ArenaNet founder and president Mike O'Brien rocked the Guild Wars 2 community very early this morning with a blog post celebrating 2012 as the year of the dragon and the official launch year for Guild Wars 2.
Guild Wars 2 recently finished up a very small closed beta test, and now ArenaNet is planning to start opening the testing doors wider very quickly: "In February we'll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we'll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate."
This all leads up to the event fans have been eagerly awaiting on the edge of their seats: a 2012 launch for Guild Wars 2, according to O'Brien. He wrapped up the blog post with words guaranteed to put a big smile on the face of every fan: "So welcome to the Year of the Dragon – the year of Guild Wars 2."
[Update: Martin Kerstein has further clarified ANet's plans on the GW2 Guru forums, reminding players that "public beta events" does not mean "unlimited open beta." He does say that at least some of these events will be in the form of weekend testing events.]