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Guild War Factions : 500,000 play preview

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Press release

ArenaNet, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars, and NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, opened the virtual door for a weekend-long sneak peak at its new game Guild Wars Factions, and players around the world responded in record numbers. From 12:01 AM on Friday, 24 March until 11:59 PM on 26 March, more than 500,000 players participated in the invitation-only preview event and cumulatively spent more than three million hours online, making the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event (FPE) one of the largest preview events in gaming history. Guild Wars Factions is set to hit store shelves on 28 April 2006 with a suggested retail price of £29.99 / €44.99.

"We knew that by focusing on new ways to play and new things to do within the game, such as the 12x12 Alliance Battles, which were extremely popular with both PvP and roleplaying gamers, that fans would respond enthusiastically," says Jeff Strain, co-founder of ArenaNet. "This weekend reinforced that we are on the right track with Guild Wars Factions and are making a game that rises to the challenge to be innovative and ever-compelling for its fans."

The extraordinary weekend is just the latest success for Guild Wars, the wildly popular game that continues to redefine the online roleplaying experience. The Guild Wars Factions pre-order pack offered a key code for access into the Factions Preview Event, driving gamers to their local game stores and driving sales of the pre-order pack into weekly Top 10 lists alongside full retail titles at stores and chains around the world.

"Guild Wars was a huge success in Europe, topping charts all across the continent,"says Max Brown, Sales Director, NCsoft Europe. "The success of the weekend shows that many of those players are still very much active and eager to experience the next campaign in this ground-breaking series."

Guild Wars Factions is the highly anticipated stand-alone follow up to the critically acclaimed game Guild Wars, an online roleplaying game in which players explore a rich fantasy world, acquire skills, build personalised characters, and compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world. ArenaNet attributes the success of Guild Wars to compelling game design, innovative technology that offers a unique online gameplay experience, and a revolutionary business model with no monthly subscription fees charged to users.