PC MMO Guild Wars 2 will launch in China on May 15 at 10:18 a.m. local time. That’s the most specific (non-midnight) release date we’ve ever seen, but it’s for a good reason. Developer ArenaNet notes that the number 8 is known in Chinese culture to be lucky. As for the 10 a.m. part, an ArenaNet representative told GameSpot that this specific timing comes down to late morning traditionally being a good time to launch MMOs in China.
ArenaNet has partnered with Chinese game publisher KongZhong to release Guild Wars 2 in China. Just like in North America, the Chinese version of the MMO will be available as a one-time purchase with no subscription fee. This is particularly noteworthy, ArenaNet says, because a great number of MMOs released in China are subscription-based.
Studio co-founder Mike O’Brien said in a statement that ArenaNet and KongZhong have been working together for 18 months on the Chinese version of Guild Wars 2. “Finally, we’re ready to open our arms and join with China as one global community,” he said. Part of the process of bringing Guild Wars 2 to China involved translating millions of words, dubbing tens of thousands of voice over lines, and refitting hundreds of game features and systems, ArenaNet said.
The Chinese and Western versions of Guild Wars 2 will have the same content releases. ArenaNet notes that beginning with next week’s Festival of the Four Winds update, the developer will synchronize content releases for China to receive content “within days” of release in the West.