NCsoft at the Games Convention 2007
With a record breaking attendance of 185,000 visitors, this year's Leipzig Games Convention was a great opportunity to show the world a first glimpse of the much anticipated Guild Wars: Eye of the North.
While future developments to the Guild Wars universe were discussed behind closed doors in the GC Business Center, players had their first taste of Eye of the North. Playable demo booths offered a glimpse of the Sneak Peek Weekend, presentations and interviews gave players a chance to delve deeper into the back story, and if that wasn't enough, the lure of shiny Guild Wars swag drew crowds from far and wide.
Jeff Strain Keynote
On Tuesday morning Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet, delivered a well-received keynote speech on how to create a successful MMO. Touching upon the challenges of working with licensed products, Jeff discussed the dynamics of creating and controlling a universe, and the importance of innovation in the marketplace:
"Let developers design MMOs that are not designed and constrained by the rules of a licensing body."
The auditorium was filled to the last seat, with people standing in the aisles. A particularly lively Q&A after the speech showed the great interest people have in Guild Wars.
Throughout the exhibition, Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 generated huge interest. Jeff Strain gave interviews on the show floor at the buffed.de and Gamestar booths. Both sessions were hugely popular and concluded with a heated round of questions from the crowd.
Martin Kerstein, European community team lead, gave an interview at Allvatar's booth, which was broadcast to thousands of players live across the Internet. Response to the interviews was positive, underscoring again the great interest in the existing Guild Wars universe as well as the huge anticipation for Guild Wars 2.
Eye of the North Presentation
We presented new Eye of the North content to an eager crowd at the Onlinewelten and Commodore booths, demonstrating the many new adventures awaiting Guild Wars players. Another Q&A session followed, giving players another chance to get those burning questions answered.
Daniel Dociu on the Art of Guild Wars
On Saturday, Daniel Dociu, chief art director of ArenaNet and NCsoft Interactive, was our guest of honor. He talked about his work, past and present, before encouraging the audience to ask questions and give feedback on the art of Guild Wars. After some lively discussion, he gave away signed Eye of the North artwork. Needless to say, players were quite eager to get their hands on these autographed mementos.
Mr. and Mrs. Guild Wars
Also on Saturday, Guild-Wars.info, one of the German Elite Fansites, organized a Mr. and Mrs. Guild Wars competition. Players were asked to come in self-designed Guild Wars costumes, ready to show the world their creations. After some difficult judging, the jury (which included Daniel Dociu) came up with a winner. Congratulations to the winners for their amazing outfits, and thanks to everyone that took part!
Every company at the Leipzig Games Convention brings a ton of loot to give away, and NCsoft was no exception. We had Guild Wars posters, lanyards, and game boxes, as well as Tabula Rasa I.D. tags and Aion t-shirts for the swag-starved crowd. Be sure to turn up at one of our future shows to get your hands on some exclusive freebies!
Guild Wars Skill Pins
The latest set of skill pins were also distributed during the show. Once again, they proved to be very popular. Some players turned up multiple times to get a full set. The skill pins generated a lot of buzz between players who swapped duplicates in their bid to get a full set. These skill pins will also be available during the Festival du Jeu Vidéo in Paris, France, so if you missed Leipzig, you can try to complete your set there.
Guild Wars Player Party
On Friday we organized a player party in a pub in the city center of Leipzig, where players gathered to meet one another and chat with the NCsoft community team. Players from all across Europe turned up in droves, and eventually the pub was under full Guild Wars control. Everybody had a great time, and even after the official party ended, players grouped and had more fun until the early morning.
Sneak Peek Weekend
Players who made the journey to the Games Convention were rewarded with access to the Guild Wars: Eye of the North Sneak Peek Weekend (well, they couldn't miss out, could they?). Their adventures took them to the Far Shiverpeaks, where new quests and new areas provided loot for the taking (and keeping). There was never a quiet moment as players talked excitedly about the Sneak Peek, and anticipation over the release of Guild Wars: Eye of the North skyrocketed.