ArenaNet (colloquially ANet or Anet) is the development studio that makes Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. They are located in Bellevue, Washington, USA, and their stated mission is to "create a state-of-the-art, interactive game network and design premier multiplayer online games for dedicated game players." The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Korean company NCsoft, publishers of other MMORPGs such as City of Heroes and Lineage 2.
ArenaNet was founded in spring 2000 by Mike O'Brien, Patrick Wyatt and Jeff Strain. All three of them came from Blizzard Entertainment and were previously involved in the development of multiplayer online games such as Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, World of Warcraft and the Battle.net gaming network. The newly-formed business was originally called "Triforge", but was changed to "ArenaNet" shortly after; it was acquired in 2002 by NCSoft.
ArenaNet is the developer of Guild Wars: Prophecies released in 2005, Guild Wars: Factions released in 2006 as a standalone sequel to the original Guild Wars: Prophecies game. Guild Wars: Nightfall released in 2006 as a standalone sequel to Guild Wars Guild Wars: Prophecies. Lastly they released Guild Wars expansion pack Guild Wars: Eye of the North in 2007 - the first and last expansion for Guild Wars. With the announcement of Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet have said they would stop working on expansion packs or standalone sequels for the game, but continue to support it up until Guild Wars 2's release date with new content.
Over the years, ArenaNet has grown to 250+ employees. Two of the three founders have left the company, but there are several other staff members "visible" to the community, for example Regina Buenaobra, Martin Kerstein and Gaile Gray. A full list of the ArenaNet team can be found in the game credits, as well as on the ArenaNet website (see external links below).
- Although ArenaNet hosts the wiki, ArenaNet employees that contribute to this or the Guild Wars Wiki do so as ordinary users, sometimes providing detailed renders, answering player questions and listening to player feedback.