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ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 won't require a monthly subscription. Instead, the game will offer players the option of spending real-world money in certain ways. Today ArenaNet's Mike O'Brien detailed how these microtransactions will work.
"We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves," said O'Brien on the company's blog. "They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time."
Guild Wars 2 will have three currencies: gold, karma, and gems. Gold is the standard in-game currency. Karma, earned in-game as well, is untradeable and can purchase unique rewards. Gems, meanwhile, are purchased with real-world money.
"We have a new player-driven market that allows players to trade gold for gems and gems for gold. If you want something, whether it’s an in-game item or a microtransaction, you ultimately have two ways to get it: you can play to earn gold or you can use money to buy gems. We think that’s important, because it lets more players participate on a level playing field, whether they use their free time or their disposable income to do it."
ArenaNet plans to test out the microtransactions during this month's closed beta event. The developer is currently sending out beta keys now.