Guild Wars Announced

The Guild Wars Website is now online, along with the press release announcing this online RPG, a collaboration between ArenaNet and NCSoft. Though the game will log on for updates every time it is played, they plan to require no subscription fees in North America ("and will offer a variety of pricing options for gamers in other parts of the world"). The game has a fantasy setting, and looks to cater to solo adventuring as well as group efforts. Along with the announcement, the site carries a FAQ as well as a Gallery with the first images from the game and a wallpaper. Here's a bit from the announcement on what to expect from this project, which will debut at E3, and is due for release in the second quarter of 2004:
In the fantasy world of Guild Wars, players can engage in cooperative group combat, in single player adventures, or in large head-to-head guild battles. Guild Wars is a game that will constantly evolve, using streaming technology to provide players with the latest updates while they’re online. In addition, gamers will be able to play Guild Wars without a monthly fee in North America. NCsoft will announce a variety of pricing options for gamers in other parts of the world in the near future.

“We’re excited to unveil Guild Wars,” said Patrick Wyatt, the original producer and lead programmer for the Warcraft series. “We believe that players are going to enjoy experiencing a game that offers technological advances that fundamentally improve the online role-playing experience, and the introduction of a groundbreaking business model for the genre.”

ArenaNet was founded by key members of the creative teams behind the hit game series Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, as well as, one of the most successful gaming networks in the world.