It takes real guts to pull the plug on your game sales when you're concerned about server stability, but that's exactly what Arena.net has done with its just-launched game, Guild Wars 2. According to company spokesperson Rubi Bayer, "Ensuring the best possible play experience for our fans is our highest priority. We’ve said before that we would be willing to temporarily disable first-party digital sales if we felt our high player concurrency may compromise player experiences. We have now reached that point.
Effective immediately we have disabled sales via buy.guildwars2.com. To be clear, box and digital sales are still available via our retail partners. We are tracking our concurrency closely while expanding our infrastructure. We’ll re-enable first-party digital sales as soon as we feel that we can do so safely."
If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you still can -- but the first-party delay is designed to ensure that activations and logins don't overwhelm the server infrastructure. While this may frustrate some players, it's still nice to see a company willing to put server performance ahead of the bottom line. Diablo 3's launch and first days were...erratic, thanks to massive server problems. Obviously in an ideal situation, we'd have neither server problems nor a need for this sort of decision, but attempting to accurately model initial demand is difficult. Given that the game is still available, this type of compromise should strike a fair balance.
Look for our own take on Guild Wars 2 in the very near future. Those of you who've bought the game already, how are you enjoying it?