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Guild Wars 2® Core Game Goes Free, Upcoming Expansion Guild Wars 2: Heart of ThornsTM to Launch in October and Feature Raids

ArenaNet announces award-winning MMO Guild Wars 2 is available to play for free starting today, reveals raids and confirms release date for the expansion

This past weekend at PAX Prime ArenaNet™, publisher and developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, made a series of announcements that set the stage for the future of Guild Wars 2 and its upcoming expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™.

In what the studio billed as a fan and press conference from PAX Prime, ArenaNet co-founder and president Mike O’Brien and Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson delivered a crescendo of news including confirmation that the core Guild Wars 2 game is now Play For Free, that raids would be delivered to the game via the expansion Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and that the expansion will launch on Friday, 23rd October in North America and Europe.

More information about this announcement can be found in Saturday’s press release below.


Release Date Announcement:
YouTube (60 frames per second):  UK:

Play For Free Announcement:  YouTube (60 frames per second):  UK:

Raids Announcement:   YouTube (60 frames per second):  UK:

ArenaNet has announced details of the second Beta Weekend Event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and revealed the next elite specialisation coming with the expansion.

Meet the daredevil, the all-new elite specialisation for the thief profession debuting in Heart of Thorns. The daredevil makes use of enhanced dodge-roll abilities, turning thieves into evasive death dealers that can dominate multiple enemies at a time. The daredevil will also be among several recently revealed elite specialisations that players can try out in the next beta for the first time.

The next Beta Weekend Event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will begin at 9 p.m. CEST (8 p.m. BST) on Friday, 4th September and will run until 8:59 a.m. CEST (7:59 a.m. BST ) on Monday, 6th September. Access to the second beta weekend will be available to all players who pre-purchase the expansion. In addition to elite specialisations, this second beta gives players even more exciting new content to test as they prepare for the expansion’s release later this year. More information on what’s playable in the upcoming beta weekend is revealed in a new developer blogpost linked here:

Those who want to know everything that the daredevil is capable of before giving it a test run are advised to read a newly published blogpost dedicated to the specialisation from ArenaNet game designer Karl McLain. The daredevil specialisation blogpost can be read here:

McLain is also this week’s guest on the Points of Interest livestream airing on Friday, August 28th at 9 p.m. CEST (8 p.m. BST) via the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel ( During the broadcast, McLain will demo the daredevil’s new abilities and give fans their first in-game look at the specialisation.

All-new screenshots and teaser art showing the new thief elite specialisation can be downloaded here:

And before you stop reading, here’s just a friendly reminder that ArenaNet are set to make important announcements this Saturday during their PAX Prime presentation titled ‘ Guild Wars 2 – The Journey Ahead’ hosted by ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien and Game Director Colin Johanson. This conference will be streamed live via the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel ( from 6:30 p.m. BST (7:30 p.m. CEST).

For more information about Guild Wars 2 and to stay up-to-date on future announcements, please visit

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015