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Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet

A reddit AMA with Mike O'Brien has word from the ArenaNet boss that Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson is leaving the company, saying this is on good terms, and they remain good friends (thanks Marvin T. Martian). Mike says he will be stepping in as game director for Guild Wars 2 for now, and that while he is excited about returning to such a role, one of his goals is to eventually hire someone to replace him to guide the MMORPG sequel. He also takes the opportunity to lay out plans for the game's future:
We recently started PvP season two and we’re about to launch the next raid wing. After that we’re packaging up and preparing our next big quarterly update for April. The April update is about reducing grind, clearing away some tedium, getting quickly to the fun, and improving rewards. We’ve always said that Guild Wars should be about having fun rather than preparing to have fun, and this will be a back-to-our-roots kind of update. After the April update, we’ll start live beta-tests of improvements to WvW. Our goal is to be very incremental and visible with the changes we’re making there, so that players are involved every step of the way. Further on, we’ll launch the next raid wing in May or June, then Living World and the next quarterly update.

You’ve seen in past years that we went through times when the whole company worked on one thing. In 2013, the year we shipped 21 Living World updates, pretty much the whole company was working on Living World. In 2015, we were all working on the expansion. Going forward we’re putting ourselves in a more sustainable mode where live and expansion don’t compete with each other.

We have about 120 devs working on the live game, 70 devs on Expac2, and 30 devs on core teams that support both. Within these groups we have cross-discipline teams with focused missions. For example on Live we have the PvP team, the WvW team, the Fractals team, the Raids team, the Living World team, the Legendaries team, and a couple others. The teams are charged with carrying a feature from inception and design through completion. When they finish, we typically package work from multiple teams into a single release, then we hand it off to release teams for final voice integration, localization, QA, and release management.
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7. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 5, 2016, 17:48 Squirmer
 
Thanks for the baseless speculation. Here's some of my own: He got headhunted by Amazon for whatever game/s they're cooking up, along with dozens of other veteran MMO developers from major MMO studios.  
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6. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 5, 2016, 15:35 Marvin T. Martian
 
Simply leaving a sinking ship that he put the hole in. The leaving to be with family is just a cover to get him to leave without causing any animosity or giving a true reason. He likely got a generous golden handshake with a nondisclosure clause.
 
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5. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 5, 2016, 08:07 Redmask
 
Ok Axis, thanks for letting us know.  
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4. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 5, 2016, 07:21 Bub
 
Typical GW2 hype, they talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.
Most of "the work" goes into a never ending plethora of jumping puzzles, cheesy mini games, and bad voice acting.
 
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==================================================
Bubb Stubbley
... I miss BBS..
"There is a sucker born every minute." - PT Barnum
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3. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 4, 2016, 22:25 Cram
 
The Commander of the hype-train is so Johandsome.
He'll be missed.
 
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2. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 4, 2016, 22:06 Kxmode
 
Going to miss that trademark smile of his. Grin  
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William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 — Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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1. Re: Colin Johanson Leaves ArenaNet Mar 4, 2016, 19:39 Morgan19
 
I'm utterly amazed at how civil (most of) the posters are in that thread, and how many red tags there already are in response.

Granted the turnout's because of Colin's departure, but at least it shows they know how to handle the situation in a pretty decent manner. The "open house" feel is outstanding and the openness of the discussions--even with Anet's tight-lipped policy--is great. Here's to hoping the communication continues long after tonight.
 
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