after the completion of ‘Season of the Dragon’ – a series of achievements based around repeating the old Living World story – it certainly helped to drag me back. And, interestingly, I even convinced some friends to join me.

Naturally, the success of End of Dragons will also have been good for the game. It’s a fun moment, marked by one of the most spectacular final maps in the game’s history. It’s a solid foundation for ArenaNet to build on in the future.

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