There is a buzz going around the Guild Wars 2 community of a possible console port of the highly anticipated MMO. ArenaNet Community Manager, Martin Kerstein, responded to the wildfire of posts generated by a conference call with an investor on Guild Wars 2 Guru today:
I think “stay calm, don’t panic” will become my new mantra.
We stated multiple times in public that we have a small team working on a console version, but that we are fully dedicated to make the most kickass game for PC (I think the official statement did not use the word kickass, in case someone wants to semantically disect my post ;)).
According to GuildWars Insider, large-scale beta tests of Guild Wars 2 will happen in March and April which will decide the next step for a console version. The possibility of ArenaNet releasing the PC and console version together is not likely (the console version would probably come out after the PC launch, if at all).
With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim becoming a huge hit, there is room on consoles for more MMOs. However, ArenaNet loves to add content after the initial release of their games. The original Guild Wars has received many content updates since its 2005 début; the final chapter of its Winds of Change campaign just went live last week. ArenaNet would have to abide by Microsoft, Sony, and/or Nintendo’s rules for DLCs which could offer problems. Also, major content DLCs usually cost players money, while PC users would get it for free. There are many hurdles that ArenaNet will have to jump before a console port becomes a true reality.
If a console port does become fact, the PC and console versions will, more than likely, work separately, just like the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the only game I know of that will be cross-platform between PC, Mac and console (even then, limited to PlayStation 3 only). Unless ArenaNet makes the use of the keyboard and mouse combo mandatory for the console port, PC users will have an advantage over their controller counter-parts, but not all gamers are willing to fork over extra money for the hardware to do so. The easy fix is to have each version its own world.
It will be interesting to see where ArenaNet goes with this.