ArenaNet President Mike O'Brien knows quite well. In an interview with VentureBeat, O'Brien explained how the studio is handling the monetization for Guild Wars 2 and blasts RMT companies for their practices.
O'Brien addressed why Guild Wars 2 is being offered not as a straight free-to-play title but as a retail product with an up-front cost. "The answer is we're really focused on creating the highest-quality MMO, not the lowest-cost MMO," he replied. "I think Guild Wars 2 is one of the best values in gaming, period. Where else can you get this many hours of enjoyment, of content, of polish, of replayability, for $60?"
He also took the opportunity to expand upon his own blog post covering microtransactions from a few weeks ago. "Creating a microtransaction system that doesn't upset or alienate your player base is straightforward, once you clearly define what's in-bounds and what's out-of-bounds," O'Brien stated. He says that ArenaNet wants to be "open and honest" with players regarding the in-game store options and promises that these will be "non-essential additions to the game and convenience services" only.
O'Brien also had strong words about the shady practices of RMT companies, practices that ArenaNet is trying to combat by offering its own in-game RMT system. "Where there's a real profit incentive, someone out there in the world will lie, cheat, and steal to make that profit, " he said. "By letting players trade directly with each other, we take the power away from RMT companies and give it to the entire playerbase."